Top 5 Wednesday: Retellings

Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and she has passed down the torch to Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. For more information and for future topics you can check out the goodreads group.

For this summer, there are no weekly themes, but this week I wanted to talk about retellings, since it’s been a while since I did an actual recommendation post about them! So without further ado, here are five of my favourite retellings…


Geekerella by Ashley Poston
a Cinderella retelling

Geekerella is both a Cinderella retelling and an ode to pop culture and conventions. It’s full of (fictional) references to nerd culture, which made me completely fall in love with this book. That and the fact that I may or may not be obsessed with Cinderella retelling. It was a fun, light book, with an amazing MC as well as adorable love interest, so if you’re into YA contemporaries that may or may not be predictable while being super enjoyable then this is the thing for you! (Full review)

The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller
a retelling of the Trojan war

This book was so beautiful, it’s one I will never forget. It’s mostly based on the Illiad, and tells the story of Patroclus and Achilles from their childhood to their undoing during the Trojan War. This book is truly a masterpiece. (Full review)

Lambs Can Always Become Lions by Charlotte Anne Hamilton
a Robin Hood retelling

Lambs Can Always Become Lions was the Robin Hood retelling I didn’t know I had been waiting for, and oh boy was it worth it. It features the best crew of characters, and I absolutely loved both Robin and Marian. I guess I have a weak spot for Robin Hood-like adventures, and the fact that on top of that, this one is a F/F romance? 👏 I 👏 am 👏 sold 👏 (Full review)

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
a Russian mythology retelling

Through the years, I am trying to acquire more and more knowledge when it comes to Russian and Norse mythology — and this book was such a good surprise when it came to it. It takes old tales if Baba Yaga and Vassilissa the beautiful, and spins then into a modern, dark contemporary tale. This book enchanted me. (Full review)

Izzy + Tristan by Shannon Dunlap
a Tristan & Iseult retelling

One of my most recent reads. Picture this: a modern retelling of the ancient story of Tristan and Iseult featuring a chess loving teenager as well as sent in the midst of some protests against police brutality. This book surprised me in many ways, and I would definitely recommend it! (Full review)

And that’s it for this week everybody! Please feel free to recommend me some of your favourite retellings as well!

Izzy + Tristan : Critique / Review


I will first review the book in French, as I received it as part of a partnership with the website, through a program promoting YA novels that were published this year (both French books, and books that were just translated as is the case here!) So if you’d like to read my review in English, please scroll down!

Possible TW for: violence, death, racism

Pour commencer je voulais remercier le site qui m’a envoyĂ© un exemplaire de ce livre en Ă©change d’une chronique dans le cadre des Explorateurs Young Adult ! Cela n’influence mon opinion en aucun fait.

Izzy, brillante premiĂšre de classe, rĂȘve de devenir mĂ©decin. Tristan, petit gĂ©nie des Ă©checs toujours dĂ©sireux de devenir meilleur, vit dans l’ombre de son super populaire cousin Marcus. Lorsqu’ils se rencontrent, tout bascule. Un enchaĂźnement d’Ă©vĂ©nements qui les dĂ©passe semble avoir Ă©tĂ© dĂ©clenchĂ©…

Izzy + Tristan est une rĂ©Ă©criture rĂ©solument moderne de l’histoire de Tristan et Iseult (ce dont j’aurais du m’apercevoir dĂšs le dĂ©but !). On retrouve bel est bien les personnages de cette lĂ©gendaire histoire du Moyen Age, brillamment transposĂ©s dans le Brooklyn des annĂ©es 2010. Je suis une trĂšs grande amatrice de rĂ©Ă©critures, et une fois encore j’ai Ă©tĂ© conquise !

