‘Return of The Hero’ by Jeff Clarke

A modern slant on Homer. The Trojan war has ended, the city burns, the conqueror’s fleet sails for Greece but is struck by a storm. It ends to find the vessels of Odysseus vanished. His wife, Penelope, is left holding the throne of Ithaca with her only son, Telemachus. The suitors gather to demand she marries one of them but her son, on reaching maturity will not be allowed to live. He sets sail then goes overland to discover the fate of Odysseus, is attacked by brigands, learns much, finds romance but discovers little about his father. The suitors fail to have him murdered in a sea battle and he returns in secret to Ithaca where further plans are afoot to kill him. His father returns as a beggar, the two are reunited and Odysseus relates his amazing adventures. The suitors threaten to depose Penelope by force and Odysseus makes himself known to her. An archery contest is arranged in which the suitors are slain by Telemachus, his father and their allies. The suitors’ kin invade, determined on revenge. A final battle ensues, interrupted by an earthquake but the enemy is defeated. Waves of invaders from far lands threaten Greece so Odysseus, Telemachus and their people must leave for southern Italy. Telemachus finds his way to the enchanted island of Circe, described by his father.

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