Athena’s Child

Written by Hannah Lynn
Review by J. Lynn Else

Once a priestess of Athena, Medusa is cursed into her monstrous form after being defiled in the temple by Poseidon. She runs home to find shelter only to unknowingly curse her own family. After her two sisters are also transformed, they seek isolation on a deserted island. Meanwhile, Perseus wants to keep his mother from marrying a lecherous king and is backed into a near-impossible quest: delivering the head of Medusa as a wedding gift.

For myself, as someone who’s jumped on the recent feminist-retellings-of-Greek-tales train, I can’t say that this book offers new insights that I haven’t already read. It handles the tragedy of Medusa’s tale with sensitivity. The time and places are well researched. The second half revolves more around Perseus and his challenge. The amount of time with Perseus does take a bit away from Medusa’s tale. Besides the gods, no character is particularly unlikeable, and they all have choices to make which will define their future. Some are blessed by gods while others are cursed; some characters change drastically while others try to hold on to their humanity as long as possible. Athena’s Child is a quick read that explores the concepts of monsters born and made. There are some light feminist vibes and a message about the stories we tell.

Recommended as a light read for those unfamiliar with or who may have forgotten Greek myths.