Tristan comme Izzy sont des personnages trĂšs attachants. Ils n’ont pas forcĂ©ment toutes les chances de leur cĂŽtĂ©, mais veulent tout faire pour rĂ©ussir dans la vie. Ils se rencontrent, et c’est le coup de foudre d’une maniĂšre qui leur Ă©chappe totalement. C’est un roman qui est trĂšs beau Ă  lire, et qui en mĂȘme temps porte Ă  la rĂ©flexion sur les prĂ©jugĂ©s raciaux et sociaux, ce qui Ă©tait pour moi une trĂšs bonne surprise.

Le frĂšre d’Izzy m’a beaucoup agacĂ©e avec ses prĂ©jugĂ©s et autres attitudes hautaines, mais c’Ă©tait dans l’ensemble un personnage plutĂŽt rĂ©aliste et nuancĂ©, ce que finalement j’apprĂ©cie — et je ne vous en rĂ©vĂ©lerait pas plus ! En ce qui concerne le reste du panel de personnages, je suis une grande fan de Brianna, l’amie un peu excentrique d’Izzy. J’ai beaucoup aimĂ© le fait que l’auteure arrive d’ailleurs Ă  rĂ©utiliser certains Ă©lĂ©ments de l’histoire d’origine Ă  travers son personnage : c’Ă©tait bien vu !

J’ai vraiment passĂ© un bon moment Ă  lire ce livre. Tout n’y est pas rose (contrairement Ă  la couverture !) mais c’est aussi ce qui fait que l’histoire est si bien faite. A travers le prisme d’une histoire d’amour vieille comme le monde, Shannon Dunlap pointe du doigt les privilĂšges raciaux, les prĂ©jugĂ©s sociaux, et les violences policiĂšres. Je ne suis pas prĂšs d’oublier cette lecture !

As I started this book, I soon realised that it was a retelling of the tale as old as time that is the story of Tristan and Iseult. And yes, I should have known that sooner. But this also means that I started the book not really knowing what to expect! For that, kudos to my slow brain…

Title: Izzy + Tristan
Author: Shannon Dunlap
Genre: Contemporary, Retelling
Release: 2019
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The story:

Izzy is a brilliant student who dreams of becoming a doctor. When her parents decide to move to Brooklyn, her twin brother won’t hear of it, but she doesn’t really care.

Tristan is a genius at chess, and aims to play nationally. He lives with his aunt, and most of the time, is in the shadow of his slightly older and super popular cousin Marcus.

One night, at the end of the summer, they paths cross and their lives are changed for ever. A stream of inevitable events has been unlocked, and there’s no going back…

My thoughts:

I loved this book. I started it not really knowing what to expect, and I completely fell in love with the characters. They are all deeply human, with their quirks and flaws, and I really loved this about them. There is no all black, or all white. It was rather realistic, and very appropriate for a retelling of Tristan and Iseult!

I was mostly confused by Hull (Izzy’s brother) because I couldn’t figure out whether he was just an asshole, or a kid who needed therapy. Maybe he was both. Although I didn’t really like him, he was an interesting character. As for the rest of the cast, I really loved them: especially Brianna, who, with her quirks, managed to introduce to the plot elements of the original story I wouldn’t have thought to see there!

There’s no doubt, this was a strong case of love at first sight. I’m not always a huge fan of it, but I think that (despite all the melodrama) it really worked well here.

In addition to that, this book discusses racial and social prejudice as well as racism and police brutality. I have to admit that I didn’t see all of it coming, but I thought it was really well executed. And it was a really interesting way of turn this old tale into a modern story. Please let me know your thoughts on that aspect of the story if you have read it as well, I would love to hear them!

Overall, I had a really good time reading this book. It went places I didn’t really expect in the best possible heartbreaking way, and all of that with really endearing characters. A great discovery!

Circe: My Review


Finally a new book review! I got around writing quite a few posts last week, but I feel like it’s been a while since I last wrote an actual book review, so here goes! I had been meaning to pick up this book ever since it was released, and what best occasion than a book reading? None, really. At the beginning of the month, I got to meet the wonderful Madeline Miller at Shakespeare and Company, aka my favourite bookshop, and now that I have finished Circe, I can tell you sincerely: this book was fantastic.

