Circe is a retelling of the Greek mythological story of the goddess/witch Circe. Born from the sun god Helios and an Oceanid naiad, Circe was always out of place. Her voice is strange as it sounds like a regular mortal’s voice, and her hair is an odd striped color. Circe does not appear to have any special abilities and is often ridiculed by her siblings. But when she turns a mortal into a god and a nymph into a monster, Circe is banished by Zeus and sent to live on a deserted island. There, Circe becomes immersed in the plants and herbs on the island and refines her craft to become one of the most famous witches in mythology.
I found this book to be an intriguing retelling of Circe’s story. The author merges fiction and mythology to create a fantastical story that spans centuries. Circe is a powerful witch and survives in a time where women were often portrayed as less than men. Circe breaks free of this stereotype and emerges a strong heroine that is not afraid to do what she has to do in order to survive.
But here’s the thing – this book took me so long to read because I kept looking up the backstory of each new character that was introduced. I know the basics of Greek mythology but I don’t remember the basis of all the stories. Jason and Medea come to Circe’s island? I had to look up Jason’s story on Wikipedia. Odysseus lands on the island? I had to refresh my memory of how long it took him to get home from Troy and what monsters and myths he encountered along the way. I kept getting distracted by all the other characters and their stories.
There were a couple of times I thought the story dragged and I found myself skimming. This was mainly when nothing much was going on when Circe was by herself on the island.
If you like mythology, you should read this book.