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Medea, Princess of Colchis, is a priestess of Hecate, Three Named, Lady of Phantoms. She is the custodian of the wood in which the Golden Fleece is hung. She alone can tame the giant serpent which guards the grove. And then Jason and his Argonauts come along, and she falls catastophically in love. She helps him steal the Golden Fleece ans sails with him to claim his throne Medea, Princess of Colchis, is a priestess of Hecate, Three Named, Lady of Phantoms. She is the custodian of the wood in which the Golden Fleece is hung. She alone can tame the giant serpent which guards the grove. And then Jason and his Argonauts come along, and she falls catastophically in love. She helps him steal the Golden Fleece ans sails with him to claim his throne. And that's when things go wrong... and she must attempt to reclaim her humanity through abandoment, murder, grief and heavy seas.


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Medea, Princess of Colchis, is a priestess of Hecate, Three Named, Lady of Phantoms. She is the custodian of the wood in which the Golden Fleece is hung. She alone can tame the giant serpent which guards the grove. And then Jason and his Argonauts come along, and she falls catastophically in love. She helps him steal the Golden Fleece ans sails with him to claim his throne Medea, Princess of Colchis, is a priestess of Hecate, Three Named, Lady of Phantoms. She is the custodian of the wood in which the Golden Fleece is hung. She alone can tame the giant serpent which guards the grove. And then Jason and his Argonauts come along, and she falls catastophically in love. She helps him steal the Golden Fleece ans sails with him to claim his throne. And that's when things go wrong... and she must attempt to reclaim her humanity through abandoment, murder, grief and heavy seas.

