In the last few years, The Iliad and Greek Mythology has been fertile ground for authors. In particular, the retelling of myths and stories from minor characters, specifically the female characters. If you love Greek Mythology, it’s been a great couple of years.
Jennifer Saint has thrown her hat into the ring retelling the story of the curse of the House of Atreus. A curse that is a vicious circle of revenge and retribution, blood repaid with blood. I will not write any spoilers for those who have not read the story, but the curse is only the background, the history of how King Agamemnon rose to the throne. This story belongs to three women with Agamemnon relegated to an ancillary role.
Clytemnestra, is Agamemnon’s wife, and the sister of Helen. She has waited ten long years plotting revenge on her husband.
Cassandra, is the daughter of King Priam. A priestess of Apollo who is blessed with the power of foresight but cursed for these visions never to be believed. Her predictions have branded her a Madwoman, and she is a Trojan pariah, even amongst her own royal family.
Elektra, is the daughter of Agamemnon, just a child when he sails for Troy. She sees her father as a true Greek Hero, uniting the states and sailing away to rescue Helen.
It is about the effect and consequences the Trojan War has on these women. How it affects them and their lives personally, during and after the war.
For lovers of Greek Mythology, it is wonderful to see the world from the eyes and perspective of these women. Feel their pain, and experience their anger, their lust for revenge, their tragic painful loss.
Five stars from me, but if you don’t love the Iliad, or Greek Mythology, it may not reach that level for you. It is still well written and a great story of revenge though.
If you enjoy these retellings, you will probably enjoy
The Song of Troy – Colleen McCullough
A Thousand Ships – Natalie Haynes
“Silence of The Girls” and “The Women of Troy” – Pat Barker
“Song of Achilles” and “Circe” by Madeline Miller
The War at Troy – Lindsay Clarke
The Songs of the Kings – Barry Unsworth
House of Names – Colm Toibin
Ransom – David Malouf
Jennifer Saint grew up reading Greek mythology and was always drawn to the untold stories hidden within the myths. After thirteen years as a high school English teacher, she wrote Ariadne which tells the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur from the perspective of Ariadne. It was shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2021 and was a finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards Fantasy category in 2021. ELEKTRA is her second novel.
Here is an interview with Jennifer from Mysterious Galaxy.
MY RATING -