Monday, July 9, 2012

Spotlight and Book Review for Medusa A Love Story by Sasha Summers

Hello Muses and Fallen Friends,

     Today I have the pleasure of hosting author Sasha Summers whose book, Medusa: A Love Story, is featured on the blog today. When I saw the lovely cover for this book, the title, and being a fan of all things Greek and mythological, I knew I couldn't resist the chance to read this. Well let me just tell you that I was not disappointed. I had never seen a story where Medusa was portrayed in the way Ms. Summers did in this one. I didn't know what to expect. In the end, I was very satisfied. I'll go into more detail on why that was when I review the book at the end of this spotlight.

The Story and A Super Cool Book Trailer

Medusa A Love Story
By Sasha Summers


It's said love can change a person. Medusa wasn't always a monster...

Medusa is ruled by duty, to her Titan father and the Goddess Athena. She's no room for the tenderness her warrior guard, Ariston, stirs. When Olympus frees her from service, her heart leads her into the arms of the guard she loves... and curses her as the creature with serpent locks.

Ariston goes to war with a full heart... and dreadful foreboding. He learns too late of the danger Medusa faces, alone, and a Persian blade sends him into the Underworld. But death, curses, nor the wrath of the Gods will keep him from returning to her.

Poseidon will use Greece's war to get what he wants: Medusa. He does not care that she belongs to another. He does not care that she will be damned. He is a God, an Olympian, and she will be his.

"This tragic and beautiful retelling of one of the world's oldest stories tackles the eternal battle between duty and happiness. Medusa, A Love Story broke my heart then filled in the cracks with joy. Sasha Summers is simply a mesmerizing new talent."  ~Stephanie Dray, Author of the critically acclaimed Song of the Nile


     “You asked for an audience, you have it. Now tell me, where do you belong?” Hades’ voice was deep, emotionless.
            Ariston swallowed. “Athens.” He met Hades’ gaze, but the God revealed nothing to him.
“Why? You died with honor and glory. Is that not what every soldier wants?” 
            “My wife…” His voice wavered.
Hades brow lifted slightly. “Lives. You do not.”
            “She is in danger.”
            “Earthly danger. She is no longer your concern, Ariston.”
            “The danger she faces is not earthly, but far from it…” Ariston’s voice was hoarse, his desperation mounting. He took a wavering breath before he began again. “She is everything to me. I am proud of my death, but it means nothing if she is in peril. I must know.” Ariston kneeled. “I beg you. I beg you to return me to Athens.”
            Ariston waited, willing himself to be strong.
            “Who is this wife?” Hades asked.
            “Medusa of Athens.” He paused. “Now of Rhodes.”
            Hades was silent, his dark blue eyes regarding him steadily.
            “When I die—” Ariston began.
            “You are dead,” Hades assured him.
“When I return…die again, I would serve as guardian to Tartarus. I am a skilled warrior, a skill I might offer you.” He spoke with confidence.
            “You vex me,” Hades muttered, the slightest crease appearing between his eyes. “You offer this to me for a woman?”
            Ariston nodded. “She is worthy.”
Hades was silent again, his eyes shifting to the blue-white flames in the massive
“My words do not…adequately express the love I have for this woman. But I cannot leave her. She is at risk. I must return.” The words came without thought. How could he justify such emotion to a God who reviled affection or companionship? “As Olympus has my arm and sword, she has my heart – a mortal, and perhaps weak, heart.”
The room was silent for too long. He would have to fight his way out…
            “It is a weakness not reserved for mortals alone, Ariston of Rhodes.” Hades’ words were so soft Ariston feared they’d not been spoken. But Hades continued, strong and clear. “I will return you to your ship so that you may lead your men to victory. Too many have fallen from this war and I would see it end. When that is done, you may go to your wife.” He paused then added, “When you return to my realm, I will have your fealty.”
            The God of the Underworld, Lord of Death, gave him mercy? Mayhap there was one God he might serve with honor. 
Ariston vowed, “You have it.”

About the Author 

Sasha Summers is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, and travel. It's no surprise that her books visit times past, set in places rich with legends and myth. Her first play, 'Greek Gods and Goddesses' (original title, right?), was written for her Girl Scout troupe.

