God of the Golden Fleece

Written by Fred Saberhagen
Review by Suzanne Crane

Saberhagen’s Book of the Gods series is fast-paced, exciting historical fantasy that twists standard mythology into a pretzel. Volume IV of the series, God of the Golden Fleece, presents a totally new perspective on the Jason and the Argonauts epic. Saberhagen’s “hero” is Proteus, survivor of a ship destroyed by a Titan who inhabits this fantastical world. Proteus swims ashore naked, with amnesia, but (amazingly) in the right place because he knows he is supposed to join Jason on his quest. As he puzzles along, Proteus regains his memory.

Saberhagen departs from the traditional glorious view of these mythological heroes and refreshingly portrays them as boring, mortal and tarnished. There is nothing golden about the fleece, the Argo, or the men. Lovers of mythology may have to brace themselves for some very unconventional portrayals of the typical cast of characters, but it is in the difference that Saberhagen excels. The wit and rapid, continuous action make this a very enjoyable read.