30 review for Medea

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mely

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. X-post from Dreamwidth. Review copy provided by Netgalley. The galley is copyrighted 2013, but Goodreads says a version was published in 1997. Content note: Some discussion of rape, murder, and mutilation. This is a hard book to review because my reaction to it is basically, "Eh." It's not a terrible book, it's not a great book, it's not off-putting, it's not absorbing. Typically, my rule for deciding if I want to watch a TV show is, "Is this more fun than reading a book?" For this book, I would mu X-post from Dreamwidth. Review copy provided by Netgalley. The galley is copyrighted 2013, but Goodreads says a version was published in 1997. Content note: Some discussion of rape, murder, and mutilation. This is a hard book to review because my reaction to it is basically, "Eh." It's not a terrible book, it's not a great book, it's not off-putting, it's not absorbing. Typically, my rule for deciding if I want to watch a TV show is, "Is this more fun than reading a book?" For this book, I would much rather have been watching TV. Euripides wrote the version of Medea best known to modern audiences: the princess of Colchis falls in love with the adventurer Jason and betrays her family -- to the point of murdering her brother -- to help Jason steal the Golden Fleece. She then has a checkered career murdering people for Jason's advancement, which ultimately leads to him becoming king of Corinth. Eventually, Jason decides to abandon her in favor of another princess. (I am not sure I have ever read a single version of this myth in which Jason is not a total schmuck.) In revenge, Medea kills the other woman and her own children. In earlier versions, Medea kills the children by accident or the children are killed by the citizens of Corinth. In most versions, there is yet more wandering and killing and attempted killing. Most notably Medea marries Aegeus and then tries to poison Theseus when he comes to claim his birthright. (This is included in The King Must Die, because sadly Mary Renault does not seem to have ever encountered a misogynistic trope she didn't like.) Medea is often said to have escaped from both Corinth and Athens in a chariot drawn by dragons. I wonder where she stabled and fed the dragons in between witchy midnight escapes. Possibly she just borrowed them from Hekate in her times of need. Most versions of Medea's history end with her returning to Colchis and killing her uncle to restore her father to the throne. Presumably her father felt that this made up for that one time she murdered her brother and chopped his body into little pieces to scatter in the sea. In Greenwood's version, Medea is sworn to the goddess Hekate from birth: My mother gave birth to me in the darkness under the earth and died in doing so. I loved the velvety blanket of night before my dazzled eyes ever encountered light. And when I did, they say I wept, and the people said, ‘Here is a true daughter of Hekate!’ She is trained by the priestess Trioda in a Colchis which seems to have only traces of a matriarchal past. Men must marry the eldest daughter of the royal lineage to become king, but the only women with much power are the priestesses of Hekate, who ensure their influence with their knowledge of herbs. Medea learns healing, poisons, and tricks to soothe wild animals -- the last is especially critical to the annual ritual in which the king of Colchis must prove his mastery over an untamed bull. Greenwood's version at first seems to be a battle of the sexes story, because we see several different cultural approaches to gender relations, particularly gendered violence. Medea goes on a migration with the Sauromatae, a tribe of Amazonian Scyths, which is by far the most interesting part of the book. She learns how to ride, makes friends with other women, and learns more about Sauromatae culture. Sauromatae women, she's told, can't marry until they've killed a man. Every year they meet the Pardalate tribe, whose young warriors fight the Sauromatae women for the chance to kidnap them as brides. Medea watches in horror until she realizes this is not a battle but a ritual: No one was trying to kill. Openings for lethal blows were passed over in favour of dramatic broadsides, narrow misses and displays of skilled horsemanship. In fact, the riders were assessing one another, changing partners until they found one whom they either liked or disliked enough to want to mate with or humiliate. The young men were risking injury and a shameful loss of hair and skin, which might possibly prove fatal if infected, but not otherwise. The young women were perfectly capable of fighting off unacceptable suitors, but were afforded the chance of leaving the Sauromatae if they wished and joining the Pardalatae, whose customs were different and might be more to their taste. Alternating with Medea's narration is the narrative of Nauplios, a fisherman's son who is chosen to be Jason's companion when Jason is fostered to the centaurs. Greenwood is writing a historical novel, not a fantasy, so here the centaurs are a tribe of misogynistic horsemen who share their women in common; to celebrate the manhood proven by a hunt, the centaurs hold a ritual in which the young men capture the girls of the tribe and rape them. Later, during the voyage of the Argo, the Argonauts winter on the island of Lemnos: ‘The women of Lemnos have murdered all their men,’ said Nestor impressively. ‘The men were afflicted by some god and refused to go near their women, choosing Thracian concubines instead. The women, led by their queen, Hypsipyle, rose one night and murdered all the men on the island.[...] That is the Lemnian Deed, the worst that ever the Argives knew.’ Fortunately for the Argonauts, the Lemnians are willing to forbear killing them in return for stud services. Once Medea casts her lot in with Jason, she is dissatisfied with the limited role of Greek women -- which culminates in her abandonment by Jason. After her children are murdered, she goes on a pilgrimage, seeking peace and absolution from the Oracle at Delphi and from Herakles, who here figures as dedicated to the service of women. The major problems with the book are the following: * Medea falls madly in love with Jason at first sight and is willing to abandon everything she knows to be with him. This is part of the original myth. Greenwood is unable to make it convincing as part of a novel, although she does indicate strongly that Medea mistakes lust for love. * While refuting the story that Medea is driven to murder by jealousy and rejection, Greenwood includes two other women who do exactly that -- one who spends a lifetime solitary and embittered, and ultimately dethrones a king, and one who murders her own husband. As a revision of misogynistic mythology, this leaves a lot to be desired. * Medea commits many violent acts during the course of the novel and ultimately comes to believe the deaths of her children are her punishment for these deeds. We see the transition she makes from a young girl who has never injured anyone to someone willing to kill in self-defense, but we never see the transition where she becomes willing to commit cold-blooded murder or, worse, manipulate others into doing so. When she kills her half-brother, he's already threatened to marry her to gain the throne and attempted to rape her, as well as attempting to kill their father and to murder Jason under guest-right. Jason originally quests for the Golden Fleece to prove his right to the throne of Iolkos, which is currently held by his uncle, Pelias. When Pelias refuses to turn over the throne, Medea murders him. That is, she persuades his daughters that chopping him into pieces and cooking him in a cauldron will make him immortal. This does not work. The daughters hang themselves and Jason and Medea flee Iolkos. Greenwood skips these events and goes straight to the flight from Iolkos. We never learn how a girl who was willing to kill in what was more or less self-defense became willing to kill in defense of her husband's ambition, let alone with such cruelty and manipulation. We are simply presented with a Medea who goes on to poison other rivals of Jason's at his behest. I would kind of like to know what happened there. * Nauplios basically exists to be Medea's reward at the end. He is there so she can form a marriage of equals that supercedes all the unequal and violent gender relations we've seen before. I would rather have had less Nauplios and more of Medea's character development.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Iset

