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My Young Alcides   By: (1823-1901)

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My Young Alcides by Charlotte Mary Yonge is a mesmerizing tale that captivated me from beginning to end. Set in ancient Greece, this historical fiction takes readers on a thrilling journey filled with adventure, self-discovery, and the power of friendship.

The protagonist, Alcides, is a young boy who possesses great strength and a free spirit. Raised in the countryside by his mother, Alcides yearns for excitement and seeks to prove himself. When he accompanies his father to Thebes, his life takes a dramatic turn as he discovers his true identity as Hercules, the son of Zeus. This revelation propels Alcides into a world of mythological characters, gods, and monsters.

Yonge's storytelling prowess shines through her vivid descriptions and attention to detail. The ancient Greek setting comes alive with lush imagery, bringing the world of Alcides to life. From the sprawling landscapes to the ornate palaces, the author paints a picture that transports readers back in time.

Alcides' journey through various trials and tribulations serves as a metaphor for the challenges that individuals face in life. Yonge weaves themes of identity, destiny, and the pursuit of greatness seamlessly into the plot, making it relatable to readers of all ages. Throughout the story, Alcides grapples with his own inner demons and learns valuable life lessons, making him an incredibly compelling and relatable character.

One aspect that stood out to me was the emphasis on friendship. Alcides forms strong bonds with his companions, who stand by his side through thick and thin. The loyalty and camaraderie depicted in the book serve as a reminder of the importance of support systems and true friendship, even in the face of challenging circumstances.

However, at times, the pacing of the book felt a bit slow, particularly in the middle of the story. The narrative shifts focus from Alcides to other characters, which temporarily disconnects readers from the protagonist. Nonetheless, the pace picks up towards the latter part of the book, culminating in a satisfying and action-packed climax.

Overall, My Young Alcides is a captivating historical fiction novel that seamlessly blends mythology, adventure, and personal growth. Yonge's brilliant storytelling and well-developed characters make for an engaging read that will leave readers eagerly turning the pages. While the pacing may waver, the narrative's strong themes and captivating setting make this book a worthwhile journey into ancient Greece.

First Page:

MY YOUNG ALCIDES

A FADED PHOTOGRAPH

by

Charlotte M. Yonge

PREFACE

Ideas have a tyrannous power of insisting on being worked out, even when one fears they may be leading in a track already worthily preoccupied.

But the Hercules myth did not seem to me to be like one of the fairy tales that we have seen so gracefully and quaintly modernised; and at the risk of seeming to travestie the Farnese statue in a shooting coat and wide awake, I could not help going on, as the notion grew deeper and more engrossing.

For, whether the origin of the myth be, or be not, founded on solar phenomena, the yearning Greek mind formed on it an unconscious allegory of the course of the Victor, of whom the Sun, rejoicing as a giant to run his course, is another type, like Samson of old, since the facts of nature and of history are Divine parables.

And as each one's conquest is, in the track of his Leader, the only true Conqueror, so Hercules, in spite of all the grotesque adjuncts that the lower inventions of the heathen hung round him, is a far closer likeness of manhood as, indeed, the proverbial use of some of his tasks testifies and of repentant man conquering himself. The great crime, after which his life was a bondage of expiation; the choice between Virtue and Vice; the slain passion;... Continue reading book >>




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