Friday, 23 January 2015

Review: The Seventh Pleiade

Author: Andrew J. Peters
Title: The Seventh Pleiade
Published: Bold Strokes Books, 2013
Genre: YA, Historical Fantasy, Ancient Greece, LGBT (gay)
Relevant Challenges: Reading Through Time, We Read Diverse Books, LGBT Reading Challenge, Dive Into Diversity

This book wins points with me straight away by being YA fantasy set in Atlantis. Greek myth has been a big draw for me ever since I read my Enid Blyton bowdlerised versions, and carried me through Xena (so predicable), Classical Studies at school... right up to an MOOC last year.

What is different, and incredibly engaging, about this particular version is that it deals in detail and a complex manner with sexual and romantic relationships between boys and men in Ancient Greece. For the young hero, Aerander, it's not as simple as falling in love: boy romance is to do with masculinity, and politics, and the commitment to family. The mixture of his strong, real feelings and all the baggage they come with was probably my favourite part of this book. Another of my weaknesses, after all, is politics and power... and romance.

The fantasy elements and world building are fantastic, too. It's difficult to go into too much detail without spoilers, but the dual worlds, above and beyond, the way the central mystery (some disappearing young boys) becomes bound up with the mythology and Aerander's quest, are brilliantly done.

Highly recommended. I would have loved this book if it wasn't LGBT, just as a great fantasy adventure in a setting I love, but the politics of love and sexuality in it made it a unique read and had me absorbed far into the night. I can't wait for another book in this series. ---

Eleanor Beresford is the author of the Scholars and Sorcery series of LGBT YA fantasy novels. FInd out more here.

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