Scholarly Graphic Retelling
Long ago in Ancient Greece, a prince of Troy, Paris, steals the most beautiful woman in the world from another prince, Menelaus of Sparta. Unfortunately, when Menelaus won Helen as his bride, he made all the other Greek leaders swear allegiance to him. Paris' action puts the Greek war machine into motion, and soon Troy is besieged. This goes on for a very long time, and there is a lot of drama over whether men want to be there (Odysseus famously tries to get out of fighting), how the fighting should go, and whether after almost ten years they should all give up. Lot of people die, in very gruesome ways, and a fair number of women are enslaved and treated horribly by all sides. There are heroes and villains on both sides, and the war is finally ended when the Trojans infiltrate the city inside a giant wooden horse, open the gates for the other forces, and finally take the Trojan stronghold.
The twist, of course, is the format. Full color illustrations capture the action, including some beheadings, with a yellow palette that reflects the sandy Greek landscape. The costumes and appearance of the characters is true to the descriptions in the original, and the style somewhere between classic book illustrations and cartoons. There is a lot of text, and the language is very descriptive, making this a good choice for high school students who want a more visual approach to this story but don't want to sacrifice details.
Hinds' specialty is graphic adaptations of classics (Romeo and Juliet, Beowulf, King Lear), and this hefty tome would make the Greeks proud, since they valued retellings of stories. Hinds' research is documented in notes in the back, and the translations he consulted are discussed. Hand this one to high school students struggling to comprehend this for class, or for middle school students who want to look really smart!