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Publisher's Summary

A spellbinding reimagining of the story of Elektra, one of Greek mythology’s most infamous heroines, from Jennifer Saint, the author of the beloved international best seller Ariadne.

Three women, tangled in an ancient curse.

When Clytemnestra marries Agamemnon, she ignores the insidious whispers about his family line, the House of Atreus. But when, on the eve of the Trojan War, Agamemnon betrays Clytemnestra in the most unimaginable way, she must confront the curse that has long ravaged their family.

In Troy, Princess Cassandra has the gift of prophecy, but carries a curse of her own: No one will ever believe what she sees. When she is shown what will happen to her beloved city when Agamemnon and his army arrives, she is powerless to stop the tragedy from unfolding.

Elektra, Clytemnestra, and Agamemnon’s youngest daughter, wants only for her beloved father to return home from war. But can she escape her family’s bloody history, or is her destiny bound by violence, too?

©2022 Jennifer Saint (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Elektra

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Fall Of The House Of Atreus

It’s been about a year since we got Jennifer Saint’s “Ariadne”. In that time we’ve gotten Stephen Fry’s “Troy”, Pat Barker’s “The Silence Of The Girls” sequel titled “The Women Of Troy”, and Natalie Haynes’ “Pandora’s Jar”. And with Madeline Miller’s “Persephone” on the horizon It’s seemingly becoming more and more difficult to stand out amongst these other modern reinterpretations of the Greek myths. Nevertheless, Jennifer Saint delivers yet another stellar entry with her novel “Elektra”.
I said in my review for “Ariadne” that I next hoped to see Saint tackle the story of one of the more classically “villainous” women of Greek Mythology like Medea or Medusa. I really wanted to see how she’d write someone that the myths have often depicted as evil or wicked. Zeus must have been listening because in “Elektra” we get Saint’s take on the titular Elektra, as well as Cassandra, and my personal favorite part of this story: Clytemnestra. It’s SO interesting to see what she does with Clytemnestra in particular because despite being one of the more famously villainous women of Greek mythology, it’s shockingly easy to sympathize with and root for her. Queen Clytemnestra was famously married to an absolute dog of a man; Agamemnon. The same Agamemnon who lured their daughter to an island under false pretenses, sacrificed her for fair winds, and then proceeded to murder, torture, or enslave the entire city of Troy. It is not difficult to sympathize with and root for Clytemnestra in the same way we root for Arya Stark in “Game Of Thrones” or Beatrix Kiddo in “Kill Bill” . Yet far too often Clytemnestra is the personification of the “evil wife” in Greek mythology, rivaled in infamy only by Medea. In “Elektra” Saint gives her a voice at last and I relished getting the chance to hear her side.
Through Jennifer Saint’s “Elektra” we get some new and very novel takes on all the women of the Oresteia. Elektra, Cassandra, and Clytemnestra all get their say and finally get to tell us their stories as they see it. Seeing the fall of the house of Atreus as it crumbles from the inside is so compelling I just couldn’t put it down. While there are some difficult passages and moments (Agamemnon is famously a total bastard) I think it’s a pretty rewarding read. It’s certainly entertaining and very competently written. While I still think the authors of “Circe”, “A Thousand Ships”, “Troy”, and “The Silence Of The Girls” are on the Mount Rushmore of great modern retellings of Greek myth/The Trojan War, “Elektra” is a worthy entry from a very talented writer. She only gets better and I genuinely can’t wait to see what we get from her next!

If you enjoyed “Elektra” as much as I have and are looking for something similar definitely check out the BBC production of “The Oresteia” on audible. I’d also recommend the books “A Thousand Ships” and “Pandora’s Jar” by Natalie Haynes or “House Of Names” by Colm Toibin. You should also check out “The Witch’s Heart” by Genevieve Gornichec or “The Wolf’s Den” by Elodie Harper.

10 people found this helpful

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A gripping tragedy with an ensnaring performance

I love Jennifer Saint's writing. Her writing winds you on a thread into the spool of her stories. This book is no exception. Her first book Ariadne had an incredible premise, but I wasn't a fan of the ending, which was hopeless and sad. In her new book Elektra, she still uses the medium of a tragedy to tell her story, and while the ending isn't a bright one, there's enough hope to satiate my cravings for a hero's redemption at the end of a story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 05-10-22

Great Story!

I was thrilled when I saw this title come out, as I had loved Jennifer Saint’s “Ariadne”. I found this book to be quite easy to listen to and enjoyed the story.

I found Clytemnestra’s grief for the loss of her daughter to be extremely palpable and touching. I’m not a mother myself, but I was brought to tears at Clytemnestra’s pain at the loss of her child. Her grief turned anger was so flawless that I found it quite hard to not sympathize with her.

Overall great read and would recommend for anybody that loved “Ariadne”, as well as anybody who enjoys Madeline Miller :)

1 person found this helpful

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Elektra is is worst

Love the book! Great story but goodness Elektra is such a stupid girl. You watch her create her own misery over and over (true to the myths). I almost dislike the book bc of how terrible she is, very well written.

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New perspective

I loved the three protagonists and this new perspective and all the themes brought up here that maybe wouldn’t be considered if it were told from other pov. The voice of Elektra was really worth listening to.

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Title

I loved the different perspective and the glimpse into the real trauma suffered by the legendary women and ignored. I found Electra to be insufferable but that characterisation itself led even more credence to the sadness of Clytemnestra

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Vengeance is mine sayeth the sister.

Six word summary. Great story... Greek tragedy at its best. I love mythology and the lessons.

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Elektra is true evil.

Thank god it’s over shouldn’t be the first words you say after reading a book. I had high hope that this book would make elektra a more sympathetic character. But no I have always thought Agamemnon to be the most evil character in Greek mythology but after this I have no doubt it’s Electra. SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT. Any character that would say that Cassandra is lucky to be raped because it was by her father, Wishing it was her who got to be with him, and that her sister was lucky to have her throat cut because she got held to his chest is disgusting. I don’t thing I’ve ever hated a character more or seen a bigger hypocrite. Talking down to her only friend and treating him like trash because he is beneath her. And of course leave him as soon as he’s not useful to her to literally shack up with her cousin because he makes her think of her dad. Such a spoiled revolting character. It will make you sick to your stomach.

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Okay but not great

The narration was good but at times it was confusing. The different narrators helped but multiple chapters started out with the character speaking as I and took a minute to tell whether it was Elektra, Cassandra or Clytanesta speaking. The story seemed to drag on with everytime Elektra speaking she had to lament either how great her father was or that her mother killed him. Pretty much all her dialogue was this. Same with Clytanstra in the second half of the book. And with Cassandra recounting her attack by Apollo. And for much of this book it seemed to be Clytansetra's story not Elektra's. I much preferred the authors Ariadne book.

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Nauseated by language

The way things are spoken and words chosen to describe most things, from pregnancy to murder, makes my stomach churn. I think it’s a mix of the accents of narrators and the words chosen by the author. I’m just glad it’s over