No Spoiler Book Review
I never really knew a lot about Greek Mythology. I like the stories, but I always feel bogged down by the details and those impossible Greek names. I love pondering the religious aspect of Greek mythology, how all the Gods had different jobs and were tangible forces in the world. Their religion was so colorful, so awe and fear inspiring. Just don’t ask me to tell you which God had which job…
What I like about Circe is that it takes a handful of Greek myths and connects them through one central character. You see everything from the point of view of one of the lesser goddesses. You learn about Prometheus, the River Styx, Helios, and the Trojan Horse from someone who was there at the time. It makes the stories more understandable and approachable. It’s not a collection of fairy tales, it is one story with a relatable main character.
I’m kind of a sucker for retellings of classic stories, so I was always going to like this book, but it is actually fantastic. The writing is gorgeous and quotable. The story is perfectly executed. The author fits in a lot of mythology, but doesn’t overdo it. She includes some famous stories and some minor stories, along with the day to day life of a goddess. It is fast paced in places and languid (but not boring) in others, as a life spanning thousands of years would probably feel. Circe will keep you entertained and also make you think, which is magical.
Circe would be great for readers of fantasy and maybe historical fiction. This is a good choice for someone interested in Greek mythology or books about gods, goddesses, monsters or witches. Anyone who gets overwhelmed by Greek names should consider the audiobook. The narrator sounds so regal and she takes all the guess work out of Greek pronunciation. Happy listening!
You may also enjoy the magical writing of Ten Thousand Doors of January.
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
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