Book Review: Elektra by Jennifer Saint

About the Book:

Title: Elektra

Author: Jennifer Saint

Page Length: 400

Publication Date: April 28, 2022

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Synopsis: The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.

The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon – her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them, and determines to win, whatever the cost.

Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.

The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But, can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon   |  Book Depository

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My Review:

I was beyond excited to read Elektra, especially after reading Ariadne last year. I’ve always enjoyed Greek mythology, and I taught it for almost two decades. But I was always intrigued by the women. Often secondary, one-dimensional characters, the wives, siblings, daughters, and mothers’ voices were rarely heard, and I wanted to know more about them and hear these epic tales from their perspectives.  How did they fare without their husbands? How did they handle betrayal, loss, motherhood, and more? Jennifer Saint gives a powerful and poignant voice to the unheard women of the Trojan War in this brilliant story about love, power, truth, and vengeance.

Elektra follows three women from Greek mythology and the Trojan War. Clytemnestra is Agamemnon’s wife and sister of Helen, Elektra is Clytemnestra and Agamemnon’s youngest daughter, and Cassandra is one of the princesses of Troy. She was granted the gift of foresight but was also cursed by Apollo.  Clytemnestra, Elektra, and Cassandra are all so different, each with different goals, ambitions, and journeys, and each is dynamically developed. I love how the author brings their stories to life in such a powerful and emotive way. These are women who are often overshadowed and portrayed one-dimensionally, and Saint’s vivid and gripping portrayal of them is incredible.

Clytemnestra is fueled by vengeance and her hatred for her husband. Cassandra is desperate to be heard, and Elektra is devoted to protecting her beloved father. Their stories are woven together masterfully, and each is compelling, heartbreaking, and complex. I found myself emotionally invested in each story, and though I knew what their eventualities were, their journeys felt fresh and unique.

The author also depicts a less glorified version of the larger-than-life leaders and warriors who fought in the Trojan War. Throughout the story, the characters experience the effects of the war – the brutality, the ego, the thirst for victory, vengeance, and more, and the author doesn’t shy away from the selfish, narcissistic, and heartless actions of the men and women involved. Another aspect of the story that I found really interesting is the history of the House of Atreus. The author delves deeply into its dark and brutal past and shows how history often repeats itself. It is a rich and nuanced story with so many layers, and I feel like the more I think about it, the more I unravel.

I loved Elektra. It is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking retelling that offers a fresh perspective on classic myths and characters. I can’t wait to read Saint’s next book and highly recommend Elektra to any fans of Greek mythology or mythological retellings. Thanks so much to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.


Favorite Parts:

Everything. I loved it all!

Favorite Lines:

However fast our defenses against the world beyond our kingdom, I didn’t know how I could keep her safe if the enemy was already inside our walls.

You can only know fear if you have something to lose.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: Elektra by Jennifer Saint

  1. I’m reading it right now, and enjoying it very much. Cassandra has always been one of my favorite characters from Greek Mythology because I could sympathize with her situation, and the author is bringing all of my thoughts about her into a full story format. I love it. ❤️. Excellent review!

  2. Wonderful review, Julie. This sounds amazing and I have added it to my wish pile. I used to read a lot of mythology but it has been many many years since I read any. I love that these books share the women’s stories.

    1. Thanks, Carla! I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to read it. I, too, like the women’s perspective and love the author’s writing!

  3. Great review, Julie! I’ve not been reading any of the reviews for the book until now so I had no idea this had multiple POVs and wasn’t just about Elektra but this does sound really good. I still haven’t read Ariadne and want to give that one a read first but it seems that this author has written some great books everyone seems to love! Can’t wait to check them out too 🙂

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