A NovelBook - 2018
Circe is not powerful like her father Helios, nor viciously alluring like her mother Perse. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power-- the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many figures in mythology. When Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, she ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians.
From Library Staff
2019 Alex Award Winner: Follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.
Alex Awards (Adult Books for Young Adults)
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of w... Read More »
Follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.
From the critics
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But most of all my father’s voice, speaking those words like trash he dropped. Such as you. Any other day in all my years of life I would have curled upon myself and wept. But that day his scorn was like a spark falling on dry tinder.
“You have always been the worst of my children,” he said. “Be sure to not dishonor me.”
“I have a better idea. I will do as I please, and when you count your children, leave me out.”
“Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.”
“But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”
Pg. 273 of the hardcover, “It is youth’s gift not to feel its debts.”
Pg. 311 of the hardcover, “But perhaps no parent can truly see their child. When we look we see only the mirror of our own faults.”
But perhaps no parent can truly see their child. When we look we see only the mirror of our own faults.
WHEN I WAS BORN, the name for what I was did not exist. They called me nymph, assuming I would be like my mother and aunts and thousand cousins. Least of the lesser goddesses, our powers were so modest they could scarcely ensure our eternities. We spoke to fish and nurtured flowers, coaxed drops from the clouds or salt from the waves. That word, nymph, paced out the length and breadth of our futures. In our language, it means not just goddess, but bride.
See her arrange her dress so it drapes just so over her shoulders. I see her dab her fingers, glinting, in the water. I have seen her do a thousand such tricks a thousand times. My father always fell for them. He believed the world’s natural order was to please him.
Once when I was young I asked what mortals looked like. My father said, “You may say they are shaped like us, but only as the worm is shaped like the whale.” My mother had been simpler: like savage bags of rotten flesh.
“It is not fair,” I said. “It cannot be.” “Those are two different things , ” my grandmother said .
The slender dryads flowed out of their forests, and the stony reads ran down from their crags. My mother was there with her naiad sisters; the horse-shouldered river-gods crowded in beside the fish-White Sea-nymphs and their lords of salt. Even the great Titans came: my father, of course, and Oceanus, but also shape-shifting Proteus and Nares of the Sea; my aunt Selene, who drives her silver horses across the night sky; and the four Winds led by my icy uncle Boreas.
Her cruelty springs fast as weeds and must any moment be cut again.
Circe is dull as a rock. Circe has less wit than bare ground. Circe’s hair is matted like a dog’s. If I have to hear that broken voice of hers once more. Of all our children, why must it be she who is left? No one else will have her.
What could make a god afraid? I knew that answer too. A power greater than their own.
Helios flattered himself that all women went eager to his bed, slave girls and divinities alike. His altars smoked with the proof, offerings from big-bellied mothers and happy by-blows.
“Circe,” he said, when he saw me. Just that, as if you might say: foot.
All I knew was that I hated her. For I was like any dull ass who has ever loved someone who loved another.
“Pharmacies,” I said. Witch.
“Sorcery cannot be taught. You find it yourself, or you do not. ”
Even the most beautiful nymph is largely useless, and an ugly one would be nothing, less than nothing.
Too late for all the things I should have known. I had made so many mistakes that I could not find my way back through their tangle to the first one.
Watching Zeus and Helios negotiate is always good entertainment. Like two volcanoes trying to decide if they should blow.
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