It’s been a while since I did one of these because it’s been a while since I read a good book. I finished this book at 2 AM yesterday morning. Because it is that good!
I’ll also be posting a second review today because I forgot about it when I finished the book over a week ago…
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A retelling of a classical myth that takes a character that is never more than a side character and elevates her to the level of heroine. As Circe is most well known as a villain (more of an obstacle really) from the Odyssey, this retelling reminds me a bit of Disney’s reenvisioning of the Sleeping Beauty story where they took a truly badass villain and gave her an empathetic backstory, making her a likable character. Similarly, this story takes a villain and changes her into a truly relatable character.
The main difference? I liked this one much, much better!
The story stays true to the myths better than any Disney story ever has (don’t get me started on the abomination that is Disney’s Hercules), but more than that, it takes some semi-disparate stories from mythology and merges them into a cohesive story centered around a character who truly grows from a meek but impulsive youth into a wise, self-confident woman.
Admittedly, even though I really enjoy the myths, this story includes details that I was shocked to find were accurate! Circe’s parentage and siblings were a shock to me. I didn’t remember those details from the stories I’d read when I was younger, so I truly felt like the author took some liberties to make her story flow better. When I realized that these details were true to the myths, it made me love this story even more!
There is so much that I love about this story, that it’s hard to find a good place to begin. I love that this is a story that feels like it’s as much about self-discovery as the action. I love the way Circe really sees the truth of people, even if it sometimes takes her a while. I love the way she is attracted more to the flaws and the humanity of people than she is to their great deeds.