Title: Circe
Author: Madeline Miller
Genre: Literary Fiction, Retelling
Release: 2018
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The story:

Set it what seems to be the beginning of times, Circe is an eponym novel following the Titan witch from her birth in the palace of her father Helios, the sun. You may know her from her encounter with Odysseus, and we sure get to meet him in his own time, but Circe’s immortal life is about so much more. From her childhood to the discovery of her powers, to her exile on the island Aiaia, she gets to meet a lot of famous mythological figures (among them Hermes and Daedalus).

But Circe is also a tale about the life and powers of a woman who constantly had to make her own choices. Used and exiled by the gods and by her own father, she had to make her own place in this world, on her own terms. Which makes the book all the more worth reading.

My thoughts:

I absolutely LOVED this book. I had read Miller’s previous novel The Song of Achilles a while ago, and loved it, but I loved Circe even more, probably because of the feminist aspect of the story. I absolutely adore Miller’s writing, it is so enjoyable and fascinating. I rarely fall in love with an author’s writing to that extent.

It was all the more interesting to have a little background on her writing process. The book is obviously based on the Odyssey and a few more famous mythological writings, and in that aspect I learnt a lot about Circe’s life. But it’s also the author’s own take on the story, and I really loved it. Circe is a fighter, and she had a fascinating life.

The book also has a feminist dimension, and points out things that are still very much valid today, such as the fact that Circe’s brothers always had more freedom than she did, but also the few scenes where we reader witness entire ships of men arriving on Aiaia and taking everything for granted, including their hostess’s body. It was painfully realistic, and somewhat relatable even though I sadly do not have Circe’s powers, and the whole turning of men into pigs did make a lot of sense in those conditions! In addition to that, I absolutely love books about witches, and I don’t read enough of them, so that was also a plus.

I find it hard to put words on it exactly, but this book really spoke to me on a feminist level. Somehow, I needed to read it, I just didn’t know it yet… And now I can’t shut up about it.

Without giving too much away, I loved watching Circe grow, from her relationship with Glaucos, to her interesting and unexpected friendship with Penelope by the end of the book. I absolutely loved reading about Daedalus and his inventions as well, and it was fun to read mentions of many other mythological stories such as that of Ariadne or Medea. I’m a huge mythology fan, and took Ancient Greek lessons for years when I was in school, and as such, this book was a jewel.

So basically, this book is a full package: amazing story, amazing writing, and fascinating characters. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?

Finding Baba Yaga: My Review


Full title: Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse
Author: Jane Yolen
Genre: Fantasy, Poetry, Retelling
(could a blend of literary genres be more perfect that this one?)
Release: October 30th 2018
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

trigger warning: parental abuse

When I heard about this book, I knew it was right up my alley. I love retellings of Slavic mythology, and I hadn’t read any poetry in a while, so it was a perfect opportunity.

The story:

It follows the narrator, Natasha, a teenage girl who is abused by her father and decides to run away from home. After starving and wandering through the woods, she is taken in by Baba Yaga, the infamous witchy character from Slavic Mythology.

My thoughts:

I had read mixed reviews about this book before it was even released, but I absolutely loved the concept, so I knew I had to give it a go and see for myself. I didn’t go in with very high expectations, but I did love it!

I can only describe Finding Baba Yaga as the perfect blend between Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente and the poetry of Amanda Lovelace in The Princess Saves Herself in This One, and I am here for it. It works well as a story in verse as it does follow a story in chronological order about a girl who is abused by her parents and rescued by Baba Yaga when she runs away from home. The story also features Vassilisa the Beautiful, Prince Ivan and Koshei the Deathless, all beloved characters from the slavic mythology. So it is partly a story, and it is partly a retelling, but it is also an ode to strong women, through both the character of Baba Yaga, and the narrator herself. This book is feminist all the way, and I love it. I have to admit I have a soft spot for feminist poetry (I have already mentioned Amanda Lovelace, but I’m also thinking about Rupi Kaur here) and this book just did the trick for me when it came to this beloved topic of mine, so if that is also something you like, then I can only recommend Finding Baba Yaga.

