Love, Heartbreak, Redemption. These are all the facets possible in a human soul whether they are centuries old or a few years born. In Janell Rhiannon’s new novel, Song of Sacrifice, it is the sacrifices of women that tell tales of the ancient Gods and Goddesses of myth.
Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Paris, Achilles. Olympia Gods and Goddesses. Heroes and Villains. All the beauty, glory, and tragedy ever to be found in the myths of ancient Greek mythology. Every deity played a role and every mortal suffered from the whims of the Gods and Goddesses. And it is in author Janell Rhiannon’s book that we learn a deeper tale, and a much heartbreaking story of triumph and redemption. The stories you have read were mainly based on the Greek Gods, but what of the women who gave birth to the mortal heroes and heroines? What of the mothers, sisters, aunts, and lovers?
I’ve been a fan of Greek mythology ever since I first picked up a history book detailing the melodramatic lives of the ancient Greek Gods and how they ruled Olympia. From childhood to now, I absorbed as many books as I could on the history of Greek mythology and how their roles play heavily on modern day beliefs. Many things in our lives originated from the ancient Olympians. Titles such as Titans and Muses can be found in sports teams and contemporary language. Almost everything around us derives from some sort of legend or myth. And ancient Greek myth is as old as time and as grandiose as the finicky deities. So when I was offered to read and review Song of Sacrifice from Janell Rhiannon, how could I say no?
Paying homage to Greek author, Homer, the tale of Song of Sacrifice distinctly tells the stories of the women who loved enough to give birth to heroes and broken apart by deception and conceit. As glorious as the Greek Gods were, they were also petty and foolish, often playing on the whims of mere mortals. Through these whims and triumphs however, stories of great tragedy and profound love were born, thus this fabulously detailed story written by Janelle is a must-read for fans of Greek mythology and historical remakes.
In Song of Sacrifice, you’ll learn how Achilles was born and became a hero; how Agememnon foolishly led the war to what we know as the “Trojan War”; and how Paris was raised by a sheepherder and later became the kidnapper of the beautiful Helen of Troy. Interwoven in between these well-known heroes are the mothers and wives who suffered greatly at the hands of arranged marriages and sacrificed hearts. These women, who gave birth to the heroes and heroines are revered in Song of Sacrifice as they should be, for who but mothers of these heroes would sacrifice their lives to save their children? If I learned anything else in this story, it is that no matter the age and era, women will greatly suffer all for the name of love. It not mattered if the women were royalty or peasants – they bore the grief of their fallen children and rose only through tales of authors and poets – never in the forefront of stories like their male counterparts. I applaud Janell in bringing these women to light.
Song of Sacrifice is beautifully written, well researched, and detailed. I felt as if I was right there along with the characters; crying over lost dreams and hopes, and smiling through the small triumphs and glories. Even if you are not a fan of Greek mythology, you’ll be drawn into the details of the hearts of the women and the things they had to endure through their lives. Some women are well known, some are not. But all of these women were equally if not more important than the men they married and the children they raised.
The heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women.
Mothers and daughters; wives and war prizes, whisper to us across time…
…remember our songs alongside the mighty men of myth.
As the Age of Heroes wanes, the gods gamble more fiercely with mortals’ lives than they ever have before. Women must rely on their inner strength and cunning to survive the wars men wage for gold and glory.
Clytemnestra of Mycenae struggles for control of her life after Agamemnon ruthlessly rips it apart. Leda of Sparta survives a brutal assault by Zeus, shouldering a terrible secret in silence. Penelope raises Ithaka’s sole heir alone, praying for Odysseus’ swift return. Thetis, the sea nymph, despairs of her son’s destiny and resorts to forbidden magic to save him. Hecuba of Troy mourns the loss of her second son to a dark prophesy. And Shavash of Pedasus prepares her daughter to marry the greatest warrior who ever lived.
In a world where love leads to war and duty leads to destruction, the iron hearts of heroines will conquer all.
Sing, Muse, sing their song of sacrifice…
Replaces Song of Princes as the first book in the Homeric Chronicles.
*** Xpresso Book Tours is also offering a tour-wide giveaway of a $25 Amazon Gift Card here:
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In graduate school, Janell focused on the ancient history of Greece and Rome. Hooked by the “sword and sandal” world, she studied everything she could about mythology and Alexander the Great.
The Homeric Chronicles series is dedicated to merging dozens of Greek myths, including Homer’s epics, with plays, history, and archaeology. Her intent is to raise the heroines’ voices equally alongside the heroes, opening up a traditionally male focused genre to a female audience.
She lives in CA and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She has a pack of two big dogs and two cats.
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