Journey to Delphi
BOULDER, Colo. – Frank D. Iannella provides a glimpse into two separate perceptions of reality in his historical novel “Journey to Delphi” (ISBN 1467936391). Iannella’s interest and years of research on Greece contribute to creating a profound and insightful work, making the world of ancient Greece come alive.
Damian has a strong foundation in mathematics and a keen understanding of the fledgling sciences that are just beginning to emerge, as well as having mystical experiences and prophetic dreams. At 12 years old, he is treacherously sold into slavery after his village is destroyed and his family murdered because of their beliefs. Although he emerges as a champion runner, his sadistic overlord lusts after him, and cripples him when he tries to escape, making it impossible for him ever to race again. But thanks to Damian’s indomitable spirit, he does escape, beginning a challenging odyssey which leads him to the mystical city of Delphi. There he begins to assimilate and achieve prominence in his new home. Soon he begins to discover his destiny, but not before encountering more obstacles and treachery.
“What an involved and interesting story! This story of Damian, set in Ancient Greece, is really quite amazing. It’s gripping and sad and full of hope and destiny and following your right path. I really love the idea of destiny that plays out in this book, though we can tell it is only the beginning. We see Damian grow from some tragic events as a kid and become a stronger person, and it’s exciting to see this world unfold. The author did an amazing job at showing life during this time. The descriptions are strong and the book is written in such a way that the language makes you feel like you have been dropped directly in this time period. The author uses terms of measurement and other things using the Greek terms for that area and instead of it distracting from the story, it greatly adds to it. I enjoyed reading this book, and I look forward to reading the second one.” – Katie McCoach
“Engrossing story from page one with many twists and turns as the young hero Damian rises from the ignominy of slavery to become the protege of the most powerful man in Greece, Kleisthenes. Trained as a historian, Iannella skillfully brings the reader into the brutal and mystical world of 6th Century BC Greece as seen through the eyes of young Damian.” – Mary J. Marcus, Author/Regional Fiction Contest Judge
“An entertaining debut historical novel that depicts tumultuous ancient Greece as seen through the eyes of a young, orphaned slave” – Kirkus Review
“This book has been an inspiration in my life. It is an extremely quick and smooth read that is gripping and overwhelmingly personal. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a suspenseful story that will keep you entertained from star to finish. This book changed my life” – Beau
“Exciting, full of adventures, and well written. Want to read the next two as soon as possible! Lots of interesting historical information throughout the book.”
“Journey to Delphi is a captivating story of an orphaned boy and what he must endure to survive during the brutal times of life in the 6th century BC Greece. The book is well written and a well researched blend of historical facts, mythology and a bit of mysticism. I found it to be an easy read and it will certainly leave you looking forward to read the rest of the series. I give it a 5 star recommendation.” – Cyril Copeland
“This is a very well written book. The concept is very interesting & I found myself not being able to put it down. I am in general not a book lover. However, this one was an exception. There was just something about it that caught my attention, page after page, chapter after chapter. I found it slightly confusing at times and maybe a little difficult to understand (Thats where my dictionary came in). Nonetheless, its definitely a book that I enjoyed on my relaxing time. My husband starting reading it as well, & now he’s hooked. Theres just something unique about it. You have to read it to understand… I loved it, I’m sure you will too!” – Meghan
The adversity that Damian faces, coupled with his mystical encounters and visions, tests his confidence and fortitude, helping him to gain a deeper sense of identity and purpose. Through Damian’s eyes, Iannella allows the reader to enter the world of everyday life in sixth century B.C. Greece, creating a panoramic view of this often overlooked but important period of history.
“I want my readers to understand this little-known transitional period from the Archaic Age to the eve of Greece’s Classical flowering as seen through the eyes of an ordinary youth who goes through extraordinary adventures and finds that his destiny is mystically intertwined with that of Delphi’s,” Iannella says. He believes that the story of a challenged underdog resonates with most readers. “I also want the readers to understand how important the role of myths and folklore was in everyday life during this period.”
Kirkus Reviews has called “Journey to Delphi” an “absorbing adventure in ancient Greece, full of betrayal, friendship, mysticism and science.”
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I tend to shy away from fictional novels most of the time but I was intrigued by this book’s premise and decided to give it a try. It is historical fiction, based on 6th-century BC Greece, a time and place in history about which I previously knew very little.
The book follows Damian, a young man taken as a slave after his village is burned. Damian’s life is not easy and he is passed from owner to owner and he endures many setbacks, both physical and emotional, as he tries to adjust to his new life and tries to make sense of it all. He makes friends and enemies, he learns about growing up and dealing with loss and with some measure of triumph. Ultimately he finds his way to Delphi where the meaning and purpose of his life begins to come into focus.
The novel is written in first-person perspective and the whole story is told from Damian’s point-of-view. At times this reads almost like a diary instead of a novel.
This book is filled with interesting characters and descriptions of places and things that Damian experiences on his odyssey. The author took some care in defining the setting so that the reader really is immersed in the story. As I read I found myself forming mental pictures and trying to imagine the scenery and the faces that Damian saw and experienced, a good sign that the author spent some real effort in creating the framework of the story.
I have only one real complaint about this novel and that is the inclusion of some detailed “adult material” that some may find objectionable. Personally I do not care for this kind of subject matter and would have preferred this book without it – I think it took away from an otherwise good story.
If you like historical fiction and you are interested in particular about pre-Christian Greece, this is an interesting book with good imagery and story-telling. It’s a first-person telling of a young man on an adventure of a lifetime. It’s a thought-provoking and interesting read that takes the reader on the road with Damian, the main character, and immerses the reader in the setting.
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for a fair, honest and thorough review. Even though I received this book at no cost I have rated and reviewed it without bias, based solely on my experience with it.