Overall, this book was a pleasant surprise. It was right up my alley, which was all the better since I hadn’t ready any similar book in a while. Five Stars, it was also a quick read, and I would definitely recommend it.

Geekerella: My Review


In case you didn’t know, I’m writing a paper about Cinderella retellings, and although this one is not officially included, it was one of my most anticipated releases for the year, because it got me really curious… And I wasn’t disappointed!

Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Retelling
Release: April 2017
My rating: ★★★★★

The story:

Ever since her father’s death, Elle has been living with her step-mother and twin step-sisters who make her life hell both at home and at school. She’s working in a food truck and dreaming of the day she can escape. On of her only solaces is her blog, where she talks about Starfield, her favourite movies – and a passion she used to share with her dad. However disappointed she is with the new pick to play her favourite hero Prince Carmindor, she decides to attend the new ExcelsiCon – an event created by her father – and participate in the cosplay contest which might allow her to meet with Darien Freeman, the new actor.

Darien used to love attending cons when he was younger, but now that he is on the other side of the pannel, he would rather avoid them. Cast as his hero Prince Carmindor, he is afraid to disappoint the true Starfield fans, especially when a dedicated blogger starts criticizing the choices of the director. But he finds himself exchanging texts with a mysterious girl who gives him hope in himself and his future.

My opinion:

To be honest, I don’t know where to start, because this book had so many things that I love.

First, the main character is very well written and extremely relatable. She is your typical Cinderella with the mean step mother and the unsufferable sisters. But she also has her very particular qualities such as the fact that she works at a vegan food truck, and of course, the fact that she is a nerd and writes a blog on a regular basis, which I absolutely loved. It’s not always easy to write a contemporary Cinderella story because it can very quickly become a clichĂ©, however I believe it was not the case here. The romance was quite well made and if I have to be honest, it was impossible to put the book down.

Darien is also a very interesting characters, especially in his conflicted relationship with his father. I absolutely loved the chapters from his point of view. He is this famous actor who is not sure how he ended up there, and seems to end up either doing things he dislikes or being misunderstood by the public. But he is also trying to stand for what he thinks is right and has a very interesting development through the story. To be honest, I just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him everything was going to be okay.

I really liked the retelling aspect of the story. I kept tracking down the elements directly coming from the original fairytale, and I absolutely loved how they were executed in the book. Some things were predictable, but it also has some nice twists: just the perfect amount of each. And of course, I absolutely loved that both characters, each in their own way, were absolute nerds.

Finally, I have a soft spot for this kind of romance, where the characters fall in love by exchanging letters at first, without knowing each other’s true identity – and they probably never would have gotten closer had they known it. I don’t know, it just really works for me, and it was amazingly executed here, so if this is something you enjoy reading, then I definitely recommend you to go and pick up this book.

Overall, this book was nicely written and absolutely adorable. I sometimes felt like the romance came a little too quickly but it is something I am beginning to notice in all of the books I have read recently so it is probably more due to the fact that I am bitter and disabused than something coming from the book itself (do let me know if you also think so though, I would love to not be the only one who thought so).

I know this book was not perfect but I loved it so much, and it is exactly my type of book, the kind that makes me smile and swoon when I think of it, so I couldn’t not give it five stars. If you are looking for some nice cute and easy read then I can only recommend Geekerella to you. And if you have read it, I would love to hear your opinion as well!

Similar recommendations:

P.S. I like you by Kasie West for the letter exchange aspect of the story, and Cinder by Marissa Meyer for the retelling aspect of the story of course.

