Sep 12, 2019

Billy's Books 24: Circe

Today's review is actual fiction. I guess it's more fantasy, but certainly not my usual science fiction. It's a novel seen through the eyes of a lowly nymph, Circe. A nymph is a Greek immortal, but much less than a god. Circe's father is a proper god, Helios, the sun: the guy in the chariot that crosses the sky every day. What a temper has he! (Like so many gods.) Circe encounters a few other gods in this book (Apollo and Athena, for example), and some notable mortals as well, most famously Odysseus.

Please excuse my butchering of the pronunciation of so many (ancient) Greek names and words. I think I incorrectly say Circe's name throughout. You're welcome.

It should be noted that there is some violence (sexual and otherwise) in this book, but it is not explicit. PG-17?

Perhaps this quote sums up the entire novel:
Penelope said, "What is a witch then If it is not divinity?" 
"I do not know for certain," I said. "I once thought it was passed through blood, but Telegonus has no spells in him. I have come to believe it is mostly will." 
She nodded. I did not have to explain. We knew what will was.

A recurring theme is the chasm between mortals and gods. Since gods can do so much with a wave of the hand, they draw satisfaction from inventive forms of destruction. She appreciates that mortals work to create instead, especially their handiwork. Circe is intimate with another mortal, a thousand generations her junior:
"I want you to know, if you go to Egypt, if you go anywhere, I want to go with you."
Pulse by pulse, his life passed under my fingers. "Thank you," I said.