I love mythology; always have, always will. And I love novels that bend and reshape myths into something, if not quite new, then fresh, or look at a particular myth from another perspective. Here are a couple of titles I stumbled upon recently.
Penelope’s Daughter by Laurel Corona (Oct)
“The award-winning author of The Four Seasons retells The Odyssey from the point of view of Odysseus and Penelope’s daughter.
With her father Odysseus gone for twenty years, Xanthe barricades herself in her royal chambers to escape the rapacious suitors who would abduct her to gain the throne. Xanthe turns to her loom to weave the adventures of her life, from her upbringing among servants and slaves, to the years spent in hiding with her mother’s cousin, Helen of Troy, to the passion of her sexual awakening in the arms of the man she loves.
And when a stranger dressed as a beggar appears at the palace, Xanthe wonders who will be the one to decide her future-a suitor she loathes, a brother she cannot respect, or a father who doesn’t know she exists…”
The Raven Queen by Jules Watson (Feb/2011)
From Jules Watson’s website:
“The Raven Queen is more a “re-imagination” of Queen Maeve’s life. It is not a novel solely about the famous Cattle Raid of Cooley, known in Irish as Táin Bó Cúailnge, though it includes Maeve’s role in The Tain. It is not by any means a retelling. I have strayed from the stories about The Tain and other tales about Queen Maeve to a considerable degree, leaving episodes and minor characters out, and changing storylines. We don’t have one coherent narrative about Maeve as we do with Deirdre, and there are contradictions and confusions in the snippets of myth about her, so I felt I could largely create my own “woman behind the myth” tale. The story does use some ideas, episodes and plot points from what was said about Maeve in The Tain.”