The prince and the golden ax: A Minoan tale

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9780060237158: The prince and the golden ax: A Minoan tale

A proud Minoan prince challenges the Goddess Diktynna, who first offers him rewards for his courage but then threatens to destroy Thera, his homeland, when his boasting angers her.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8 An original story, best described as "mythical fiction," that provides a possible explanation for the disappearance of Minoan culture. Minoan prince Akros wishes to bring glory to his homeland of Thera by winning the feast day games on the island of Crete. In the shrine of Diktynna, he sees a two-edged gold hunting ax hanging around the neck of the goddess' statue. Akros distinguishes himself in the games, and in triumph he claims to be a greater hunter than Diktynna. In responses to his challenge, Diktynna's priestess poses three tasks. Akros accomplishes the first two with the help of his sorceress sister's magic charms, but even she will not help him complete the last, forbidden task. Failing in his final deed, Akros still demands the Golden Ax, and as punishment for his boasting, Diktynna destroys his homeland in a volcanic explosion. The plot of this story sounds better than the story itself. From the opening sentences the text is overwritten and flowery. Lattimore opens with a "Storyteller's Note" and closes with an imagined epilogue. Both devices are precious in tone and do little to clarify the origin of the text. The illustrations, while bright and colorful (the treatment of water and mountains is quite lovely) do not correspond to the text. While the picture key in Lattimore's Flame of Peace (Harper, 1987) identifies the Aztec motifs and symbols used to illustrate her tale, there is no such key in this title, and it is missed. Janice M. Del Negro, Chicago Pub. Lib.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Lattimore follows up her winning tale, The Flame of Peace , with this new one, inspired by the Minoan ruins on the island of Crete. She constructs a story of the destruction of Thera, centering the plot on a young prince who boasts in a most unholy fashion about his own powers instead of paying respect to the Goddess Diktynna. He is given feats to perform, and is successful only because of his sister's carefully administered charms. When he enters the sacred grounds of the blue monkeys, even his sister can't save him, and through his folly, Minoan civilization is lost. Depicted in an exotic setting that hints at the significant symbols of Minoan culture, each frame has the look of a fresco painting. The storytelling is sure and steady, as though this were a familiar myth retold, rather than a novel creation. Despite the choice of stylized forms, the remote past is animated again and its players dance freely through the pages. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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