Stone Blind: Medusa’s Story by Natalie Haynes
Medusa is the only mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her sisters, she quickly realises that she is the only one who gets older, experiences change, feels weakness. Her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.
When desire pushes a God to commit the unforgivable, Medusa’s mortal life is changed forever. Her punishment is to be turned into a Gorgon: sharp teeth, snakes for hair, and a gaze that will turn any living creature to stone. Appalled by her own reflection, Medusa can no longer look upon anything she loves without destroying it. She condemns herself to a life of solitude in the shadows to limit her murderous range.
That is, until Perseus embarks upon a fateful quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon . . .
This is my first Haynes book but I have been wanting to read one of her books for ages, hence why I have so many of her books on my TBR pile. However, what made me choose this book first was because I have always had rather a soft spot for Medusa. Medusa in my opinion is extremely badly treated for something that is not her fault. Like a lot of females in Ancient Greek mythology they quite often are treated unfairly.
The thing I really liked about this book is that it covers the whole of Medusa’s life, right from when she is a new born baby to the inevitable conclusion. I loved how when Stheno and Euryale found their mortal infant sister they knew that it was their job to look after and care for Medusa. This meant the two sisters had to learn to farm sheep for milk and wool to feed and clothe Medusa. They had to watch mortals to learn how to look after Medusa. The two sisters love Medusa without question and will do anything to protect her.
Medusa grows up knowing only love and safety from her sisters. She doesn’t see her sisters as monsters but as beautiful women who love her. This means that Medusa loves even those she doesn’t know and doesn’t see beauty as only skin deep but what is inside people.
The other element I loved was how Haynes had written Perseus. I have always found Perseus to be rather a pompous arse and Haynes obviously agrees because that was how she had created Perseus. The Gods were also brilliantly written especially Zeus.
This book was a really good read and I will definitely be reading more of my Haynes books soon. The only issue I had was that at times I found the storyline dragged slightly but overall I loved the book. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons.
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About the author
Natalie Haynes, author of THE FURIES (THE AMBER FURY in the UK), is a graduate of Cambridge University and an award-winning comedian, journalist, and broadcaster. She judged the Man Booker Prize in 2013 and was a judge for the final Orange Prize in 2012. Natalie was a regular panelist on BBC2’s Newsnight Review, Radio 4’s Saturday Review, and the long-running arts show, Front Row. She is a guest columnist for the The Independent and The Guardian. Her radio series, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, was first broadcast in March 2014.