    I want to love this book. I almost do. I read David Vann’s Bright Air Black recently; more of a novella than a novel, it also retells Medea’s story, and is an interesting literary work making use of disjointed sentence fragments and present tense to recreate Medea’s chaotic, ambitious mind. But it never moved beyond an interesting scenario for me. It wasn’t swept away by it, I definitely didn’t see his vision as the definitive Medea. Kerry Greenwood’s Medea comes a lot closer to it. She is dark, I want to love this book. I almost do. I read David Vann’s Bright Air Black recently; more of a novella than a novel, it also retells Medea’s story, and is an interesting literary work making use of disjointed sentence fragments and present tense to recreate Medea’s chaotic, ambitious mind. But it never moved beyond an interesting scenario for me. It wasn’t swept away by it, I definitely didn’t see his vision as the definitive Medea. Kerry Greenwood’s Medea comes a lot closer to it. She is dark, she is strong, but unlike Vann’s incarnation she doesn’t have that instability or bloodlust. This Medea is one you could wholeheartedly root for if you wanted to. I loved the expansion of Medea’s early years, her training as a priestess, her time with the Scythians (which, I have to say, after reading a few books on the Scythians, rang true). I admit I have a penchant for authors who lavish page space on the esoteric topic of bronze age Greek religion and lore, especially if that is tied up with a mythic character’s growth. However, a couple of things just brought it down a little for me. I found it really difficult to get into Nauplios’ chapters, and counting the pages until we were back with Medea again. I wouldn’t have missed it if his chapters had been cut entirely and the whole novel was told through Medea’s voice. The other thing is that after lavishing so much wonderful build up on Medea’s youth and development, when we finally get to the most well-known parts of her story, it seemed really rushed, crammed into the last part of the book after spending nearly two-thirds on her early years. Oh, and I groaned when I read this line: “The king marries his daughter, sometimes, and frequently Pharaoh marries his sister. They are matrilineal, daughter, as we are. The possession of the princess confers the kingship.” Let us set aside for a moment the fact that the notion that the Colchians were descended from Egyptians is more Herodotus (aka ‘the Father of Lies’) than history. The Heiress Theory – which proposed that the reason Egyptian kings married their sisters so often was because the blood right to the throne was carried through the female line – was disproved in the 1980s! (If you’re wondering, pharaohs didn’t marry their sisters nearly as often as people used to think, and it had more to do with emulating the gods Isis and Osiris and controlling cadet lines through princesses.) Why do you do this to me, Kerry Greenwood?! Okay, maybe I’ve just read a string of novels all of which happened to include the Heiress Theory and this was one straw too far for this Egyptologist. But seriously, this popular myth needs to die. 8 out of 10

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ella Howd

    At first I was like "It's the Mists of Avalon of the Greek pantheon!" Then I got to where, early on in the story actually, Greenwood just took the Cerridwen's Cauldron/ Birth of Merlin myth from Welsh mythology and cast the Witch goddess as Hekate under the name of "Cerlithe" which I've never heard before. This really irks me. There was no universal paganism in ancient times. You cannot just take a myth from one culture and swap the names with names of deities from the culture you're writing abo At first I was like "It's the Mists of Avalon of the Greek pantheon!" Then I got to where, early on in the story actually, Greenwood just took the Cerridwen's Cauldron/ Birth of Merlin myth from Welsh mythology and cast the Witch goddess as Hekate under the name of "Cerlithe" which I've never heard before. This really irks me. There was no universal paganism in ancient times. You cannot just take a myth from one culture and swap the names with names of deities from the culture you're writing about. It's incorrect and tacky. And it would be blasphemy to both the culture you stole it from and the one you tried to rewrite it for. It's one thing to have your Ancient Greeks essentially practice neopaganism (which shows your lack of research to anyone who knows even a little about their culture or mythology), but that's just laziness. Using actual Greek myths in a book based on one would be a nice (not to mention professional and more credible) touch.

