Posted 20 hours ago

Elektra: No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller from the Author of ARIADNE

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i think because there have been sooo many greek mythology retellings over the past couple of years, especially when it comes to the illiad, my enjoyment has become a little diminished due to how similar they are all.

In the light of the rising sun, I prayed that my husband would survive this war and come home safe to me. I don't want to give anything away fro the readers who are unfamiliar with the story, but I felt for all the characters, so many women who were used as pawns in the games of men and gods and suffered for it. My throat is raw from the words that are torn from me when I touch someone, when I look into their eyes and see the blinding white truth. Firstly, I absolutely adored this book, even more than Ariadne, but then I’m not surprised as in this novel Saint tackles some of my favourite mythological women and one of my favourite cycles.

I was again impressed with Jennifer Saint’s ability to craft an elegant retelling that is respectful of the source material and extends the myth bringing these tales of ancient Troy, Sparta and Mycenae vividly to life for her readers. The spellbinding new retelling of the Trojan War drawn from the perspective of the fearless women at the heart of it all. I loved reading through Cassandra’s chapters as I do have a slight bias towards her (hi, hello, I’m an Apollo lover) but I think some of my favourite parts to read were Clytemnestra’s interactions with her sister Helen, yes that Helen. Cassandra is a princess of Troy and priestess to Apollo, cursed to see the future and never be believed. Initially, I was surprised to see Cassandra’s POV as otherwise the POV is exclusively from the perspective of a mother and daughter but quickly it became clear not only why Cassandra was included but also why her involvement was sorely needed.

This novel is pretty wonderful, especially in capturing the emotions and points of view of the female characters. Now I recognize that I don't have to like any of the characters for the book to be good, and that some characters are written with the intention of being unlikable. Beautifully written, cinematic in its scope and highly compelling ; I flew through its pages and missed it immensely when it was over. Elektra, daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, unflinching in her loyalty to her father chooses to justify his actions as the will of the Gods and will do anything to exact revenge on those who were responsible for her father’s demise. Saints considerable writing skills the book avoids this problem and is clearly laid out and entertaining.But we also get to see her as a mother before Troy and after, providing Cassandra with death to escape her torment (this scene was wrote really beautifully too despite it being about death). With the stories of the characters she's chosen so well-defined and told already, she has very little leg room for her own added flair or take on them.

I also wanted to say that I think it's absolutely beautifully that in every re-telling I read, there's always a mention of how drowned Achilles is in his grief after Patroclus left the land of the living. If the whole book had been as powerful as Clytemnestra’s sections, I likely would have been satisfied. I don't want to say boring because I love the story of Troy and all these people involved in it, but here we are. Or perhaps it is more appropriate to say I never could figure out why she couldn’t provide a reasonable voice to what she was seeing.Though they had more agency than they do in the myths, they lacked any real complexity after the start of the Trojan War. Ariadne is her first novel, Elektra is her second, and Atalanta is her latest mesmerising mythological retelling. She can't understand that the God's are cruel, that maybe her father was wrong for all he did, and clouded by grief over his loss, her life becomes tainted with ending her mother's. Personally found it a bit excessively embellished but an experience that mythology buffs should enjoy nevertheless. I’m so very excited for Atalanta, mostly because my girl needs a lot more stories than what she has.

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