Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Apollo: The Brilliant One

Apollo: The Brilliant One is the latest entry in George O'Connor's Olympians series. Like the other books, this one is full of a great array of Greek myths featuring the titular character, and the contents of the book mirror and portray his personality. This a a beautiful book to look at, and it is structured around a series of presentations by the Nine Muses.
In each story, we see Apollo in action, killing Python, establishing the Oracle at Delphi, becoming a  patron of the arts, getting revenge on mortals who dare compare themselves to him, and turning his attention to a number of females (always with disastrous results). There is also a sizable section about his famed son Asklepios, the first doctor. Even though he was beautiful and full of song, Apollo's stories belie a dark side that emerges with each tale. This is a complex, entertaining, and thoughtful book, well worthy of the series. And like the other entries, it features copious endnotes, footnotes, and additional references for further reading.

All of the reviews I have read for this book have been laudatory. Shelley Diaz gave it a starred review and called it "A shining example of a graphic novel that educates and entertains." Sarah Rachel Egelman wrote that it was "a fantastic and exciting introduction to this important god of ancient Greece." Kirkus Reviews commented positively about Apollo's portrayal as a tragic hero.

Apollo: The Brilliant One was published by First Second, who has a preview and much more available here.

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