  4. 4 out of 5

    A.K. Wrox

    (Kylie) Medea is a beautifully crafted, heart-wrenching tale of adventure, love, heroes, gods and betrayal. The woman who history has painted as a monster, comes to life in these pages with absolute clarity so that when the real truth is finally revealed, we ache for her. An absolute must-read for lovers of history and greek mythology in particular, but for anyone who enjoys a damn good story.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl M-M

    Greenwood offers up a new theory to the popular yet unproven myth/speculation that Medea killed her own children ( the speculation was helped along by Euripides written version of the events). Given the remnants of hearsay and evidence read through the frame of reference handed down by Euripides, it is possible that the maternal filicide supposedly comitted by Medea never happened. I would also like to take a moment to say what an utter self loving and treacherous male Jason was. His golden reput Greenwood offers up a new theory to the popular yet unproven myth/speculation that Medea killed her own children ( the speculation was helped along by Euripides written version of the events). Given the remnants of hearsay and evidence read through the frame of reference handed down by Euripides, it is possible that the maternal filicide supposedly comitted by Medea never happened. I would also like to take a moment to say what an utter self loving and treacherous male Jason was. His golden reputation doesn't shine very brightly in this version of events. He betrays her trust more than once and yet she still throws her lot in with him. Greenwood weaves the supposed sorcery of women of that time, they tended to be healers something often mistaken for witchcraft, in a way that makes situational sense. One of my favourite characters was Herakles. Old trustworthy Herakles with a pure heart and the soul of a warrior. It is written in a way that combines mythology, history with fictional elements without becoming a dry academic rehash. I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Very creative retelling of the Medea/Jason myth from the viewpoints of Medea and Nauplios, a fisherman's son, companion of Jason from childhood, an Argonaut and Medea's faithful friend through the years. Medea, Princess of Colchis, priestess of the goddess Hekate, and sorceress/healer helps Jason steal the Golden Fleece and the bones of Phrixos, who had ridden and flown on a golden ram. As the author tells the story, Medea, when Jason wished to cast her aside for a younger woman, flees with Naup Very creative retelling of the Medea/Jason myth from the viewpoints of Medea and Nauplios, a fisherman's son, companion of Jason from childhood, an Argonaut and Medea's faithful friend through the years. Medea, Princess of Colchis, priestess of the goddess Hekate, and sorceress/healer helps Jason steal the Golden Fleece and the bones of Phrixos, who had ridden and flown on a golden ram. As the author tells the story, Medea, when Jason wished to cast her aside for a younger woman, flees with Nauplios to Corinth, where an angry mob of Corinthians stone Medea's innocent children and their nurse to death. I was glad the contemptible Jason was punished as he deserved to be. I liked the changes the author wrought in the story; so much occultism and graphic descriptions did make me uncomfortable. I liked hearing Medea's side of the story. Our sympathies lie with her. And Nauplios kept us informed of the quest, also his lifelong love for Medea.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lorna

    Gave up on this. The pseudo-ancient style it's written in is not worth slogging through. Also much too long. So many better ways to spend my time... Free digital ARC from Netgalley. Gave up on this. The pseudo-ancient style it's written in is not worth slogging through. Also much too long. So many better ways to spend my time... Free digital ARC from Netgalley.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Spoerndle

    It's been a awhile since I read a book that made me breathless! Kerry Greenwood creates a intense world through the POVs of Medea and Nauplios. As a sucker for strong independent female protagonists, I was in awe and a little bit terrified of Medea. At first I was confused why we were getting the POV of Nauplios, a secondary character, but it all tied together beautifully in the end. Before reading this, make sure you brush up on your ancient Greek history and be prepared to run into multiple co It's been a awhile since I read a book that made me breathless! Kerry Greenwood creates a intense world through the POVs of Medea and Nauplios. As a sucker for strong independent female protagonists, I was in awe and a little bit terrified of Medea. At first I was confused why we were getting the POV of Nauplios, a secondary character, but it all tied together beautifully in the end. Before reading this, make sure you brush up on your ancient Greek history and be prepared to run into multiple complicated Greek names!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Barlow-Irick

