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Clytemestra by Costanza Casati


I would summarize 2023 as my year of mythology. I couldn't get enough of it and was rarely disappointed! Choosing a favorite though was not hard at all. Allow me to introduce you to Clytemnestra...


In her stirring debut novel, "Clytemnestra," Costanza Casati has crafted a bewitching rendition of an ancient tale. This feminist retelling of Queen Clytemnestra's life is a mesmerizing whirlwind of acceptance, vengeance, and desperate power grabs. Instead of a ruthless villainess, we find a woman scorned, a mother bereaved, and a queen trampled upon.


Casati masterfully weaves a tale of palpable rage and despair that ebbs and flows in Clytemnestra's heart. The reader watches, captivated, as these feelings precipitate into a slow-burning plot of vengeance. Clytemnestra is not a woman born to power but one who must wrest it for herself, and the fierceness of her resolve is hauntingly beautiful to behold.


The choice between acceptance and vengeance that Clytemnestra grapples with forms the crux of this novel. Infamy is inevitable regardless of the path she chooses, and the suspense of her decision makes for a gripping read. By forcing the gods' hands in her game of retribution, Clytemnestra becomes an emblem of indomitable will and female power.


"Clytemnestra" is a testament to the forgotten queens of lore, those who have been relegated to the shadows of their king's glory. It is a stirring reminder that queens, too, are made of steel and fury and that their stories deserve to be told, remembered, and celebrated. Casati's brilliant narrative is a triumph of feminist storytelling, proving that power doesn't always need to be given... Sometimes, it must be taken.


I thoroughly relished every page of this book from beginning to end. Five stars simply fail to do it justice. Lately, I've been engrossed in exploring feminist retellings of mythology. Do you have any suggestions for me?

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