Lambs Can Always Become Lions: My Review


When I saw that there was a retelling of Robin Hood with Robin Hood actually being a woman, and a F/F romance, I knew I had to pick it up. I saw the blurb, and suddenly I realised it was all I had been waiting for. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Title: Lambs Can Always Become Lions
Author: Charlotte Anne Hamilton
Genre: YA, Retelling, Romance
Publication: May 2017
My rating: ★★★★✩

The story:

Robin Hood – formerly known as Lady Loxley – lives in the woods with her companions, robbing rich carriages and dividing the money between the people who need it. They are outlaws, hoping for a better world, waiting for the return of King Richard, and running from the Sheriff of Nottingham.

With the help of her lover Lady Marian Fitzwalker, Robin hears word of an important shipment, and starts planning for an ambush, but gathering more information might endanger everyone she cares about, including Marian herself, who really wants to help.

My opinion:

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazed I was at the diversity in this book. First we get a F/F romance at the center of the story. But quickly we find out more about Robin’s friends, and discover that Will Scarlet is non-binary (which has officially become a headcanon, I will never see them as anything else from now on) and that one of the other members of the group is a Muslim girl called Edda who basically embushes rich people while wearing a hijab, and if that’s not awesome then I don’t know what is. It is also strongly implied that Little John is asexual. This book was so refreshing. I was literally squealing half the time while reading it. I need more books like this.

Lambs Can Always Become Lions follows the main lines of Robin’s Hood story as we know it, with Robin as an excellent archer, the merry gang living in the woods, the rivalry with the Sheriff of Nottingham, and of course, the romance with Lady Marian. I’m a huge fan of retellings, but I had never read a Robin Hood retelling before, though I really love the story. The closest that came to it was my binge watching Once Upon A Time two years ago. So if you have any great Robin Hood retelling to recommed, feel free to leave them in the comments, I am up for that!

I don’t know what else to say. I guess my only regret is that it was too short (96 pages). A sequel is coming in 2018 I believe, and I can’t wait to read it. I really hope you check out this book, and are as excited by the premise as I was. Please let me know your thoughts if you have read it, I would love to talk about it!

Ps: Follow the author on Twitter!

The Song of Achilles: My Review

The Song of Achilles

I read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller back in December and it was really time I made my review for this book. It had been on my TBR for a very long time, so I’m glad I finally picked it up. I listened to the audiobook, and I really enjoyed the narration, so if you are looking for audiobooks I would definitely recommend this one.

Genre: New Adult, Mythology, Fantasy, Retelling
My rating: 3,5 stars
Release date: September 2011

The story:

Set before and during the Trojan War, The Song of Achilles follows the famous Greek hero Achilles, through the eyes of his companion, best friend and lover Patroclus, a fallen prince who has no desire to fight. Achilles is the son of a nymph and a mortal king, and it has been prophesized that he will either die young in battle and fame, or live long and be forgotten. Achilles is strong, handsome, and the best warrior of his time. When Agamemnon calls all Greece for the Trojan War, he is reluctant to go at first, but finally gives in, running straight to his destiny.

My thoughts:

My first thought on this book was that the story is extremely beautiful and moving, and the writing is excellent. I know the story of the Trojan War, so I obviously guessed how this book would end, yet it was full of so many little details that made it definitely worth the read. Patroclus is an amazing, caring, and unique narrator, and it was definitely interesting to read about Achilles through his point of view.

My only regret is that I often felt that the story was a bit slow, however, it also turned out that the slow pace gave a unique atmosphere to the book, which was extremely fitting.

Overall, a very good retelling and a very enjoyable read. I wish that I could say more about it, but I feel like it left me impressed and speechless
 I will definitely be looking for more Greek mythology retellings as I always end up really liking those.


And first of all, thanks Diana for explaining this to me. Now that I know it, it is quite obvious. This book is a very good example of a very bad trope: the kill your gays trope. Of course it can be argued that this retelling is only following the original story. But it is still part of a trope that can be very harmful, and I couldn’t write this review without mentioning it.

Recommended for:

Mythology and retellings lover.

If you liked it, then I would recommend Song of Princes by Jannell Rhiannon! (review)

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this book in the comments as I would love to discuss it!