    Medea was such a fun book to read. Not that anyone is a fun character, but Greenwood brings the people to life and you are allowed to accompany them on their journeys. You get to ride along on the Argos and travel in a Scythian caravan. You get to sorrowfully climb the mountains to Delphi in the depths of despair and you get to snatch the Golden Fleece (only to have it snatched away again). The kids getting killed, yeah, that's a bummer, but maybe it wasn't their mom that did it. After reading t Medea was such a fun book to read. Not that anyone is a fun character, but Greenwood brings the people to life and you are allowed to accompany them on their journeys. You get to ride along on the Argos and travel in a Scythian caravan. You get to sorrowfully climb the mountains to Delphi in the depths of despair and you get to snatch the Golden Fleece (only to have it snatched away again). The kids getting killed, yeah, that's a bummer, but maybe it wasn't their mom that did it. After reading this book, I want to run away with the Scythian caravan.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol Palmer

    This is the story of Medea and Jason and the Argonauts told from a slightly different point of view. Jason's part of the story is told by hid boyhood friend and fellow Argonaut, Nauplios. Of course, this is a story of courage and adventure, but also of love, loss, and betrayal. The characters really come alive in this book, which makes it a much more interesting story than the usual objective, dry telling of Jason's adventures. This is the story of Medea and Jason and the Argonauts told from a slightly different point of view. Jason's part of the story is told by hid boyhood friend and fellow Argonaut, Nauplios. Of course, this is a story of courage and adventure, but also of love, loss, and betrayal. The characters really come alive in this book, which makes it a much more interesting story than the usual objective, dry telling of Jason's adventures.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tina Tessina

    Interesting. You can see Kerry Greenwood's interest in Ancient Greek and Roman myths in her Phryne Fisher and Corinna books, and here she's gone into depth, creating a new, more female-friendly Medea story. It's a good read, but not up to her other novels. Interesting. You can see Kerry Greenwood's interest in Ancient Greek and Roman myths in her Phryne Fisher and Corinna books, and here she's gone into depth, creating a new, more female-friendly Medea story. It's a good read, but not up to her other novels.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    It took a while to get into the swing of this and I was daunted by the play I’d read in high school - spoiler alert it isn’t a happy ending. But this gave so much more of the feel of the people, places and time. Really enjoyed this read. And hooray for feisty women no matter what era!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    enjoyable, epic. well written with enough meat on each character to allow empathy for all.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Frustratingly close to be excellent but full of weird errors and timeline confusion

  15. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I took a little while to warm up to this, but I did in the end.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Petersen

    A brilliant retelling of the story of Medea, with a different perspective.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jodie Molzahn-Brunner

    It took longer to get into than many books, but it was well worth the effort. Great insight into this character.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dai

    An interesting retelling of the life of Medea, who in this book is a priestess of Hecate, as well as a Princess of Colchis.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    'Medea' was an immense adventure! It has been a while since I picked up a lengthy book, and again this was an overdue novel to delve into. Such is the story of my reading life lately. Really enjoyed Medea's character. She was a great contradiction from page to page. Strong but made weak by custom and her embittered teacher, and it was very clear that she had so much more potential and strength than she allowed herself. A consequence of the times she was born into. Yet she has power in her own rig 'Medea' was an immense adventure! It has been a while since I picked up a lengthy book, and again this was an overdue novel to delve into. Such is the story of my reading life lately. Really enjoyed Medea's character. She was a great contradiction from page to page. Strong but made weak by custom and her embittered teacher, and it was very clear that she had so much more potential and strength than she allowed herself. A consequence of the times she was born into. Yet she has power in her own rights, which becomes of great use to Jason and the Argonauts as they come to take the Golden Fleece. Jason and his Argonauts all have their own storylines running, and as much as one may think that it would be disjointed, the author was very good at connecting these characters in the book. As much as I was intrigued by Medea's storyline, I did not mind the interruption to explore Jason and his companion's, Nauplios, stories and how they got together with the Argonauts on their quest which then crosses paths with Medea. Filled to the brim with adventure quests, heroes and mysticism, it enthralled me from the very first chapter. It is violent, adventurous and incredibly sad as well, with many elements that would make one an epic story. I am NOT familiar with the story of Medea in history, so I read this book for what it was worth, as a fictional story. And I thoroughly enjoyed it, and look forward to reading more by this author. Many thanks to Netgalley, Authors and Publishers for making copies available for review. No compensation was accepted and my opinions are 100% my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lauralee

