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  • Writer's picturehffishwick

Herc



This brilliant retelling follows the exploits of Hercules - from his labours to his loves - exploring a character who might have been a great hero, but wasn't (according to a lot of the figures in his life) a great guy. And it's told from the perspective of everyone but Hercules himself.


I loved reading this novel and am still thinking about it now, weeks later. My favourite thing was definitely its format, with funny interludes, letters, and brilliant, individual voices. Every character's chapters felt different. It was a clever way to approach such a complicated and dark story and created a sense of balance because there are SO many view points - those who love him, those who fear him, those who think he's a hero, and those who call him a monster.


Herc shows the monstrous side of heroism, where the gods sometimes feel like they've being used as a convenient excuse rather than the masterminds of Herc's trauma - and given their frequent appearances throughout the novel, their sudden absences when something goes terribly wrong is perhaps quite telling.


This is also the first of three stories I've read this spring featuring Atalanta as a character. I love the way ancient myths can be woven together and interpreted in different ways, creating endless new stories for readers to enjoy. I loved Herc and cannot recommend it enough.

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