Thursday, May 19, 2022

#Review - Elektra by Jennifer Saint #Fantasy #Mythology

Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Release Date: May 3, 2022
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

A spellbinding reimagining of the story of Elektra, one of Greek mythology’s most infamous heroines, from the author of the beloved international bestseller, Ariadne

Three women, tangled in an ancient curse.

When Clytemnestra marries Agamemnon, she ignores the insidious whispers about his family line, the House of Atreus. But when, on the eve of the Trojan War, Agamemnon betrays Clytemnestra in the most unimaginable way, she must confront the curse that has long ravaged their family.

In Troy, Princess Cassandra has the gift of prophecy, but carries a curse of her own: no one will ever believe what she sees. When she is shown what will happen to her beloved city when Agamemnon and his army arrives, she is powerless to stop the tragedy from unfolding.

Elektra, Clytemnestra and Agamemnon’s youngest daughter, wants only for her beloved father to return home from war. But can she escape her family’s bloody history, or is her destiny bound by violence, too?

Jennifer Saint's Elektra weaves the stories of Clytemnestra, Cassandra, and Elektra together, allowing us to witness events during the Trojan War from their perspective. The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. A spellbinding reimagining of the story of Elektra, one of Greek mythology’s most infamous heroines, from the author of the beloved international bestseller, Ariadne.

Clytemnestra was the daughter of Tyndareus and Leda, the King and Queen of Sparta, making her a Spartan Princess. She's also the sister of Helen, alleged daughter Zeus who chose Menelaus as her husband. But after a peace contingent from Troy arrives, she is spirited away by Paris, the prince of Troy. Agamemnon of Mycenae raises a great army against them, and determines to win, whatever the cost. But after he murders one of her daughters, Iphigenia, as a sacrifice to the Goddess Artemis, Clytemnestra spends the next 9 years waiting for Agamemnon to come back to war so that she can pay him back for the betrayal. Clytemnestra all but ignores her own daughter, Elektra, as well as the new born son Orestes. She begins a love affair with Aegisthus, her husband's cousin who saw his father Thyestes betrayed by Agamemnon. 

Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, lords of Troy, making her a Princess of Troy, sister to Hector and Paris. Cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it, she knows that Paris is going to be the trigger a war that will see Troy face the entire Greek army when he returns with Helen. She is powerless to stop it since few people believe her prophecies. She saw that Troy would fall by a clever machination of the Greeks, but her fellow citizens, including her father, did not listen to her words, thus causing the end of the city. In a final embarrassment to her, she's taken by Agamemnon back to Sparta.
Cassandra is much more sympathetic than either Clytemnestra or Elektra.   

Elektra was the youngest daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra of Mycenae. She was the sister of Iphigenia and Chrysothemis, as well as Orestes. Elektra story in this book is kind of twisted. She adores her father, who she barely knew, idolized him like he was Achilles, and is sad that it takes 9 years for him to return. Her singular focus and fixation and devotion to the idea of a man Elektra is a person who has this image in her head of her father and will do absolutely anything to keep up that image, including justifying his cruelty and brutality. She hates her mother because she not only ignored her for years, but plotted to assassinate her father with her lover. If you are into mythology, I would recommend that you look up her story and see that she and Orestes had an interesting.

The reason for my rating is simple. I would have liked this story more had the publisher and author separated the years. I know the story begins shortly before the Trojan War. I know that certain characters like Elektra and Orestes grow up quickly but there's no timeline as to how old these characters are at the end of the story. The Trojan War allegedly took place between 1194-1184 BC. 

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