    Medea has been known to us through Greek playwrights, most famously Euripides, for killing her children after her husband Jason of the Argonauts have abandoned her for another woman. However, in Kerry Greenwood’s version of Medea, Medea has given her voice to speak and narrates her version of what happened. This Medea does not kill her own children. Rather it was the city of Corinth who killed them, and thus bestowed a great curse over the city. Medea is a princess of Colchis and a priestess of Medea has been known to us through Greek playwrights, most famously Euripides, for killing her children after her husband Jason of the Argonauts have abandoned her for another woman. However, in Kerry Greenwood’s version of Medea, Medea has given her voice to speak and narrates her version of what happened. This Medea does not kill her own children. Rather it was the city of Corinth who killed them, and thus bestowed a great curse over the city. Medea is a princess of Colchis and a priestess of Hekate, the Dark Mother. She spent some time with the Scythians, and Iranic equestrian tribes, and learns about the customs. When she comes back to Colchis she finds that a stranger named Jason and his group of fellow Argonauts have come to demand her father, Aetes the King of Colchis to give the Greeks back the city’s most treasured Golden Fleece, and the bones of Phrixos’s, Jason’s grandfather and rider of the the Flying Golden Ram, whom he sacrificed in honor of Zeus. Aetes agrees to give Jason what he has asked for, but intends to not honor that agreement and plans to kill Jason. Medea, who is instantly infatuated with Jason, decides to betray her father to help save his life, gets the objects he has demanded, and leave with Jason to become his wife and queen. Medea is portrayed as a strong and wise woman. She is expressed to be independent. However, when she arrives in Greece, she is a foreigner and not accustomed to their ways and is instantly hated. She is portrayed as a woman, who will do anything to keep the love of Jason, even to kill the evil tyrants who stand in the way of Jason being king. However, despite the dark deeds, there is always room for redemption, which is Medea’s ultimate quest. Jason is portrayed as weak and stupid. He is a failure as a leader and cannot make smart decisions. Rather, he depends on other people to make decisions for him. There is also a second narrator, Nauplios, a fellow Argonaut and best friend of Jason, who tells the adventures of the Argonauts. Overall, this is a story of betrayals, deceits, murder, and broken love. But there is also renewal, second chances, hope, and, most of all, redemption. The message in the book is that anyone can be redeemed, and there is always hope. I recommend this not only to anyone who is interested in fantasy and Greek mythology, but to anyone who is going through a rough time, and feels hopeless. If a woman like Medea can be redeemed, there is always hope for you!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jo Burl

    I was lucky enough to receive an ARC through NetGalley, so my read may be slightly different than yours. SOME SPOILERS BELOW, SO USE CAUTION, especially since I can't figure out how to hide that part which IS a spoiler. The book is told from the view point of two characters, a practice I generally don't care for, but I thought it worked well this time. Medea, of course is one of the viewpoints, and Nauplios is the other. I found the parts with Medea, for the most part, very dark and depressing. I'm I was lucky enough to receive an ARC through NetGalley, so my read may be slightly different than yours. SOME SPOILERS BELOW, SO USE CAUTION, especially since I can't figure out how to hide that part which IS a spoiler. The book is told from the view point of two characters, a practice I generally don't care for, but I thought it worked well this time. Medea, of course is one of the viewpoints, and Nauplios is the other. I found the parts with Medea, for the most part, very dark and depressing. I'm not a lover of the occult, and there was a fair amount of this in Medea's world. For this reason. I had a very hard time sticking with the book. I started liking the book around 23% into it (I read it on a Kindle App, so page numbers weren't used) but at this point the author has the Argo sailing at night. The Greeks didn't sail at night, the just didn't do it. I'm had a tough time with that because it so pulled me out of the story. I hope this is fixed before publication. At around 50% I noted that I was starting to like it. Medea is with the Scythians and that's a BIG plus, getting her away from the dark depressing temple. (In fact, the author should consider a book on the Amazons, it would be a wonderful book! i realize this is a lukewarm review, but i do hope she'll do this anyway!). Nauplius is a pretty interesting character. I'm reserving judgement on Heracles. In this story he's under Hera's protection, and I can't find anything to say the story was ever told that way. Hera _hated_ him. I wonder if the author is throwing us a new idea or if she just didn't do her homework. The author does address this in the afterward, but without doing some research I'll have to stand by my original belief that Hera was terribly hateful towards Heracles, she, after all, is the one who kept sending the madness on him. By the end of the book I was a Heracles fan. I'm very glad the author didn't redeem Jason. In every telling I've read I always think the guy is a self centered creep. He is here, too. I'm geeky enough to have loved the afterward. I always enjoy reading an author's explanation of why s/he choose to do what s/he did. It's the closet you can get to a chat with them.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Crystal (Goddess in the Stacks)

