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Chapter 16 - It's All Greek To Me

A few months ago I told you about a new book I had just finished called Clytemnestra by Constanza Cozzi. I read it as part of an online book club I am in. It does seem that either by Siri's big brother approach to listening to what you say or Alexa's more subtle approach, magically you get information on things you have spoken or looked up. In this case I guess for me, they flagged books about Greek mythology and history.

While I have read quite a few novels around Greek mythology I was honestly surprised to see even more of these books either soon to be or newly published. I love retellings of stories that we have read or grown up with. I admire the imagination and creativity involved to get into a well known characters life and psyche so when I see a new book around a familiar tale, I almost always have to try it.

Here are some books reimagining Greek myths which I have either loved or are on my wish list.

Helen of Troy by Margaret George - This has been the best overall retelling of the Trojan War I have found. Beautiful Helen (a face to launch a thousand ships), handsome Paris, cruel Menelaus, and a love that ends in tragedy. What more could the gods want? This is only one of many historical fiction novels of Margaret George's which I have enjoyed.

Circe and Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - On his way home from the Trojan war, Odysseus is beset by many challenges. One of these was Circe, a witch born of the gods. This is her story from childhood on and tells about her exile and life as she crosses paths with some of the best known figures from Greek mythology. Song of Achilles is the tale reimagining Homer's The Iliad. Achilles, the Greek hero, had only one flaw. It was, of course, his heel. This book plays it all out.

A Spartan's Sorrow by Hannah Lynn - This must be Clytemnestra's year as this book is also about her. This is the story of Clytemnestra's rise and fall as the world's most infamous queen. I am curious to see how this differs from Clytemnestra's story I have already read.

Ithaca by Claire North - Here is Penelope's story. As Odysseus' wife she has held her country together as he fought in the Trojan War but after 17 years Penelope has suitors at her gate. They not only want her hand in marriage but, more importantly, they want to take Odysseus' throne. I loved this story of Penelope although I have not as yet read her follow-up books.

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes - As the only mortal in a family of gods, Medusa's future is one of getting old. When Poseidon assaults Medusa in Athena's temple, Athena takes revenge on the young woman by transforming her hair into snakes and making Medusa's gaze turn any living creature to stone. This is on my wish list.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint - Ariadne has grown up as the daughter of King Minos. She knows her family has been cursed as her brother the Minotaur lives beneath the castle. When Theseus comes to slay the Minotaur, Ariadne sees this as a chance to escape. What will her betrayal cost her and how will it anger the gods?

All these are great retellings of ancient tales. What Greek myth would you like to see reimagined? Let me know.


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