Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Set in Stone: The Life and Death of Medusa by R.C. Berry

Set in Stone: The Life & Death of MedusaI recommend this to anyone who ever had an interest in Mythology in their school days. I remember being fascinated and when others in school whine and complained, I immersed myself in stories of Apollo, Zeus, and Athena, my favorite.

This is a cross between a historical novel and Mythology. Berry tells a story of Medusa very thoroughly and in an engaging manner. There's so much more to the "monster" than simply snakes for hair and the ability to turn men into stone. What made Medusa?

The novel tells of her birth from two sea monsters and why she was made beautiful and mortal. As a teenager she is as lovely as the goddess, Aphrodite. A trip to Mount Olympus sets her in the gods' sights. Three of them want her and two of them will see her dead before they are denied her. She becomes the latest "plaything."

Marble Greek copy signed "Antiokhos", a first century BC variant of Phidias' fifth-century Athena Promachos that stood on the Acropolis
Enter Athena, goddess of war and wisdom. She desires the beautiful Medusa just to spite Aphrodite and to have an amorous follower. 
Poseidon, the god of the sea and a known womanizer simply wants to bang her.

Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty simply wants her love and affection and sweet kisses.

Poseidon from Milos, 2nd century BCE (National Archaeological Museum of Athens)
They all want her, however, and only one can have her or none at all and a war of sorts ensues. Medusa is too naive to save herself. Athena ends up extremely angry thanks to something Poseidon does and Aphrodite attempts to save Medusa, but can undo all of the damage... and Medusa finds herself with snakes in place of her hair and a curse over her head. Every man she looks at will turn to stone. This is all fine and dandy when men begin coming to her exiled island to kill the new "monster," but when she wishes to have love with a young man who will literally follow her the ends of the earth, it's rather inconvenient.

So... Medusa is exiled and alone except for a lover she dare not look at and a surprise on the way... while men keep showing up to kill her... and Athena is still wanting her dead... and that's all I'm saying.

NAMA Aphrodite Syracuse.jpg
Minor annoyances: It could be an ebook malfunction, but there were dashes (-) in the middle of words when they had no business being there. This grew irritating at times as it occurred on almost every page. Ex: be-stowed, consort-ing, obvi-ously, ad-mired, and so on...

There was one instance when three young men entered Medusa's cave to kill her and this one fellow had a sword drawn one minute and the next minute was strangling her instead and drawing his sword again. ?

Deep thought: Who's the real monster here?

I received this from Touche Publishing.


  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to review my book, Tara! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  2. this book sounds lovely and fantastic! definitely putting it on my TBR!

  3. Thanks for the review. We're "friends" on Goodreads and I noticed it and clicked through. By the way, where did you get the great photos of Greek statues?

  4. I honestly don't remember. LOL