Voices of the Trojan War

Written by Kate Hovey
Review by Adelaida Lower

As in previous books (Ancient Voices and Arachne Speaks), mask-maker and poet Kate Hovey draws from the myths of classical antiquity, this time the Trojan War, retelling the story of the conflict. Voices of the Trojan War, a slim volume of fifty-three poems (plus an invocation and an epilogue), introduces the readers to a cast of characters including gods, heroes, and even a lowly sentinel on the wall of the doomed city. An appendix explains these characters (a map would also have been helpful). The illustrations by Leonid Gore are discreet, although commonplace. The poems, however, breathe life: “A netted fish/ my water gone/ must suck what little air’s/ remaining drenched/ in sweat and darkness….” The sorrows and horror of war are not romanticized. Kate Hovey does not underestimate the intelligence of her young audience, which is refreshing. She quotes fragments from the ancient poets and dramatists before every poem, identifying the wellspring of her inspiration, an elegant acknowledgment that enthusiasts of the timeless stories will appreciate. Ages 9-12