Book Preview: Odysseus: The Oath by Valerio Massimo Manfredi

Odysseus UK CoverI am a huge fan of Valerio Massimo Manfredi’s Alexander trilogy. He writes with such conviction and historical knowledge, you will often find yourself completely forgetting that you are reading a work of fiction. But this year marks the return of one of the world’s most popular historical writers. Even the Daily Express says that Manfredi “shows Dan Brown how it should be done.” In October 2013, his new release Odysseus: The Oath is released and starts off a two volume collection. Here is the blurb:

A man becomes a hero . . . As a young boy in Ithaca, Odysseus listens in wonder to his grandfather Autolykos, a man feared by many across the land as a ruthless fighter. He learns of his heritage and a lifelong passion is sparked: to become an adventurer and warrior. In Mycenae, he meets King Eurystheus and learns the terrible story of Hercules – the man with god-like strength who slaughtered his family and punished by the King to undertake impossible tasks to earn absolution. But is Eurystheus the man he says he is? When a child comes to Odysseus in the middle of the night, with another, very disturbing, version of what happened that fateful night, Odysseus embarks on the first of his extraordinary quests . . . So begins the epic story of Odysseus, the first of two volumes: an adventure of love, war, courage and heroism, weaving from a small rocky island in Greece, to the mighty fall of Troy.

Now, I have to admit that I have a love of Classical Mythology and History. I even studied it, and part of the course was based on Homer’s infamous The Odyssey. We had to read it all in full, study it, even act it at points. So when I first heard about this, I got pretty excited.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi has a real gift, an art of turning historical fact into feature length fiction, and being a Professor of Classics just confirms him as one of the best in field. What I’m looking forward to is reading some of the early life of Odysseus. We didn’t actually learn that much about his early years and I think it will be great to see a different era of this wonderful hero.

If you didn’t already know, Odysseus was one of the generals that fought in the Odysseus US CoverTrojan War. He is the King of a small city state called Ithaca, and we find him (in The Odyssey) trying to return home to his beloved Penelope – a journey which takes him ten years! Of course Greek Gods, mythological beasts and characters all turn up, and it is classed as one of the most fundamental pieces of literature of the western world. And I can’t wait to see how Manfredi is going to add to this. Apart from the awful US front cover that is – I really do not like it. But you know what they say – never judge a book by its cover. Apparently, it is also written in first person too, which will give us a real personal insight to this man of myth.

Odysseus: The Oath is available to preorder in Hardback and eBook from:

Amazon UK / Amazon US & AUS / The Book Depository

About the Author:

Valerio Massimo Manfredi is an archaeologist and scholar of the ancient Greek Massimo manfrediand Roman world. He is the author of sixteen novels, which have won him literary awards and have sold 12 million copies. His Alexander trilogy has been translated into 38 languages and published in 62 countries and the film rights have been acquired by Universal Pictures. His novel The Last Legion was made into a film starring Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley and directed by Doug Lefler. Valerio Massimo Manfredi has taught at a number of prestigious universities in Italy and abroad and has published numerous articles and essays in academic journals. He has also written screenplays for film and television, contributed to journalistic articles and conducted cultural programmes and television documentaries.

Manfredi’s Website / Goodreads


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