Wrath Goddess Sing

Written by Maya Deane
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

Buckle up for the Fall of Troy once again, this time reimagined through the eyes of Achilles, who grew up as male-to-female transgender and is transformed into the female warrior demi-god daughter of Athena.

Almost drowned as a child while raised by her vicious Myrmidon family, she lives for two years on Skyros with the Aphrodite-protected transgender priestesses known as kallai and finds love in the arms of Damia, their princess. Athena intervenes, turning her body female just as Odysseus comes to recruit her in the Greeks’ thousand-ship endeavor to return the kidnapped Helen. Achilles jumps on board, and the rest is (rediscovered) history.

There are scores to be settled, loves both carnal (with Agamemnon and the warrior Brisewos) and platonic (with cousin Patroklos and his Egyptian sorceress wife Meryapi, whose banter with Achilles is especially enchanting and lends levity to some grim proceedings), many battles to be fought, even motherhood. And behind all, the gods: looming, revealing mysteries and ever conniving in their blood-soaked schemes. They have a worthy adversary.

The wine-dark sea takes on extra luminescence in this stunning re-creation of the Fall of Troy. Deane’s Achilles is unforgettable, as are her deep ties to friends and enemies alike. Written in the brilliant tradition of Mary Renault, Wrath Goddess Sing achieves its own epic standing. A tour de force not to be missed. Highly recommended.