I read this for my book group and probably would not have read it otherwise. As a homeschooling mother who taught her kids the classics, I am well acquainted both with the Greek gods, as well as the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
This book takes a minor character from all that, who has little distinction, except a “special gift for transformation,” and brings it resoundingly to life, fleshing it all out. Circe is a strong woman character, a banished immortal, who grows in self-sufficient power, and eventually compassion, by being set out alone in her exile.
Some of the other characters in the story you may recognize include: the Sun god Helios, Daedalus and Icarus, Prometheus, the minotaur, Jason and the golden fleece, Medea, Odysseus, Hermes, Aphrodite, and Penelope.
There is treachery, duplicity, rape, witchcraft, love, loneliness, regret, motherhood, murder, and learning to own your own destiny, all included here. There are monsters too. Even though bad things do happen in this story, they are included only as they contribute to the broad story arc.
The author is an expert in the classics and it shows; her writing is fantastic. The voice over artist is equally wonderful, and listening to the audio version of this really augmented my appreciation of the book.
If you are looking for something completely different to read, give this book a try. I think you’ll find this saga about Circe quite diverting. When starting this book, I expected that I wouldn’t even review it because of some of its themes, so I’m surprised to give this compelling retelling five stars.