Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Five top classic retellings

Ilana C. Myer is the author of Last Song Before Night. One of her five favorite classic retellings, as shared at
The King Must Die by Mary Renault

It’s too on the nose to call Mary Renault a goddess, but The King Must Die is written in such a way as to seem divinely inspired. This rendition of the myth of Theseus is powered by some of the most exquisite writing I’ve ever encountered. From the origins of Theseus in his home village of Troizen, to his intrigues in the royal palace of Athens, and—most of all—to the maze of the minotaur on Crete, Renault immerses the reader fully in a world that feels grander and more real than our own. This is the essence of epic: To make what is past, and strange to us, take on overpowering life.

Renault writes utterly convincingly of the Minoans, about whom we know so little; of bull dances, of the splendor of Minos’s palace, of Theseus’s adventure at the heart of the maze. She took an immortal myth and from it made a book deserving of similar immortality, because it is that good.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue