Phaedra by Laura Shepperson
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Myth Retold
Laura Shepperson’s debut novel Phaedra (released as The Heroines in UK/AUS) is another new release in Greek myth retellings. The story follows Phaedra, who married Theseus after he slayed the Minotaur. This work re-examines the story from Phaedras point of view, and turns the story on its head. Ultimately, Phaedra, who is misunderstood, demands justice for the suffering and helplessness that is felt by not only herself, but for abused women everywhere.
It’s a very complex story (and controversial, as far as myths go). I won’t spoil the ending here for anyone who doesn’t know how the myth goes, but if you are interested search for Euripides’ Hippolytus myth summary.
A stark contrast between gender roles is explored within this work, showing how different expectations and beliefs were between men and women during this time in history.
IMHO the world-building left a lot to be desired, and I found the multiple POVs to be confusing at times. The challenging subject matter makes it an emotionally difficult read, in itself. Not hard, but uncomfortable to read, at times. And who am I to judge? They say good literature evokes feelings and makes you think critically…which this story definitely does. I do think this story brings a fresh twist to an old myth, and I am still excited to add this new story of Phaedra to my mythology collection 💙
TW: rape, abuse, suicide
Thank you to @alcovepress @penguinrandomhouse and @laurashepperson for gifting me this ARC💕