Picture of author.

Natalie Haynes

Author of A Thousand Ships

11+ Works 3,743 Members 120 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Natalie Haynes

Works by Natalie Haynes

Associated Works

Marple: Twelve New Stories (2022) — Contributor — 420 copies
The Atheist's Guide to Christmas (2009) — Contributor — 350 copies


2021 (19) Ancient Greece (52) ancient history (18) anthology (38) atheism (51) audiobook (19) Christmas (38) classics (32) ebook (40) essays (60) fantasy (26) feminism (22) fiction (204) Firefly (48) Greece (28) Greek mythology (88) historical (15) historical fiction (91) history (40) humor (29) Joss Whedon (19) Kindle (41) literature (19) mystery (37) mythology (110) non-fiction (129) novel (14) philosophy (17) pop culture (21) read (31) religion (34) retelling (36) science fiction (43) Serenity (20) short stories (37) television (40) to-read (333) Trojan War (43) Troy (14) women (25)

Common Knowledge



Didn't finish. Medusa's story was good, but there is a mismatch of other myths thrown in throughout the narrative that make it very disjointed. The changes from first person to narrator do the same thing. Adding them together just throws me out of the story too much.
Tip44 | 16 other reviews | Nov 26, 2023 |
A book that sets out to record the experience of the various Trojan women at the fall of their city. It's a mixed bag: it starts with the wife of Aeneas, and although I vaguely remembered some details about him, I didn't know what happened to her. That one has a rather abrupt ending. Then various other women are switched between, with some scenes of the survivors on the beach, waiting for the Greeks to get round to awarding them as prizes. In between, there is a narrative from Penelope's viewpoint, in an epistolary structure, and the viewpoint of Calliope, muse of epic poetry, who is rather irritated by the requests of poets.

The book stuck very much to the traditional stories of the women as I already knew them and didn't really add much. There was the interesting idea of a friendship between Briseis and Chryseis, the former giving the latter herbs to stupefy Agamemnon and therefore spare Chryseis his attentions. But after Chryseis is ransomed, although she worries beforehand about the punishment her stern father will dish out for wandering out of the city and being captured, that narrative is ended and we never see the interaction between the two, or find out what happened to her at the fall of Troy. In the legend, she and her father don't necessarily live in Troy - at least, some other adaptations have taken that line - so that would have been a new aspect to explore.

It was an overall OK read, but not an exceptional one, and I would award it 3 stars.
… (more)
kitsune_reader | 42 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |
The goddesses of the Greek myths seem all powerful and in sharp contrast to their mortal compatriots. In a misogynistic society worship of powerful female figures didn't seem too anachronistic. Here Haynes explores a number of deities and the evidence we have for their myths and worship. The exploration covers the standard Greek myths but pulls together evidence from the myths and contemporary culture yet follows the pathway throughRoman beliefs and pan-theism and through to modern day exemplars. It is wonderfully readable book but one which is also incredibly learned.… (more)
pluckedhighbrow | 1 other review | Nov 1, 2023 |
This is a retelling of the legend of Medusa and Perseus. It is sympathetic to Medusa, and portrays Perseus as a privileged blundering idiot. In fact, all of the gods are portrayed as selfish idiots. As much as the book is a feminist critique of the legend, and as much as it is full of deeply tragic moments, it's actually pretty funny, because the gods are just so petty and dumb. I listened to the audiobook, which is skillfully read by the author, and there are times when she is practically shouting in her frustration at how stupid the gods are. It's a generally entertaining and engaging read.… (more)
Gwendydd | 16 other reviews | Oct 29, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Dan Mersh Narrator


Also by

Charts & Graphs