Gilgamesh was an ancient King who is thought to have reigned between 3200 and 2700 BC, and his story is the oldest one known to have been written down. Discovered etched into stone tablets, some broken, some lost, the very thought of the ancient-ness of the story excited my boys.
McCaughrean's telling of this Epic Tale is excellent, beautifully written. We enjoyed the story, and discussed how so many more modern tales must have been influenced by the Gilgamesh Legend.
Gilgamesh wins battles and slays beasts, but when his best friend dies he is so distraught that he goes on a quest in search of immortality. He returns a different man, with a new appreciation for beauty, friendship and love; and he understands that in family, lies his immortality.