Wind from the Hospitable Sea (Fleeing Carthage)

Written by Tom Pinch (trans.) Witold Makowiecki
Review by Elizabeth Caulfield Felt

Greece, 562 BC. When wealthy foreigners come to Corinth for the Great Isthmian Games, 11-year-old Diossos tries to convince visitors to stay at his mother’s meager hut, and on the last day before the games, Polynicos and Kalias agree to do so. Polynicos falls in love with Diossos’ beautiful sister, Eucleia, and wins the long-distance race, but must flee the city after a moment of righteous anger, promising to return for Eucleia. Through trickery and greed, Diossos and his family are sold into slavery. Diossos escapes the guards and attempts to cross land and sea for Polynicos’ help.

This story, first published in Polish in 1946 and newly translated, has been compared to Treasure Island, and rightfully so. It has the feel of the great adventure stories from the late 1800s, full of both honorable and nefarious male characters with only a few females, who are beautiful and in need of saving. Diossos is an enjoyable, intrepid hero, much like Jim Hawkins. He must overcome trial after trial, meeting an array of interesting characters who help and hinder him on his quest. Fast-paced and fun, this story includes maps of ancient Greece that help readers see where our brave adventurers travel, with footnotes to explain the historical significance of names and places. Recommended for readers, both young and old, who like old-fashioned adventure stories.