Athena’s Child by Hannah Lynn: A Book Review!

Hetty Monksea
3 min readFeb 2, 2022

I finished reading “Athena’s Child.” by Hannah Lynn a little while ago. I think that it is a book people should read. It is a story that has been told for centuries but now the the woman behind the gorgon is re-examined…

In this wonderfully-crafted book Hannah Lynn tells the sad and sorrowful tale of Medusa as all should know it. Nowadays when we hear the name Medusa we think of a monster or great evil gorgon with snakes for hair. Here we are shown the young woman behind the beast. Medusa was a girl growing up in Greece. She was famed for her beauty and men came from all over the country for her hand. Her father views all these men as predators and so takes Medusa off to the Temple of Athena.

Medusa became one of Athena’s priestesses and she helped to give people advice. However, one day Poseidon saw her and he, like many others before him, lusted after strong, feisty and captivating Medusa. At first he tried to woo her but his attempts fell short; Medusa was devoted to her goddess and would therefore chose to remain a virgin. Poseidon would not take no for an answer and so he cruelly raped Medusa inside Athena’s temple.

Athena was enraged and instead of doing anything to Poseidon she took her temper out on Medusa and turned her hair into snakes. Medusa fled back to her family home. Her two sister were so angry with Athena’s behaviour that they spoke against her. Athena then turns their hair into snakes too and the three of them fled to an island far from mankind…

The book cover.

Perseus, the son of Zeus (king of the gods), is born to Danaë but they are both cast to sea because Danaë’s father believes that Perseus will one day kill him. They live quite happily with Dictys and his wife Clymene until one day. Polydectes, the brother of Dictys, is rich and extravagant and he falls in love with Danaë. Perseus is tricked into agreeing to bring the severed head of the gorgon Medusa as a marriage present for his mother and Polydectes. Perseus knows that he will probably never return, after all, many have tried to kill the mighty gorgon before and they have all failed. However, he is a demigod and he has both Athena and Hermes on his side. Between the two deities Perseus is better equipped then he knows. When at last Perseus arrives at the gorgon’s island and makes his way into her lair his encounter isn’t quite as he’d planned…

I believe that Medusa’s story has been hidden in history and it is people like Hannah Lynn who help us see the light. She uses vivid description which entertained my senses while my mind got swept up in the gripping plot. Even though the story is centuries old, Lynn has creative a beautiful spin on it. A spin that sees Medusa as the true young woman she was until forced a monster by the gods. A story that tells of the dark and disturbing truth — a goddess’ wrath is a powerful and dangerous thing… I thoroughly enjoyed this book even if at sometimes it was terribly sad. At moments I wanted to scream “It’s not Medusa’s fault! It’s not her fault!”. I felt for Medusa through and through. Her life was a much burdened one but she dealt with it amazingly well.

I especially enjoyed the story because I think that Hannah Lynn created Medusa’s character really well. I felt that I could feel Medusa’s personality very strongly as if she was a real person and not just a mythological being. I’d give Hannah Lynn’s book five out of five stars! Also, the tale of Athena’s rage, has inspired me to write my own short story about another goddess’ temper which I will be posting here in the next few weeks…

Hetty Monksea

--

--

Hetty Monksea

A bookworm and cat/guinea pig lover. Writing a story... Follow me on Twitter/Pinterest/Substack: @ATaleofJourneys