    Medea is the first of three "Delphic Women" novels to be published in the US by Australian author Kerry Greenwood. It tells the story of Medea from the legend of Jason and the Argonauts. The version that everyone knows involves Medea, as a witch, helping Jason to steal the Golden Fleece in return for marrying her. The story goes that some years later, when he attempts to put her aside, she not only kills his potential bride, but also the children that she'd borne him. Medea tells a different stor Medea is the first of three "Delphic Women" novels to be published in the US by Australian author Kerry Greenwood. It tells the story of Medea from the legend of Jason and the Argonauts. The version that everyone knows involves Medea, as a witch, helping Jason to steal the Golden Fleece in return for marrying her. The story goes that some years later, when he attempts to put her aside, she not only kills his potential bride, but also the children that she'd borne him. Medea tells a different story. She is a priestess of Hekate, the Black Mother goddess. The story details her fall from that religion, her marriage to Jason, the death of their children, and her life after her marriage. It is an utterly enthralling book, and I am eager to see Greenwood's other Delphic Women novels, which appear to be about Cassandra and Electra. Greenwood has a talent for keeping the feel of ancient Greek mythology while also making the characters accessible for the modern reader. She includes a chapter after the end of the story, in which she explains why and how she came to the conclusion that Medea was NOT responsible for the death of her children, despite every other popular story saying she killed them. While Medea has often been painted as the villain of the story, Greenwood had me cheering for her the entire book, from the first time she was brought to the dark caves of Hekate as a toddler to when she mourned over the deaths of her children and slowly learned to love again. I enjoyed seeing one of the ancient legends from a woman's point of view; none of them are ever told that way! I also found it really interesting how the book portrayed Herakles; he turned out to be one of my favorite characters! I'd definitely recommend this book if you like retellings of mythology or ancient legends. You can find all my reviews at Goddess in the Stacks.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This might just be the most impressed I've ever been with Kerry Greenwood's writing. Her stuff, I find, is usually pretty fun and easy to read but the prose behind isn't something I'd write a paragraph in a letter about. Medea, though? Actually awesome. Being mostly unaware of Medea in history and mythology (I read Euripides' play two years ago, but remember it only a little), I can't comment on how authentic Greenwood's treatment of the myth is, or whether her depiction of places and people is c This might just be the most impressed I've ever been with Kerry Greenwood's writing. Her stuff, I find, is usually pretty fun and easy to read but the prose behind isn't something I'd write a paragraph in a letter about. Medea, though? Actually awesome. Being mostly unaware of Medea in history and mythology (I read Euripides' play two years ago, but remember it only a little), I can't comment on how authentic Greenwood's treatment of the myth is, or whether her depiction of places and people is close to historically accurate. For sticklers, there is an author's note that extensively details the choices Greenwood made. Outside of questions of accuracy and authenticity, I really, really liked the story, though it felt (surprisingly) gentle and at time slow-moving. Narrated in first person by both Medea and Nauplius (one of the Argonauts), we see Medea's pre-Jason life and the beginnings of the Argonauts' quest. Where Medea's path may seem slow and meandering, Nauplius' narration provides both the action and the promise of Jason and Medea's fateful meeting. So I can understand why Greenwood made that decision – but I was way more interested in Medea's side of the story. Nauplius wasn't too bad at the start, though a bit bland, but after Medea and Jason meet, he seemed to exist solely to pine after Medea and ultimately, to serve as her reward, which I found a bit irritating. This isn't a particularly easy book to review. I like it very much and was very impressed by Greenwood's writing but I don't find much particularly noteworthy. I look forward to reading the rest of Greenwood's Delphic Women trilogy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Kerry Greenwood is an interesting writer I discovered her mysteries when I picked up the first Phryne Fisher book several years ago this series set in Australia in 1928 is wonderful, with great characters, plots and wonderful attention to historical details and atmosphere. Medea is not a mystery but a wonderful retelling of a fascinating story from a different point of view, the Medea in this novel is a strong, complex, woman who is living in a time when intelligent woman where not appreciated, Kerry Greenwood is an interesting writer I discovered her mysteries when I picked up the first Phryne Fisher book several years ago this series set in Australia in 1928 is wonderful, with great characters, plots and wonderful attention to historical details and atmosphere. Medea is not a mystery but a wonderful retelling of a fascinating story from a different point of view, the Medea in this novel is a strong, complex, woman who is living in a time when intelligent woman where not appreciated, through the story she grows from a young acolyte to a full priestess, and travels far from home, she learns about love and loss, and the reader sees a fuller picture of a fascinating woman. I recommend this book highly.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Keli

