Sunday, August 18, 2013

Aphrodite’s Curse by Luciana Cavallaro Review by Ariesgrlreview, Guest REVIEWER


Aphrodite’s Curse is about a dynasty’s fall from grace, unrequited love and retribution.

A powerful family is brought to ruin, the consequences unforeseen and irreparable. The trouble begins with King Minos who asks the gods for a bull to be sacrificed so that he may become ruler of Kretos and surrounding lands. Poseidon sends him a gift of a white bull and instead of sacrificing it, King Minos keeps it. Poseidon is angry by his supplicant’s actions and as punishment glamour’s the king’s wife, Pasiphae to lust after the bull.

The story is told by Phaedra, Theseus’ wife, who witnesses first-hand, the rise and fall of her family. She grows up in a privileged environment, a princess and daughter of King Minos. From a very early age she knows the power her father wields, but is also aware his actions may have precipitated the misfortunes that followed. 

She reflects on the different and disturbing events from a detached perspective. Her tone can sometimes be one of a spoilt child, then at other times resigned and on occasion shows an uncanny insight. This retrospective musing comes from her sighting of Hippolytos, her husband’s son from a previous marriage. She falls in love with him and finds it difficult to contain this secret and eventually tells her nurse. 

Phaedra asks for Aphrodite’s help, even builds a temple, however Hippolytos spurns her advances. Shamed by her actions and by his revulsion, she poisons herself, leaving a letter to her husband writing that Hippolytos had raped her. 

The story ends with her death.

Aphrodite’s Curse Review

Phaedra has just poisoned herself with hemlock and with her last few breaths, she struggles to tell the world her family’s tale. Her family has seen many ups and downs, after all her father was King Minos and she is married to King Theseus. However her half-brother is what is known as the Minotaur and she has fallen for her husband’s son, Hippolytos. She pleads to the goddess, Aphrodite, in hopes that Hippolytos will return her advances. Unfortunately for her, he has pledged himself to the goddess, Artemis, and thus, poisoning is her only option.
Luciana Cavallaro demonstrates a powerful gift, when it comes to telling the lesser known tales of Greek Mythology. The narrator, Phaedra, comes from a powerful family and plays a small role in several ancient stories, yet in this book Cavallaro shares her side. Cavallaro provides a poetic balance between all of the various stories and characters, while giving just enough of an explanation so the readers understand. Fans of Greek Mythology must take notice Luciana Cavallaro, as they will quickly become life-long fans. Aphrodite’s Curse contains a few minor grammar errors, but the storyline flows with ease. This is definitely a must-read for everyone, even those that just want to get a taste of Greek Mythology.

Author BIO:

Luciana Cavallaro grew up in a small country town in Western Australia and moved to Perth to study teaching at university. After some years teaching teenagers, she decided it was time take some of her own advice and follow her dream.
Luciana has travelled extensively and since her first trip to Europe revisited her favourite destinations -- Greece and Italy -- the inspiration for her stories. 'Mythology and Ancient History has always been my passion and I want to share these wonderful legends.'
She is a self-professed lover of Homer.

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