Synopsis for Song of Sacrifice (from Goodreads):
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.
Other books in the series:
Series: Homeric Chronicles
Author: Janell Rhiannon
# of Books: 2 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, Rise of Princes, is to be released in March 2019
Genre: Adult, Mythology, Retelling, Fantasy
Heat Rating: Toasty **suggestive content**
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Date: December 26, 2018 – ongoing
Source & Format: Xpresso Book Tours–eARC
Add: Goodreads | Buy: Amazon / Kobo / iBooks / B & N
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
The one class I always wanted to take in university but could never fit in was Mythology. I only know bits and pieces of mythology from my Latin course and Disney’s Hercules–not ideal sources. But the synopsis here intrigued me; especially the emphasis on women in mythology who are often cast in less than favourable lights.
What I liked:
–Weaving of Various Myths–
More often than not, when we read mythology we only get one character’s story at a time. I think most people know about Helen of Troy and the battle that ensued; but I couldn’t tell you the exact reason why those events unfolded nor could I tell you what else was happening around the same time of history.
What was really cool here is that you follow along on a chronological timeline and you get to see those side stories and events that help shape the future of those well known events. Basically, you get the backstory of events and characters. And it’s through those tidbits that we get stronger character development and understanding. The characters are no longer one dimensional myths but people you can empathize with and see in a more human light.
–Highlights the Role of Women–
As I said before, women in historical works are often cast as beautiful objects for political moves or flighty, vengeful downfalls to empires. But what I really liked here was how we got to see the more integral role women play in classic myths. How there is more going on in their roles than spite or simply being in the right place at the right time. We get to see thought and pre-meditation for their actions; and how they drive the course of history.
It isn’t as “in-your-face” about it as the synopsis may suggest but that’s what I like the most. It’s so subtle you don’t even really notice it–because you really shouldn’t: the women of classic Greek mythology play just as important (and equal) role in the events that follow as the men do.
What I Didn’t Like:
–Too Many Characters?–
As someone who isn’t overly familiar with Greek mythology, I found that there were almost too many characters to keep track of.
Because we follow a linear timeline, we jump around from characters and locations pending their piece in the puzzle. So while we start the story with Hecuba and Paris, we only revisit periodically in the middle of the novel while we learn about the other players.
Now someone who is more familiar with mythology (like my brother) or better with names (they all look the same to me in every book I read), will likely have an easier time than me keeping everything straight. Honestly! Because it is told in an easy way (there is a glossary!) for readers to follow. But for me, it was like watching the first season of GOT where I needed a list of names with head-shots to keep everyone straight!
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
Despite knowing the outcome of what happens in the Greek Myths we follow in this series, I’m still eager to see what will happen next and get that deeper look into the motives and insights of the characters.
Want your own review copy?
Check out Janell Rhiannon’s Podcast Greek Mythology Retold!
My Rating: 3.5/5
Song of Sacrifice 3.5/5 | Rise of Princes TBP
Once you get a feel for the cast of characters, this story becomes a compelling read! If you love epics and/or mythology, this is a must for you!
Read if You Like: mythology, epics, lots of characters, historical
Avoid if You: dislike long stories, don’t like following lots of characters
- Fragile Chaos by Amber R Duell
- The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (The Goddess Test Trilogy #1)
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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Such an awesome overview ♥️ Thank you! I tried hard to build the motivation (possible motivations) for the heroines characters. You have made my day by providing your thoughtful review. Much appreciated. I hope your Tuesday is most wonderful:) maybe you’d like to be part of book 3 beta group when I get there later this year?
You did a great job with the female characters and their motives; it all came across as very authentic.
Congrats on a great book! Yes, please do keep me in the loop about the future books in the series!
Thanks for hosting today! This sounds like a fun read. Great review! 🙂
Thanks! I’m always happy to host and get the word out there about great books!
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Ooh this sounds great! I love a bit of mythology. I get where you’re coming from with the names though – I think sometimes with books like these there is a degree of assumed knowledge not all of us have!
I’m such a visual person that I’m usually ok if I see the name, but there are so many similar names or names of people we only briefly get introduced to that it was hard to keep track of them! I definitely should have used the glossary more but I don’t always think about it when I’m on my Kindle. Though Kindle’s wikipedia search feature came in handy!