Publishing Date: November 2018
Publisher’s Description: Having completed his first trials, Heracles learns that the shocking murder of his children was part of an evil plot, his mind brought to madness by some strange poison. To regain his honour, he must uncover the secret behind this terrible betrayal.
Review: This was an enjoyable read that takes the mythos of Heracles and turns him into an interesting character. Like the ancient Greek and Roman Gods, Heracles was also worshiped as a God, yet in this instance his qualities are all too human with a deep abiding sense of honor.
Where the novel veers from the original myth is minor. Hera drove Heracles mad, not mushrooms. In this novel his wife Megara is still alive, yet in the mythos he kills her, a daughter and a son (not three sons).
What was really good about this novel was the author’s ability to bring each of Heracles labor’s to life. There is a journey to complete the labor which creates movement and develops the characters and usually a confrontation or some form of resistance from those on which the labors derive. This is the authors creativeness at work where the intricacies of the mythos are developed and a more verdant story line is created.
It will be interesting to see whether Heracles side quests will be in the next installments. Cacus, Prometheus and Alcestis would be interesting in their own right as would finalizing the notion that Heracles sailed with Jason and the Argonauts to find the Golden Fleece.