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book cover of Starfall


Phaeton and the Chariot of the Sun
A novel by

Kirkus Reviews
A classic cautionary tale, the first of a proposed trilogy based on Ovid's Metamorphoses, is stripped of its moral. Phaeton is truly blessed by the gods: graceful, handsome, swift of foot, valued by his stepfather, beloved of his mother and sisters, idolized by his cousin. Yet he remains becomingly modest, dutiful, and content-until a thoughtless taunt from a jealous rival sends him into a spiral of self-doubt and adolescent bravado that can be resolved only by demanding a fatal token of favor from his true father, the sun-god Apollo. This lapidary retelling remains mostly faithful to its source, the polished archaic diction enlivened by touches of sun-drenched sensuality. But while fleshing out mythological archetypes into sympathetic characters grants the tale greater poignancy, it robs it of meaning. To make Phaeton likable, devoid of his overweening hubris, devolves his story into a senseless family tragedy, and the fate of his loved ones becomes needlessly cruel. An original grace note palliates somewhat the grim conclusion; but for all its elegance, readers are left with only a sense of exquisite grief.


Used availability for Michael Cadnum's Starfall

Hardback Editions

September 2004 : USA Hardback

Title: Starfall
Author(s): Michael Cadnum
ISBN: 0-439-54533-1 / 978-0-439-54533-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Orchard
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

October 2015 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Starfall: Phaeton and the Chariot of the Sun
Author(s): Michael Cadnum
Publisher: Open Road Media Teen & Tween
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA