Book Review: The Wolf-Girl, The Greeks, and the Gods - Tom Holland and Jason Cockcroft
The release of 'The Wolf-Girl, the Greeks and the Gods' marks best-selling author and leading podcaster Tom Holland’s first foray into Children’s Fiction; and boy-oh-boy, what a stonker of a debut it is.
Tom’s epic tale retells the events of the Persian Wars, a fantastically thrilling episode in history that saw the vast Persian Empire invade the comparatively puny city-states of Ancient Greece. The story is told through the eyes of Spartan princess Gorgo, who proves an engaging lead. Through some smart plotting, Gorgo is a first-hand witness to the key events of the Persian Wars. She’s there to experience the heroic last stand of the Greeks at the pass of Thermopylae, the great and altogether unexpected Greek naval victory of Salamis, and the final dramatic Greek triumph of Platea. Her insightful accounts are a fist-pumping and page-turning thrill ride.
This is a pacey story that keeps one’s bottom firmly planted on the edge of the proverbial seat, and readers will likely find themselves ploughing through the entire book in one or two sittings.
The 'Wolf-Girl, the Greeks and the Gods' is an excellent choice of book for teachers and parents seeking to educate and engage children nine years and older on the history and mythology of Ancient Greece. The text cleverly intertwines mythology with historical fact, ensuring the reader leaves with a varied assortment of knowledge. Young brains will be cram-packed with tales of the goddess Artemis, Athenians who transform into bears, and the terrifying Cheese Games!
The text is brought wonderfully to life by the stellar artwork of Jason Cockcroft. Jason’s epic pen-strokes capture the mystery, magic, and heroic daring-do of the Persian Wars perfectly. Indeed, Jason’s double-page spreads brought to mind the evocative gut-punchingly cinematic artwork of Frank Miller’s 300 – albeit child-friendly I hasten to add! – and I can think of no higher praise than that!
The one downside? All of this awesomeness comes with a hefty price tag of £25. Still, the chunky hard-cover and supple-to-the-touch pages ensure this is money well spent.
The term ‘Children’s Classic’ is bandied around with wanton abandon in the book publishing world these days but, when it comes to ‘The Wolf-Girl, the Greeks, and the Gods’, the praise is well deserved. This truly is a Children’s Classic and is highly recommended by Imagining History to those seeking to learn about the Persian Wars; as well as to discover Ancient Greek history, mythology, and beliefs.
A huge thank you to Walker Books for providing us with a review copy of 'The Wolf-Girl, the Greeks, and the Gods'.
'The Wolf-Girl, The Greeks, and the Gods' is released on the 4th of May, 2023. To pre-order the book, please click here to head on over to the Walker Books website.