Books Fiction Mythology review

Elektra by Jennifer Saint – Review

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: April 2022
Publisher: Wildfire
Pages: 341
My Rating:

“It’s a cycle constantly changing, but always the same. And your family’s curse, it’s like that, too. All the way back to Tantalus, your ancestors have done the same thing to one another. There’s a terrible crime, unbearable pain and then the lashing out of vengeance, and then it all begins again.”

“The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.

CLYTEMNESTRA – The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon – her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them and determines to win, whatever the cost.

ELEKTRA – The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?

CASSANDRA – Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.”

Because I’m not well-versed on the topic of Greek Mythology, my opinion is based on how much I enjoyed the story and characters itself and not as someone who has a lot of background knowledge on the subject. So please take this into consideration. It’s a genre that I am still new to and I’ve enjoyed branching out from my usually thrillers.
The story is told from the perspectives of three different women and we eventually learn how their paths cross and influence each other.
This is such a heartbreaking story and it felt like there was just tragedy after tragedy.
This family’s lineage has been cursed with generations of violence.

Ultimately this is a story of survival. Everyone does what they have to to survive even if that means betraying or killing members of your own family to gain glory and power. Sadly, no one knows who they can trust and each character has to look out for themselves.
Most of the men are blinded by their pride and would give up even those closest to them for glory and power. Women are treated as prizes and are still seen as the possessions of men, but they also wield a different kind of power and can make certain attributes work to their advantage. This is especially true if they are good at manipulating the people in their lives.

There are a lot of characters to wrap your head around in this book and I often found myself going back to make sure that I wasn’t getting confused with how they are related.
I felt really frustrated with most of the characters and there is only one that I actually like throughout this book. He was level headed, kind and noble. (I don’t want to reveal any spoilers)

This is a very heavy read with a lot of brutality and bloodshed.
Sadly, you can’t end the cycle of violence with more violence. This is just what each person who committed their violent act thought. I found that’s the classic saying ‘Violence begets violence’ rings true and was the central theme of this story.
Overall this was well written and on an entertainment level, was very enjoyable.

Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

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