The Shadow of Perseus reimagines the myth of Perseus as though it could have really happened. People believe in the Gods and act on those beliefs, but all the mess and drama is thanks to humans being their own silly selves. It also brings to the forefront three women who are simply supporting actors in the classical myth.

The first is Danae, Perseus’ mother who survived her father’s attempt to kill her and did everything she could to protect Perseus, though perhaps he might have had a better life if she had not told him he was the grandson of a king. The second is Medusa who rescued Perseus and then he betrays her. The third is Andromeda, a young woman intent on saving her people by enduring an ordeal. Perseus unnecessarily rescues her and she becomes his reluctant wife, though she is clever enough to make the best of a bad situation.

Through all of this, Perseus is an ungrateful oaf. I loved to see it.

The Shadow of Perseus is surprising and fresh. I love that Perseus was such vain and slightly stupid man, a man undone by his own myth. We see where the myth comes from. We can imagine him telling of his heroics and passing these twisted tales on so we hear his delusional story rather than the far more interesting and honest stories of the women. I love the originality of Heywood’s concept of Perseus as the self-aggrandizing, brutish anti-hero.

The Shadow of Perseus moves quickly. When it was over, I wanted more. Not because the book was not satisfying and complete, but because I want to see the Heywood treatment of all the myths.

I received an e-galley of The Shadow of Perseus from the publisher through NetGalley