Hades' Daughter by Sara Douglass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Following the chronology of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History, Hades' Daughter follows Brutus and Cornelia as they travel to Albion to found a new Troy. But Ariadne has preceded them, and her granddaughter waits there to seduce Brutus in order to rebuild the labyrinth, founding Troia Nova on deceit, lust, and murder.
Douglass does a remarkable job of taking the bare-bones "history" from Geoffrey and fleshing it out, giving it life and humanity. Her version acts as a post-colonial history, revealing the true horrors perpetrated when Brutus and the Trojans arrive in Albion and conquer it; it's not nearly as sanitary as Geoffrey makes it sound, and Brutus is not the hero that Geoffrey makes him.
The fantasy aspect adds a great deal to the story, explaining why Troy and Atlantis fell, why Brutus left his home, why he went to Albion specifically, and what he did when he arrived. Douglass' Brutus lives up to his name as a nasty, rude, hypocritical man driven by lusts for flesh and power. No character is entirely blameless, but some are far more sympathetic than others. However, it's Brutus' jackassery that makes me give the book a 3 instead of 4; the entire novel is so frustrating because Brutus won't see what's right in front of him and insists on hurting everyone he touches.
Overall a great start to the series.
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