Author: Jennifer Saint
Genre: Mythology, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 28th April 2022
The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.
The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon – her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them and determines to win, whatever the cost.
Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.
The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?
Elektra follows three women from Greek mythology in the lead up to, duration and aftermath of the Trojan war: Cassandra, the Trojan priestess gifted with power of prophecy but cursed never to be believed, Clytemnestra, wife of Agamemnon and Elektra, youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon. I found all three women intriguing but it was Clytemnestra’s story that really got to me. I found her voice so powerful and her grief and love for her eldest daughter completely broke me. Cassandra is one of the most tragic women in Greek mythology and it was saddening but hugely compelling to read about her. Elektra herself left me slightly cold, I must confess, but I believe her perspective was crucial to build a picture of these well known stories from the point of view of the women. That is what I loved about both Elektra and Saint’s first novel Ariadne, the famous names like Agamemnon, Achilles, Paris, Hector and Odysseus are present but the story is not about them. It’s about the often overlooked and victimised women whose choices and fates are every bit as powerful and influential as those of the men. Elektra is gorgeously and lyrically written and yet still completely accessible and addictive. I will buy anything Jennifer Saint writes and cannot wait for what will hopefully be more forays into the lives of the women of classical mythology! An easy five stars from me!
I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher, however I also bought a hardback copy of my own. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
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