We think we know the whole story, but we don't. For many of us, Medusa evokes visions of a hideous being with glowing eyes and snakes for hair. As it turns out, there is much more to the story. Now I know a fair amount about Greek mythology and had done some reading about her (I dressed up as her for Halloween back in 2001) so I knew that she did not start out as a monster. In fact, her story is really quite tragic. Born beautiful to parents who were Titans and having two sisters who were Gorgons, she became the shining gem of her family and in turn, quite a useful pawn. I don't want to go into much more detail about the story because I want you to read and discover the truth behind the mythology of Medusa for yourself.
What I will say is that this book is wonderful. I love when an author takes a story that we think we know and retells it or expands on it, taking a myth and making its characters live and breathe for us. The Medusa in this book is such a contrast to the monster she becomes which makes it all the more tragic. Summers has created a character in Medusa that we feel for and that makes her fate a devastating reality, even though we already know how this story ends. Or do we? Medusa: A Love Story is a captivating retelling of the Greek myth, concentrating on the human lives in the story and illustrating the ill effects of the Gods' interference. Of course, it wouldn't be Greek mythology without the meddling of the Gods.
About the book:
It's said love can change a person. Medusa wasn't always a monster...
Medusa is ruled by duty, to her Titan father and the Goddess Athena. She's no room for the tenderness her warrior guard, Ariston, stirs. When Olympus frees her from service, her heart leads her into the arms of the guard she loves... and curses her as the creature with serpent locks.
Ariston goes to war with a full heart... and dreadful foreboding. He learns too late of the danger Medusa faces, alone, and a Persian blade sends him into the Underworld. But death, curses, nor the wrath of the Gods will keep him from returning to her.
Poseidon will use Greece's war to get what he wants: Medusa. He does not care that she belongs to another. He does not care that she will be damned. He is a God, an Olympian, and she will be his.
"This tragic and beautiful retelling of one of the world's oldest stories tackles the eternal battle between duty and happiness. Medusa, A Love Story broke my heart then filled in the cracks with joy. Sasha Summers is simply a mesmerizing new talent." ~Stephanie Dray, Author of the critically acclaimed Song of the Nile.
“You asked for an audience, you have it. Now tell me, where do you belong?” Hades’ voice was deep, emotionless.
Ariston swallowed. “Athens.” He met Hades’ gaze, but the God revealed nothing to him.
“Why? You died with honor and glory. Is that not what every soldier wants?”
“My wife…” His voice wavered.
Hades brow lifted slightly. “Lives. You do not.”
“She is in danger.”
“Earthly danger. She is no longer your concern, Ariston.”
“The danger she faces is not earthly, but far from it…” Ariston’s voice was hoarse, his desperation mounting. He took a wavering breath before he began again. “She is everything to me. I am proud of my death, but it means nothing if she is in peril. I must know.” Ariston kneeled. “I beg you. I beg you to return me to Athens.”
Ariston waited, willing himself to be strong.
“Who is this wife?” Hades asked.
“Medusa of Athens.” He paused. “Now of Rhodes.”
Hades was silent, his dark blue eyes regarding him steadily.
“When I die—” Ariston began.
“You are dead,” Hades assured him.
“When I return…die again, I would serve as guardian to Tartarus. I am a skilled warrior, a skill I might offer you.” He spoke with confidence.
“You vex me,” Hades muttered, the slightest crease appearing between his eyes. “You offer this to me for a woman?”
Ariston nodded. “She is worthy.”
Hades was silent again, his eyes shifting to the blue-white flames in the massive fireplace.
“My words do not…adequately express the love I have for this woman. But I cannot leave her. She is at risk. I must return.” The words came without thought. How could he justify such emotion to a God who reviled affection or companionship? “As Olympus has my arm and sword, she has my heart – a mortal, and perhaps weak, heart.”
The room was silent for too long. He would have to fight his way out…
“It is a weakness not reserved for mortals alone, Ariston of Rhodes.” Hades’ words were so soft Ariston feared they’d not been spoken. But Hades continued, strong and clear. “I will return you to your ship so that you may lead your men to victory. Too many have fallen from this war and I would see it end. When that is done, you may go to your wife.” He paused then added, “When you return to my realm, I will have your fealty.”
The God of the Underworld, Lord of Death, gave him mercy? Mayhap there was one God he might serve with honor.
Ariston vowed, “You have it.”
About the author:
Sasha Summers is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, and travel. It's no surprise that her books visit times past, set in places rich with legends and myth. Her first play, 'Greek Gods and Goddesses' (original title, right?), was written for her Girl Scout troupe.
She's been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she's doing so.
Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.
Sasha is an active member of RWA and several Texas Chapters. A self-proclaimed movie-addict, she is full of all sorts of useless movie tidbits and trivia.
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