Audiobook, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Folklore, Historical Fiction, Novel, Retelling

Elektra: A Novel of the House of Atreus is a fantasy retelling of Greek mythology by Jennifer Saint, and her sophomore outing

Elektra by Jennifer Saint
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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elektra: A Novel of the House of Atreus is a fantasy retelling of Greek mythology by Jennifer Saint. The ebook version is 320 pages. I listened to the audiobook, which clocks in at ten and a half hours and is narrated by Beth Eyre, Jane Collingwood, and Julie Teal. We follow three characters with first-person points-of-view.

Clytemnestra is the sister of Helen and the wife of Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae (of the house of Atreus). Her deepest hope is to stop the curse on their house, a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. But then Paris steals her sister Helen away to Troy and Agamemnon raises an army to get her back. Cassandra is the daughter of King Priam of Troy, cursed by Apollo to foresee the future while nobody believes what she says to be truth. She knows that the city will fall, but is powerless to stop it. Elektra is the youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon and hasn’t seen her father in many years due to the war. Will she be able to sidestep the curse that has plagued her family?

I’m a big fan of classical mythology–so much so that it was my minor in college. This story leans more towards the Aeschylus version of the myth (as in his Oresteia trilogy) than the Sophocles or Euripides versions, while still being significantly different than any of those three. Most of Greek Mythology is told from a male point of view, so I really love it when feminist retellings show up on my TBR. This book focuses on the life of three particular women and their views before, during, and after the Trojan War. Even though the title of this book is Elektra, we spend the majority of the first half of the novel with Clytemnestra and Cassandra. Elektra is a heavier presence in the latter half of the book.

Tropes in this book include: retelling (Trojan War)

CW: war, attempted sexual assault, child death, murder, death

Special thanks to Macmillan Audio, Flatiron Books, and NetGalley for providing an audio galley of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

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