I adore fables, fairytales and all of the stories about those wonderful creatures called Gods. And I especially seek out great retellings of these stories passed down over the centuries. My favourite of all time is Neil Gaiman’s American Gods which brings fabled Gods to everyday America and I will need to subscribe to Amazon Prime to see the series of it. I think it is a funny, wry and gothic retelling. I also enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology as an audiobook and the experience of Neil himself telling the fables retold with his sense of humour is totally worth your time. So I was ready to be intrigued when I saw the many reviews recommending Circe for those who love mythology reimagined.
Now, Circe goes a step further than a simple retelling and weaves the fables of the Greek Gods, Zeus, Hermes, Perseus, and fabled mortal journeys such as Jason and the Argonauts, through the life of Circe, a daughter of Helios the Sun God, exiled for being an immortal witch with a very feminist twist in the story weave. Fabled monsters and how they came into being, the cruel self-serving nature of the Gods and their disregard of mortals, the rise of the Olympians over the other families of Gods, are told through the eyes of a young innocent nymph, Circe, who exists on the fringes of the beautiful, glittering world of the Gods. Not beautiful, with a voice like a mortal, and no evident power, Circe is disregarded by her vain, selfish family. Until she finds that she can manipulate plants to cast spells for her dearest desires. Of course nothing goes to plan, this after all is mythology retold, and Circe is exiled to an island, alone, where she further hones her craft over the centuries. This is the story of a life lived on one’s own terms, coming to an understanding of self and the world with no mentor and very spoiled examples to guide her but Circe does love mortals much to the disdain of her kin.
It is a compelling story of growth, self-knowledge and independence as a woman, mother and witch. Miller has woven known legends, fables and Gods into this fantastic narrative and that some Gods are made better with the emotional knowledge of guilt, regret, occasional helplessness and selfless love. It is a joy to listen to and I recommend it wholeheartedly as a great read.
Circe (Audio MP3)
Circe (Audio CD)
Circe (Downloadable eAudio)