Cassandra

Cassandra

Author: Kerry Greenwood

Publisher: Mandarin (imprint of Reed Books Australia)

Published: 1995

Rating: 5 stars

 

 

“It was not a vision. I smelt sweat, grease, salt, men and burning. Always the burning reek of wood and flesh which soured my nostrils and seared my throat.”

Cassandra is based off the prophecy cursed character from the Greek Myth of The Trojan War. Along with Cassandra, we have a second protagonist Greek healer Diomenes. Both characters are pawns for two of the Gods – Apollo and Aphrodite – as they see whose power is stronger.

This is an incredible retelling. I’m in awe of the way Greenwood is able to balance the fantastic elements of the Gods with the historical setting and culture of the ancient world. All the characters feel very grounded in a real historical setting. And the Gods feel like accurate representation of what the Ancient Greeks believed them to be.

The story doesn’t stray too far from the major plot points in the myth. And even though these events are prescribed they don’t feel out of place in the context of the story and they still pack an emotional punch. While reading it at work I was on the verge of crying three times — if I was home I would have been a sobbing mess!

I enjoyed learning about the differences in the Greek and Trojan cultures — how they celebrated the Gods, which Gods they favoured, women’s roles and healing practices.

I highly, highly recommend for any one interested in myth retellings or who is a fan of books set in antiquity.

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