Medea = epic epicness

'This is a book I didn't want to end.

I dreamed about the characters for days afterward.'

Our most-talented and totally wonderful Kerry Greenwood has been scoring a few brownie review points for Medea - the first in her Delphic Women trilogy.

From Australia's also-own Tansy Rayner Roberts, to the creator of Rizzoli and Isles, and some US magzine/ reviews the word is spreading.

Which is perfect in the lead-up to the July release of Cassandra - the second in the Delphic Women series.

Tansy Rayner Roberts - herself a dab hand with marvelous imaginary worlds - joined three friends who know a thing or two, to list their 50 Essential Epic Fantasies.

The rules were: they had to be books they had read; no more than one book or series from any author; and no collections or anthologies. The definition of 'essential' and 'epic fantasy was up to individual interpretation.

This is the link to Tansy's list and those of her fellow listers.

Her impression of Medea is below:

Medea, Kerry Greenwood "...let’s go back to the classical times of gods, monsters and a really DIFFERENT definition of the word ‘hero.’ Kerry Greenwood’s historical magic epic about Medea, which gives us a villainous but sympathetic and non-monstrous take on the famous witch, has so much to say about epic fantasy as a genre, and how it intersects with the epic hero stories of our cultural past. Not only Jason but Heracles and other famous mythological characters get stripped back to their mythical origins and re-examined with a hard eye, as does the historical tradition of Medea herself. Lovely stuff."

Tess Gerritsen visited Australia in 2011 and after her guest appearance at a Sisters in Crime Australia event in Melbourne, was given a copy of Medea by the publisher of Clan Destine Press.

Tess Gerritsen (yes the Tess Gerritsen) wrote:

I was given a copy of this book as a gift while on tour in Australia. I had never read anything by this author, but I was interested in the subject matter (the Medea and Jason myth) and wanted to see how the author would interpret it. I didn't expect anything extraordinary.

Boy, was I wrong.

From the very first paragraph, I was hooked. The story is gorgeously rendered, and even though I was already familiar with the tragic ending to the tale, I couldn't stop reading to see if Ms. Greenwood could possibly add any note of optimism to such a sad tale. Along the way, I met some favorite characters from Greek mythology, from Herakles (who's marvelously painted here as a crusty old hero with a heart of gold), the vain and unreliable Jason, the Amazon Atalante, and of course the passionate Medea, driven half-mad with desire, and later from grief. The tapestry is richly painted, the characters vividly three-dimensional, the tension (especially sexual) always compelling. Ms. Greenwood somehow manages to make every action by Medea perfectly believable, and in the end I deeply sympathized with this dark and complex character and wanted desperately for her to find a happy ending.

This is a book I didn't want to end. I dreamed about the characters for days afterward. How nice to know there are two more books in the trilogy.

Reviews from US Reviewers

"Greenwood offers interesting riffs on familiar figures of myth, and impressively buttresses her biggest departure from the usual story in a scholarly afterword. She also makes the most of the dramatic potential in the journey of the Argo through dangers that anticipate Odysseus’s perilous return home after the Trojan War. The Medea-centric sections serve as a welcome counterpoint to Robert Graves’s Hercules, My Shipmate." — Publishers Weekly starred review

"In the first volume of her 'Delphic Women' historical series set in ancient Greece, Greenwood has taken the ultimate dysfunctional mother and created a character of depth and complexity who betrayed and was betrayed, was lost and, ultimately, redeemed. Greenwood, a prolific and popular writer in her native Australia, is best known here for her humorous Phryne Fisher and Corrina Chapman mysteries. Readers who enjoy such literary reinterpretations of classical myths as Ursula Le Guin’s Lavinia or Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad will snap up Greenwood’s fresh take." — Library Journal starred review

"The well-known stories of Medea, Jason and the Argonauts are based on widely differing legends. Now it’s Medea’s turn to speak. Greenwood’s Medea is a priestess of Hecate and a princess of Colchis, in what will become the modern-day Republic of Georgia....The first of her three Delphic Women series to be available in the United States is an enthralling, sensual, tragic tale packed with historical detail." — Kirkus Reviews