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STONEBLIND by Natalie Haynes

‘There is one question that devours me still. Why didn’t I close my eyes?’

Medusa is the only mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her sisters, she quickly realizes that she is the only one who gets older, experiences change, feels weakness. Her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.

When desire pushes a God to commit the unforgivable, Medusa’s mortal life is changed forever. Her punishment is to be turned into a Gorgon: sharp teeth, snakes for hair, and a gaze that will turn any living creature to stone. Appalled by her own reflection, Medusa can no longer look upon anything she loves without destroying it. She condemns herself to a life of solitude in the shadows to limit her murderous range.

That is, until Perseus embarks upon a fateful quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon . . .

This is the story of how a young woman became a monster. And how she was never really a monster at all.

Title : Stoneblind
Authors : Natalie Haynes
Format : eARC
Page Count : 371
Genre : Greek Mythology Retelling
Publisher : Mantle Books
Release Date : September 15, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

Quippy narrative voice
Medusa linked the stories
Loved the godly insight

Stoneblind delivered so much more than my expectations. I was expecting a straight retelling of Medusa and while that was on the table, this story had multiple stories/characters/gods spinning off and then linking back up together. I thought how this was conceived and laid to page, was brilliant. Added to this was an irreverant, quippy narrative voice that made me smile and smirk at times; all that made me an early fan.

Some of my favourite characters were Medusa and her sisters, Hera (surprisingly), Zeus (just for the ego observation, not his behaviours) and Dictys. I thought Medusa’s individual story was well crafted and fresh through Natalie Hayne’s eyes. I particularly enjoyed the continuation of her narrative after meeting Perseus.

The way the greek gods were portrayed invited the reader to know them on a family-level which is something I’ve not read before. Hera and Athene’s irreverance to Zeus was brilliant to read. Of course, as you would expect there were the very gruesome and abusive behaviours from the male gods which was unpleasant to say the least but true to these mythologies.

Overall, this was a great greek mythology retelling and I’m such a fan of Natalie Haynes’ takes on this part of mythology/history.

Thank you to PanMacmilan for the eARC.

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