The Shadow Queen: My Review


I read The Shadow Queen back in December and I still haven’t posted a review so here we go.

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publication: February 2016
My rating: ★★★★✩

The story:

Lorelai, true heir to the throne of Ravenspire, is on the run. No one knows she is alive except her two travel companions. She has only one goal: get revenge on her step mother Irina, who murdered her parents and is responsible for the kingdom’s misery. And to accomplish that, she has only one option: use magic, a weapon the people are weary of, because it is one she has in common with Irina. But it is also the only way to beat Irina: use her own weapon against her.

Meanwhile, in the neighbourhood kingdom of Eldr, Prince Kol suddenly becomes king, and to save his people who are at war with ogres, and clearly losing, he has no choice but to turn to Irina, the powerful queen of Ravenspire. Her condition is that he brings her the heart of Lorelai. Does he really have a choice?

Non spoilery thoughts:

I picked up this book because it was a Snow White retelling, and if you don’t know me yet, I am obsessed with retellings. I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed by this one. It had a lot of original elements, and it managed to be a story of its own, even if you could also regognise all of the elements of the fairytale, which makes me, in my opinon, a perfect retelling.

I liked the pace of the story, and the way it was told. Overall, this is a book I definitely enjoyed and recommend.

I also heard that this was going to have a sequel, and I’m really excited about it!

Recommended for:

Retelling lovers, obviously. And if you like YA Fantasy, then this is definitely something you could enjoy! Also recommended if you like The Lunar Chronicles and Stitching Snow, which is another Snow White retelling.

Spoilery thoughts:

I decided to put a spoiler warning first, because I don’t know how to go into this without mentioning elements of the story, and it might be spoilery, so now you have been warned.

I really love the concept of the hunter also being the prince, it reminds me of Graham in Once Upon a Time, and I think it really adds to the story.

Even though it was not the most original fantasy ever, I really like the twists Redwine added to the Snow White story we all know. The fact that Lorelai is fighting is no more original, we find it in Once Upon a Time or Stitching Snow or The Lunar Chronicles. But I really liked for example the fact that the rotten apples were helping Irina subdue the people to her will. And Kol’s plot was also really interesting, both the fact that he was a dragon king, and the fact that he couldn’t resist his hunter instincts, even if Lorelai had saved his life, and he didn’t want to harm her. I also really like the fact that there was no “insta love” here, but trust slowly built between Kol and Lorelai, and I love how their relationship slowly evolved.

I also liked the fact that the story didn’t spare our feelings, and straight on killed Lorelai’s brother after sparing him a first time. It really broke my heart, and I could hardly believe it at first, but it also made Lorelai stronger, more reckless, and merciless towards her enemies, which is something she needed to beat Irina in my opinion.

I also liked the fact that we got to see some of the story from Irina’s point of view, and understand her better as a villain.

OVERALL this was a really great story, as I said before. If you have read it, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, as I would love to discuss it with you!

Heartless: My Review


Hi readers, and first of all, I am very sorry I have been so inactive recently. I was very busy with uni work, and sightseeing Berlin with a friend. But now I am back in Paris for Christmas break, and I have many reviews that are long overdue. One of them is for Heartless by Marissa Meyer, so without further ado, here we go!

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Retelling
Publication: November 2016
My rating: ★★★★★

The story:

Catherine is one of the most popular girls in Wonderland, beautiful, rich and from a rich family, and also the center of the King of Hearts’ attention. He wishes to propose and make her his wife, but all Cath cares about is opening a bakery, the best one in Wonderland. But before the King is able to propose, Catherine meets Jest, the new Court Joker, and soon realises she is falling for him, though this was not part of her life plan… Nor her parents’ obviously.

As the King enter a courtship with her, Cath grows closer to Jest, and starts questioning all she knew in a country menaced by the mysterious Jabberwock.

