This story is not about Medusa. This is a story about Medusa’s sisters; and they have their own stories to tell.
Medusa’s Sisters by Lauren J. A. Bear is a retelling of the stories of the gorgons, the gods, and humanity during Ancient Greek times, but with a little spin. This story is not about the legendary Medusa. This story is about her sisters, Stheno and Euryale.
From their birth, these triplets became a part of each other’s fates, the good and the bad. They are not monsters born from Titans. They are born with the same shape as humans and the gods of Olympus. Only Medusa is mortal, while her sisters are immortal.
Stheno, the eldest, is their protector. Euryale, the middle child, is just a woman yearning to fall in love and to live in the world of the gods. Medusa, the youngest, is the one everyone loves.
As the sisters watch the devastation of Pandora’s jar to Zeus creating humans over and over again until he gets it right, they one day decide to join the world of the humans in Thebes. After Thebes, it’s Athens.
It is in the land of Athena that they meet their doom of not only Medusa’s demise, but their own. All three sisters turn into gorgons. This is where the true tale of Stheno and Euryale begin.
They watch as Perseus takes the head of their sleeping Medusa, unable to stop him. They witness Pegasus and Chrysaor emerge from her decapitated body. After Medusa’s death, Stheno and Euryale continue to live on their island of Sarpedon. This is where they plot their revenge.
If you are like me, you probably know the Clash of the Titans version of Medusa’s story. I did not know she had sisters who were also turned into gorgons after Poseidon raped Medusa on the altar of Athena’s temple. Nor did I know that Medusa was pregnant with Poseidon’s children and Pegasus was a result of that rape (or that Pegasus had a twin).
Also, I did not know that Orion is the son of Euryale and Poseidon. In other words, I learned a lot from this retelling. I fact checked a lot of the elements in the story I did not know about, and those facts checked out. Hollywood really changed the story of Medusa, and I am not OK with that.
Medusa’s Sisters vindicates Medusa and her sisters. They are the victims. This book uses the actual myth from the original stories, and it does not stray too far from it. I do like, though, the one change where the sigil of Medusa’s face on Athena’s shield isn’t meant to be looked at as Athena honoring Medusa. It is meant for the goddess to remember what she did to their sister. Euryale painted the sigil onto Athena’s shield so she would remember how she had destroyed the woman she loved, all because she thought Medusa betrayed her.
Within this story, is the story of Orion and his dog Sirius. Oh, how I loved their story. I loved the tale of a boy and his dog. The tears were flowing when Orion was killed and then the gods chose to honor him and Sirius by placing them in the stars above Sarpedon, so Euryale could see them every night. [I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.]
Even in great tragedy, there is beauty. In sorrow, we find healing, even from our own enemies. This book is a wonderful tale of sisterhood, motherhood, and family. It is a story of love, hope, and strength.
For those who love tales of Ancient Greece, you will definitely enjoy this story.[DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for purposes of a book review on this site. My opinions are my own, and are in no way influenced by the publisher. Should you choose to purchase the book or the movie through one of the links in this post, I will receive a commission from the sale at no additional cost to you.]