For the Immortal by Emily Hauser
If you’ve read my review of the previous book in this trilogy, For the Winner, you’ll know that I LOVE Emily Hauser’s writing of Greek myths from a female perspective. Seriously, I found out she is a lecturer of classics at Exeter university and began considering it to apply to!
For the immortal is the stunning conclusion to Hauser’s Golden Apple trilogy, following two viewpoints- Queen of the Amazons Hippolyta and Admete, a friend of Hercules. Admete’s brother becomes ill so she goes with Hercules to first visit the amazons, then to find a golden apple.
Hippolyta is bold and brave and powerful, plagued by a mysterious past which is slowly revealed. I enjoyed Hauser’s interpretation of the amazons, them being a nomadic society of men and women. When she is captured her loneliness, pride and shame are so vividly illustrated and her actions always for the best of her people. While I found Hippolyta’s viewpoint interesting, I personally preferred Admete’s. Through her eyes the reader sees Hercules change, from Admete’s closest friend to a jerk obsessed with chasing glory. Admete is not as obviously courageous as Hippolyta, yet she confronts someone from her past, travels with a group of men who don’t want her there and thrives among the Amazons while cultivating her skills in herb healing.
Hauser has a beautiful writing style, full of descriptions weaved into the fabric of the story and little details that make the scenes all the more immersive. The prose is breath-taking from the prologue, the vast amount of time covered never boring and the alliances of the capricious Greek gods fascinating.
The ending of the book, and therefore conclusion of the series, pulls the trilogy together in an unexpected way, linking them in ways I never foresaw. These unique interpretations of three well known myths weave gods, mortals and ancient Greek customs together, illustrating an alien world with vastly different customs in an accessible way. And there’s an epic final battle, so what more could you want?
Would I survive this book? No. I can’t live without a hot shower and lots of books. Not to mention freedom from being sold as a bride.