As you might know, last week I launched the latest (and final) book of The Osteria Chronicles, my historical fantasy series in which the myths of Ancient Greece come to life as you’ve never seen them before.
Woohoo, right? Anyway…
That book was The Return of Odysseus, and while it is a reimagining of Homer’s epic The Odyssey, I’ve got plenty of other characters and plot lines going on throughout the story. There’s a war with the titans, there’s some trouble brewing down in Hades’s realm, and there’s a friendship facing a pretty tough test.
But at the heart of the book is the story of Odysseus trying to get home from a war. Just like Homer’s work, right? Not exactly.
So what’s going on with Odysseus and how does Homer’s tale differ from mine?
As with his tale of the Trojan War in the Illiad, Homer’s Odyssey is a loooooong and involved story that takes another ten years of Odysseus’s life to get through and sends him all over the Mediterranean.
Because of all the other plot lines going on at the same time, the action in my story needed punched up a bit. So, I left out some of the less exciting portions from Homer and tightened up the timeline significantly. Also, The Odyssey takes place almost entirely at sea, which wasn’t going to work with the geography of Osteria.
Quick side note: I also did these “adjustments” in my previous book, The Battle of Ares. If you want to check out the fun I had re-imagining the Iliad, you’ll want to head to THIS POST.
The Odyssey in Greek Mythology
Odysseus’s first obstacle in the Odyssey is when his crew encounters a group who eat lotus flowers. The flower made the men blissfully content, so the crew doesn’t care one bit about getting home. I used this concept in a potion Circe gives Odysseus that makes him completely forget his desire to return home and leaves him in a pleasurable stupor for weeks.
Once away from these drug fiends, Odysseus has to deal with getting away from a cyclops. This is one of my favorite parts of the Odyssey and I knew I had to work it in somehow, which is why I had Odysseus knock out Telamon’s eye in Book Five (The Battle of Ares). My “cyclops” is a pretty brutal guy and it takes all of Odysseus’s daring nature to escape.
In legend, Odysseus escapes the cyclops by disguising himself as a sheep. Then, after getting super close to home, he gets caught up in a windstorm and ends up on Circe’s island (my second favorite part of the story). Once Odysseus outsmarts Circe (who has turned his men into barnyard animals), she tells him how to get home.
Again, Odysseus almost makes it home, but then his crew gets tricked by the call of the sirens. Being another well-loved part of the myth, I worked this into The Return of Odysseus with the singing female centaur who lures our hero with a voice that sounds strikingly like Penelope’s.
Odysseus’s ship manages to get past the sirens only to face two sea monsters: one bad and the other worse. Our hero has to choose whether to lose a few men, all his men, or give up entirely. He opts to sacrifice a few men to make it past the monsters, but somehow loses the ship and ends up stranded alone on Calypso’s island where he stays far longer than he should. And, well, let’s just say he’s not keeping to his marriage vows during this time.
Eventually, in myth and in The Return of Odysseus, the gods help our hero home. Sheesh, it’s about time, right?
Penelope during all this time is being pursued by loads of suitors. In The Odyssey she bides her time by weaving a shroud for Odysseus and undoes the weaving each night. I’m not sure how bright these suitors were to think it took ten years to weave a blanket, but I suppose people were more patient back then. In my book, I take a similar approach, but my Penelope tricks her suitors (and her scheming mother) by building (and un-building) a theater.
In the myth, when Odysseus does make it home, he’s first recognized by his former nursemaid and his dog (good puppy!). His return in Homer’s version is a lot more violent than depicted in my book. A LOT more.
If this has you curious about the book or the series, you can find all the links you need below.
Thanks for reading, and stay healthy!!!
Looking for Odysseus?
The Return of Odysseus: Book Six of The Osteria Chronicles can now be found on my Payhip Bookstore and at most major retailers.
Click HERE to take home this emotionally-charged final installment of the Osteria Chronicles today.
The Return of Odysseus is also available in paperback. Simply click the Kindle icon in the link above and select the paperback version instead of the ebook. Or search for B082PKW481 on your local Amazon store.
Need to Catch up on the Series?
If you’d like to shop elsewhere, simply click the titles below and select your preferred retailer.
- The Trials of Hercules (FREE on most retailers!)
- The Voyage of Heroes (currently on sale for 99c)
- The Maze of Minos
- The Bonds of Osteria
- The Battle of Ares
- The Osteria Chronicles Box Set (Books 1 – 3)