QuicksilverAuthor: Stephanie Spinner
Genre: YA Fantasy, Mythology
Published: December 18th 2007 by Laurel Leaf
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Hermes—also known as Mercury, Wayfinder, and Prince of Thieves—has many talents. Wearing his famed winged sandals, he does the bidding of his father Zeus, leads the dead down to Hades, and practices his favorite arts of trickery and theft. He also sees the future, travels invisibly, loves jokes, and abhors violence. And he’s an entertaining and ideal narrator on a fast-paced journey through ancient Greek mythology—from Medusa’s cave to Trojan War battlefields to the mysterious Underworld.Stephanie Spinner brings the famous messenger—and the best-known gods and mortals of mythology—to life with high action and spare, powerful prose.
QUICKSILVER is a collection of some of the popular Greek legends that we are so familiar with, but given with a fresh attack because they’re told from the point of view of Hermes, God of Travelers and Mischief. I liked this book because in other stories, Hermes was often in the sidelines – the spotlight being taken by more popular gods and goddesses – but in QUICKSILVER, I didn’t only get to know him better; I was inside his head. I appreciated him more as I discovered that although he likes to play pranks, he’s peace-loving (a trait not often shared by the other Olympians) and enjoys the affection of his father Zeus and brother Apollo. That’s actually my favorite aspect in the book – his relationship towards his family. It shows a different side of Hermes. That he seeks Zeus’ approval and appreciation shows that among the twelve Olympians, he’s the most ‘human’ in feelings. He also suffers from guilt and shame because of the not-so-good things he had to do before. And that sets him apart from his family. He chose not to get involved in a war even though it caused him to drift apart from his father and siblings. He’s also obedient and loyal. No wonder he’s the messenger of gods.
Stephanie Spinner did a great job in giving voice to an often-overlooked and under-appreciated Greek deity. I really enjoyed reading QUICKSILVER. It wasn’t hilariously funny, but it’s quirky and clever and shows Hermes in his best and worst.