Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: George O'Connor
Publisher: First Second
Apollo: The Brilliant One is a graphic novel that relates the origin story and major myths surrounding the Greek god Apollo. Narrated by the nine Muses, goddesses of arts and song, the book shows how Apollo comes into the world struggling, persecuted at birth by Hera and her rage over Leto’s affair with his father, Zeus. The slaying of the giant snake Python, the music contest with the satyr Marsyas, and some of Apollo’s many tragic love affairs are related by each of the Muses in turn, giving each tale a different voice based on a different ancient Greek art. The book stands well on its own, but is best enjoyed as part of the larger series.
This book is perfect for anyone interested in Greek mythology. The Olympians series as a whole is filled with fun art and witty storytelling reminiscent of a superhero comic, but the series is also well-researched, and it shows particularly in this book. In the author's notes, George O’Connor takes the time to name some of his sources and explain how the original Greek stories about the god Apollo influenced his art, storytelling, and portrayal of the characters, making this story a good jumping off point for children and young adults interested in learning more. With his excellent art, page layouts, pacing, sense of humor, and thoughtful analysis of the stories he is telling, O’Connor has created a combination of entertainment and education unlike any other literature on Greek myths. The entire Olympians series is highly recommended.
*Contains mild violence and mild sexual content.