She's been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she's doing so.

Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

Sasha is an active member of RWA and several Texas Chapters. A self-proclaimed movie-addict, she is full of all sorts of useless movie tidbits and trivia.

Facebook Author Page:

Twitter: @sashawrites

On to the Book Review...

Medusa: A Love Story Review

First off, I want to say that I'm happy to see a story of Greek mythology with a twist. Let us take our hats off and offer a bow to Ms. Summers for her astoundingly beautiful story.

Plot style: character driven

Medusa, a gorgon and high priestess of Athena, has been assigned the protection of soldier Ariston to take her back to her homeland. Along the way Ariston becomes enamored by Medusa's beauty and ultimately falls in love with her, an action forbidden among the Greek culture. Medusa, who is one of the three gorgon daughters of titans Ceto and Phorcys, has also become the subject of debate and conflict among the gods. Where Poseidon wants her for one cause, to be his wife, Athena wants her to remain her priestess. Ultimately Zeus sides with Poseidon and agrees that Medusa will be his wife. Well, this ticks Athena off, but as the gods generally tend to do, she came around and offered her support, releasing Medusa from the restrictions of her duties as a priestess right away. Athena gives her two days to enjoy her freedom before she is to return to the temple to receive her “gift”. Well this action sets off the rest of what turns out to be a pretty tragic love story throughout the remainder of the book. But what sets Ms. Summers version of Medusa apart from the rest (besides some stunning and well written visuals) is her version of how those creepy snakes wound up turning people to stone. If you are a fan of Clash of the Titans, then you will not want to miss what happened before Perseus made his way to Medusa’s home.

**small spoiler alert**

Things that worked for me:

1-Poseidon as the jealous, lustful douche of the story instead of Zeus who usually takes on the role of lustful male without a cause in these stories. 

2-the lush descriptions of Greece and the time period. I felt as if I'd  been transported into another time. The imagery was handled well by Ms. Summers. Cultural details such as religious ceremonies, schooling, war strategy, and even food were handled with meticulous detail.

3- the unique approach to the Greek myth of the gorgons which consists of Medusa and her sisters.  We always hear about men being turned to stone by Medusa's ugly mug. You know, the stories that describe her as a woman with the snake hair? I've not ever come across a story where Medusa was the beauty in the tale.

4-This wasn't a slick attempt to rip off any of Rick Riordan's novels as a few of the other Greek mythology based stories out there tend to do.

5-well-developed secondary characters that did a fine job of advancing the important elements in the story. 

Things that caused me a bit of stress:

To be honest, there wasn't much at all about this story that caused me to start chewing up my nail beds. I thoroughly enjoyed it and read it in two days. The only complaint I had was that there were a few places where I had no idea what some of the terms meant. That sent me to the google or wiki site a few times and took me out of the story. Other than that, I was pleased with what I read.

Overall, Medusa was an excellent read just as I hoped it would be. The cover is gorgeous and the story inside the pages is well-written. If you decide to venture through this tale, you’ll find: fickle gods and goddesses that cause enough trouble for our main characters to last throughout a lifetime, wars, and ceremonies…an authentic Greek experience. With overly ambitious parents and step parents, and a goddess-mentor who turned out to be the bi-polar poster child for the goddesses, poor Medusa didn't stand a chance. If you enjoy old fashioned style romances where the couple is dedicated to each other and where the man isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, then you'll enjoy Medusa. I believe the proper terms would be heroic and honorable. I'd recommend this one to lovers of romance, Greek mythology, and even those who love medieval-based fantasy.

My rating: 4.5 wings:


Sasha Summers said...

I'm so happy you enjoyed Medusa,A Love Story! 4.5 wings! Awesome :)
I sincerely appreciate your time reading and reviewing the book!

Braine Talk Supe said...

O've seen tjis and I too would like to read this. Love greek myth & Medusa's is both tragic and compelling

KaSonndra Leigh said...

Hi Sasha and Braine,

Yes! 4.5 wings. I don't hand out that many wings too often. LoL. I love Greek mythology and this one really stuck with me after I finished reading. Great job.

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