    One things that's always hard with these old stories is that the author and the reader sees it through modern eyes. By modern interpretation, Jason was a selfish and petulant man-child and Medea was a much-wronged heroine. Of course, Jason does get punished in the original story. It's nice to know that the original telling, an angry mob from the city of Carthage killed their children, for which they were punished. Euripides was paid to absolve Carthage and place the blame on the sorceress Medea. One things that's always hard with these old stories is that the author and the reader sees it through modern eyes. By modern interpretation, Jason was a selfish and petulant man-child and Medea was a much-wronged heroine. Of course, Jason does get punished in the original story. It's nice to know that the original telling, an angry mob from the city of Carthage killed their children, for which they were punished. Euripides was paid to absolve Carthage and place the blame on the sorceress Medea. Even still, I'm not sure I'm okay with a Greek tragedy having a happy ending.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I absolutely loved this one. I have since read the other two in the series - because I liked this one so much I went out and ordered the whole trilogy (the Delphic Women series) from Amazon. This is far and away my favorite. A completely different look at a personage we think we know all about, as well as a very clear picture of the position of women in these different cultures - positions which varied widely even within the same time frame, as they still do today. Highly recommend this series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alisa

    A version of the Medea story that involves her NOT killing her children? Really? Apparently actually based in the historical records? Well done retellings of the classics are always interesting...unfortunately, this isn't well done, though it got a bit better as it progressed. It was uneven and the alternating narrative (between Medea and Jason's companion Nauplios who falls in love with her from first sight) didn't work at all. A version of the Medea story that involves her NOT killing her children? Really? Apparently actually based in the historical records? Well done retellings of the classics are always interesting...unfortunately, this isn't well done, though it got a bit better as it progressed. It was uneven and the alternating narrative (between Medea and Jason's companion Nauplios who falls in love with her from first sight) didn't work at all.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ulla

    "Medea" got a very slow start from me, somemhow I just couldn't get into the story. And then one day I started again, and could hardly put it down. The character Medea is, of course, a very well known name in history. I didn't know much about her or Jason and the others. Now I'm glad I didn't give up . . . the story is fascinating, well researched and beautifully written. Now I want to read the other two Delphic Woman Novels too! "Medea" got a very slow start from me, somemhow I just couldn't get into the story. And then one day I started again, and could hardly put it down. The character Medea is, of course, a very well known name in history. I didn't know much about her or Jason and the others. Now I'm glad I didn't give up . . . the story is fascinating, well researched and beautifully written. Now I want to read the other two Delphic Woman Novels too!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Two strikes in the first chapter: we are told that the little girl was carried naked into the goddess's cave, then a page later, that she wipes her tears on the edge of her tunic. I hate stuff like that. Then we are told that Herakles is helped by Hera, who dotes on him. Huh? Hera is the implacable enemy of Herakles, not his doting stepmother! I think I'm going to pass on this one, though I really wanted to like it. Those kinds of sloppy mistakes make me mistrustful of the rest of the book. Two strikes in the first chapter: we are told that the little girl was carried naked into the goddess's cave, then a page later, that she wipes her tears on the edge of her tunic. I hate stuff like that. Then we are told that Herakles is helped by Hera, who dotes on him. Huh? Hera is the implacable enemy of Herakles, not his doting stepmother! I think I'm going to pass on this one, though I really wanted to like it. Those kinds of sloppy mistakes make me mistrustful of the rest of the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This didn't quite flick my switch, which is surprising since I adore two of Greenwood's other series. This didn't quite flick my switch, which is surprising since I adore two of Greenwood's other series.

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