The Fantasy Review’s Spoiler-Free Review of Ithaca (The Songs of Penelope #1) by Claire North.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a review copy of this book in return for an honest review.
It seems that retellings of Greek mythology are very popular at the moment, with so many books coming out covering some of our favourite tales in new ways. Ithaca by Claire North might just be one of the best of this genre.
Ithaca is a retelling of the Odyssey that focuses on Penelope and the women around her. This feminist retelling of this story is told from the perspective of Hera, showcases the talents, flaws, and vibrant personalities of the women in Ithaca.
It is written beautifully, with Claire North’s writing seeming to improve with every book she writes! There seems to be no sentence going to waste, with word choices being picked carefully, and paragraphs revealing much of a character’s soul, in addition to moving the plot along and conveying themes and atmosphere… I could gush about North’s writing style for hours!
The only negative I can think of is it took me a while to get stuck in the story. Penelope was hard to get a read on initially, and I felt like I had to push through some of the introduction to get to the good stuff. However, I think it was worth the effort!
Overall, I really enjoyed Ithaca and look forward to the next book in the series, House of Odysseus.