Lloyd Alexander and Esther Friesner are two modern writers who based their novels on Greek mythology. The Arkadians by Lloyd Alexander probes into the origins and development of many popular Greek myths, including Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad. The author simplifies each complex story with deductive reasoning to show a possible original version. Alexander is excellent in demonstrating how a “good” storyteller can manipulate the truth and the heart of a narrative to suit his/her own purposes and the reputations of others.
Esther Friesner focuses on the character of Helen in her novels Nobody’s Princess and its sequel Nobody’s Prize. She simultaneously unravels several prominent Greek myths while adhering to the main plot. Unlike the Helen portrayed in the Iliad, Friesner’s description of Helen is a determined and clever heroine before the events depicted in Homer’s epic occurred. Like Alexander, the author carefully utilizes the adventures her protagonist undergoes as an opportunity to have the character actually be involved in some of the very myths that are in question. Both authors contribute their personal sense of humor and wit to their works of fiction, making the interpretations of Greek mythology and its origins memorable.
Original review: The origins of Greek myths are revealed through fiction, Examiner.com