books mythology

Weekly books (May 1st to May 7th)

Rise of Princes- Janell Rhiannon (ebook, new read)

‘As the Trojan War rages on, the gods pit their chosen heroes against each other, fighting alongside them on blood-slicked battlefields. Amid the carnage and chaos, Achilles and Hektor rise to fame. Conquering and defending; at their whim the people of the Troad are freed or enslaved. While the glory of battle belongs to the men…the heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women.These brave and bold souls struggle to survive, armed only with their cunning wit. Scheming for vengeance. Traded as prizes of war and obsession. Aching to fill the crushing void within their hearts. Thrust into roles they must adjust to…or die. The battle scars of these heroines cut far deeper than the slice of any blade.’ (Rise of Princes synopsis)

This was the second of the Homeric Chronicles- I think only two are out so far, hopefully the third will be out at some point because I’ll definitely be reading it! 😊 This book took me slightly longer to read than the first (Song of Sacrifice) as I found it slightly slower, but this is nothing to do with the book, I find this to be the same with everyone book I read that is based on mythology; I have read several accounts of the Trojan War now and I prefer the stories before and after the actual War because I find the battle accounts slightly repetitive, however, I do feel that Rhiannon’s writing told the story in a way that was interesting, easy to follow and well researched. My favourite perspective within the book was probably Briseis, I find her story and character very interesting. I also enjoy the slight sense of light that Briseis and Patroclus friendship brings to myths within this incredibly bleak fated world (I’ve only read positive depictions of Patroclus character, I’m glad that he appears to be consistently written as a nice person). I enjoy the way Rhiannon has taken inspiration from ASOIAF and Outlander in terms of pace; the decision to write lengthy books in a long series has allowed time for the characters to be developed and the story to be well structured. Overall, I’d recommend this series if you enjoy mythology or you’re looking to learn more about it. 😊

Favourite/meaningful quote:

burn with life for as long as the gods grant you days of breath and a beating heart. Burn away any regrets. Live.’

‘when I was young I believed you would live forever simply because I loved you.’

Flawed- Cecilia Ahern (physical book, new read)

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan. But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found Flawed.’ (Flawed synopsis)

I hadn’t heard of this book and had no idea what it was about until my friend who knows I love reading gave me the series to borrow (from a safe distance leaving it at my door haha). Young adult typically isn’t my favourite unless I read it as a teenager and feel nostalgic towards it, and I was unsure how I’d feel about reading a dystopian but I always read things suggested to me and wanted to make the effort as my friend thought of me. 😊 I actually really enjoyed reading a dystopian (I’m now rereading the Hunger Games, one of my favourite series) and I found this book very easy to read (I read it in a day). I was also very interested when I realised that the plot revolved around ethical and moral issues and debates- I wish the characters spent more time contemplating these issues. I will say though, whilst I liked the main character Celestine, I found the writing to be quite cheesy (my favourite description, sorry haha) and I’m not a fan of the instant love/love triangle that I could see beginning in the series. I also noticed a number of typical YA dystopian tropes, and similarities between both the Hunger Games and Divergent (particularly Divergent) that made the book a little bit generic at times. This book emphasises discrimination and I noted a number of parallels to racism in particular; Ahern made a point to emphasise that Celestine is mixed race and this appeared to highlight that Celestine may have experienced similar discrimination in ‘the real world’ and feels attached to multiple identities, however, as race was never raised as a subject again, I feel that this message didn’t necessarily translate although it could have been an important and interesting theme (this is again an example where I know what I’d like to say but I am very bad at expressing myself eloquently haha). Overall, this book was quite enjoyable and very easy to read, however, it was a bit generic, didn’t always make full use of the interesting themes raised (in my opinion) and I enjoy other books of this genre more.

Favourite/meaningful quote:

Courage does not take over, it fights and struggles through every word you say and every step you take.’

My favourite this week was Rise of Princes. Thank you for reading, I hope you’re doing well 🙂

3 comments

  1. Nice reviews! Have you read The Silence of The Girls by Pat Barker? From what I’ve heard, it’s a retelling of the Trojan War from Briseis’s perspective. Since you liked Briseis’s perspective in Rise of Princes, you might like it 🙂

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