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I love a good mythology retelling, and Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati more than delivered! This is a beautifully written debut novel!

In Greek mythology, Clytemnestra is a Spartan Princess, Helen of Troy's sister, and Agamemnon's wife. Agamemnon has killed Clytemnestra's first husband and son and married her by force. He later manipulates Clytemnestra into sending their daughter to him under the guise of wanting to marry her off. Instead, he sacrifices their daughter to the gods for favorable winds as he sets sail for Troy and the 10-year Trojan War. Clytemnestra rules in Agamemnon's place for those ten years and plots her revenge and Agamemnon's death.

I was captivated by this atmospheric and vivid book as it looks deeper into the woman behind the notorious warrior-queen legend and tells the tale from her POV. It opens in Clytemnestra and Helen's youth just before they are married and shows how these women were raised to be warriors and how protective Clytemnestra is, which helps set the stage for understanding her later on. And Casati does a great job of letting us into Clytemnestra's grief, pain, and anger. She is depicted as an intelligent woman with motivations that make her feel human and is a character with nuance and depth. The world-building is fantastic and immersive, as is the depiction of these characters' complicated social and family ties. I cannot wait to read what Casati writes next!

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the opportunity to review this ARC. I loved it!

My steep was Goddess Green from Club Magic Hour Tea, a green tea and lemongrass blend with apricot and lychee flavors. One of my favorite green teas!


As for queens, they are either hated or forgotten. She already knows which option suits her best...

You were born to a king, but you marry a tyrant. You stand by helplessly as he sacrifices your child to placate the gods. You watch him wage war on a foreign shore, and you comfort yourself with violent thoughts of your own. Because this was not the first offense against you. This was not the life you ever deserved. And this will not be your undoing. Slowly, you plot.

But when your husband returns in triumph, you become a woman with a choice.

Acceptance or vengeance, infamy follows both. So, you bide your time and force the gods' hands in the game of retribution. For you understood something long ago that the others never did.

If power isn't given to you, you have to take it for yourself.

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