My opinion:

This book being a retelling of Alice in Wonderland following the future Queen of Hearts, I know it could never end well, however I couldn’t help hoping for my happy ending. I grew very attached to Catherine, who is a rather relatable character. Bold, independant, and also a dreamer, Catherine is the girl I sometimes wish I could be. It gave me a complete new view on the infamous Queen of Hearts, and I will probably never read Alice in Wonderland the same way.

I am a huge fan of The Lunar Chronicles so of course I had high expectations for this book. I was also very curious because it focuses on a character known as a villain, like Fairest. And I have to say, I was not desappointed. Maybe it was not as good as The Lunar Chronicles, but it was still an amazing and very emotional read, and I gave it five stars without second thoughts.

This book made me swoon and laugh and cry and stress out about all the dear characters. Even though it was a retelling, it still managed to have great surprises in store for the readers, and I really appreciated it.

I’ve read it at the end of November and it’s getting harder to write a proper review, so I won’t say much more now. I really liked this book and I heavily recommend it. It was unique, surprising, and overall an amazing read!

Recommended for:

Retelling lovers, Alice in Wonderland fans, overall people who liked The Lunar Chronicles and enjoy a great YA fantasy. If you watch the TV Show Once Upon a Time then this is also something I would recommend!

Song of Princes: My Review

Song of Princes (Homeric Chronicles, #1)

Song of Princes is the first book of the Homeric Chronicles, a New Adult series, retellings of the Trojan War. It was written by Janell Rhiannon, and published in June, 2016. I first about this book on BenjaminOfTomes’ YouTube channel, and added it on my TBR shelf on Goodreads. A while later, I was contacted by the publisher, and they sent me a copy for review. I know it’s long due, but better late than never…

Genre: New Adult, Mythology Retelling
My rating: ★★★★✩

Warning: This book is a New Adult read, and contains a lot of sexy/sex scenes.

The story:

Song of Princes goes way back before the Trojan war started, and follows most of its main protagonists. It starts with Hecuba and her husband king Priam, right before the birth of their son Paris, and the prediction that says he will become the doom of Troy.

As the story unravels, the reader gets to meet more of its protagonists. Gods, mortals, heroes, queens…And the unavoidable slowly becomes more and more clear: the Trojan war is drawing closer.

My opinion:

Of course, this book is a retelling of a very old tale, so you know what’s going to happen right from the start. However, that doesn’t make it any less amazing. Janell Rhiannon clearly made her research, and provides the reader with so many details, it is impossible not to get drawn into the story.

I thought it was an very interesting take on the original story. I usually envision the Trojans as the “villains” of the Trojan war, because Paris is the one who captured Helen, and the Illiad and the Odyssey are told from the Greeks’ point of view. However, in Song of Princes, Trojans are at the center of the story most of the time, and they are portrayed in such a human way it is impossible not to like them. And even more importantly, all human characters are presented as simple pawns of the Greek Gods. They are at their mercy, and do whatever they are told. It is impossible to avoid the prophecy. But that made the book really enjoyable. In a way, you are placed into the position of the gods themselves: you see them struggle, trying to avoid their fates, the prophecies, and in the end it’s impossible.

The character portrayals in this book are excellent. I don’t know how else to put it. This book has a lot of diverse characters, they are all so different, and so human each in their own way, and that makes it extremely interesting. Really, congratulations to Janell Rhiannon for this, I can’t wait to read more about all of them! I particularly liked the emphasis on the femaly characters such as Hecuba and Clytemnestra, I think the chapters about them were my favourites.

Finally, I wanted to say that I really enjoyed this book, and would totally recommend it. The only reason why I didn’t give it 5 stars is because some of the male characters were too rude and brutal for my taste. I know it totally made sense in this context, and I respect that. It just was a bit frustrating to me. But overall, this was an incredible read! I just love mythology so much, and boy, I was not disappointed with this! Keep up the good work, Rhiannon, I will be watching out for your next release!

Check it out on Goodreads and Amazon!