Posted 20 hours ago

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

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to have been kidnapped by Agamemnon because the place she lives in now is so pretty and a palace like the one Cassandra grew up in and how being raped by a king (especially one like her fantastic father) is such an honor. If the whole book had been as powerful as Clytemnestra’s sections, I likely would have been satisfied.

Author Jennifer Saint masterfully weaves the multiple PoVs together with elegant prose and superb characterizations in a well-paced and intense narrative. As it happened, I read this shortly after reading Clare Heywood's excellent Daughters of Sparta, which tells much the same story, albeit in a different manner. Utilizing well defined, three dimensional characters and believable dialogue the book for the most part flows easily. 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). Her perspective quickly becomes whiny and repetitive, and I could feel my eyes rolling around in my head whenever it's her turn.It was competent enough, and as I was reading it, at least through the halfway point, I kept thinking it was OKAY, assiduously so, but something was bothering me. This book starts us off with before the Trojan war; Helen is in Sparta looking for a suitor and men from all over Greece have heard of her beauty and want her for a wife… apart from Agamemnon who meets Clytemnestra (and Odysseus, who finds interest in Penelope, Helens cousin).

The only issue I have is that there have been many of retellings featuring Troy and Clytemnestra/Helen recently and so nothing particularly new came to light of me. Next we have Cassandra the princess of Troy who upon refusing the god Apollo’s advances was cursed to be able to foretell the future but never be believed.Her fixation and devotion to the idea of a man that clearly did not exist, I could never understand. 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.

So I was very excited to read a new POV on Greek stories that I knew as well as learning some new ones I hadn’t experienced before.If you’re familiar with mythology you’ll know Cassandra as a princess of Troy who was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but like an awful human, she dipped out on him after promising him she would be his lover if he gave her this gift so he then cursed her so that although she does have the gift of prophecy, she will never be believed. Where women trying their best to protect the people they love sometimes do terrible things or cause unknown harm. Saint retells these stories as they’ve been told before, changing only the camera angles through which we view it, and the end result is… fine. We see Elektra as a young girl with her love for Agamemnon as a father, (which in parts reminded me so much of the Oedipus complex by Freud- which was rather disturbing to read) and her hell bent on revenge for the murder of him by her mother. And once we get to the "action", it's over in two sentences and then the book keeps droning on and on and on for far too long yet again.

A major part of the narrative is shared between Elektra, Cassandra and Clytemnestra- each of whom gives us a brief picture of the significant events that impact their lives before, during and after the fall of Troy. Elektra is an insufferable title character I have no empathy for and Cassandra is as useless to the plot as her curse makes her to those around her. I love the way Jennifer Saint re-tells Greek mythology while centering the experiences of women rather than men.All the action takes place elsewhere, and all we have to go on here is a tragedy before papa goes off to lead the army of the Greeks, the tragedy caused by the same jerk, and we're pretty much stuck in the heads of those who were left behind. She then spends the next 10 years planning to murder her husband when he comes home from Mycenae and see her trying to hold power in court.

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