Voyages In The Underworld Of Orpheus Black

This illustrated novel about two brothers trying to survive while World War II rages in London is one that stays with the reader long after they have finished it. The story is punctuated with poems written from the point of view of Orpheus, the Greek myth hero. The juxtaposition of Orpheus’ bravery and Harry’s views of being a coward is evident. After the explosion at the pub that leaves Harry injured and his brother Ellis presumed dead, it is evident that Harry is the hero of the story.

He refuses to stop searching for his beloved brother even though his chances of survival are slim. It becomes difficult to know what is real and what isn’t, but this accurately portrays the confusion of war and Harry’s disorienting search for his brother.

There is a distinct feeling that the wall between reader and characters is broken with this novel, as Harry’s diary entries, both written and drawn, form the base of the story, while the poems written from Orpheus’ point of view are Ellis’ as the reader is told early on in the novel. There is a sense that the novel is brought to the audience by the brothers themselves. The monochrome illustrations are vivid, poignant and add to the beauty of this story of brotherhood, family and courage. Fans of historical fiction will thoroughly enjoy this depiction of war-torn London.

Book Cover - Voyages In The Underworld Of Orpheus Black
Publication Date
May 2019