Title: Secrets of Artemis
Author: C. K. Brooke
Review: The opening prologue to this book was great, it was written from the perspective of Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt basically telling us that what is to follow is the true account of her life not the lies that have been spread by mankind. Artemis tells us of her birth and what a wonderous thing it was with Artemis herself born fully grown who helped her mother deliver her twin brother Apollo. From the offset I enjoyed the frank writing style of this novel and I am a major sucker for Greek mythology and retellings.
In the first chapter Artemis clears up the misconception that she asked Zeus; her father for six wishes but rather he bestowed them upon her and only three did she actually desire. She also briefly takes about her chastity and how if she had been more aware of what it meant she wouldn’t have agreed to it at the time. Artemis feels guilty about her youth as she didn’t immediately take on her position as Goddess of the Hunt allowing humans to starve and die for years unknowingly in her name before she goes to her half-brother Hephaestus to craft her iconic bow and arrows. The book is written as if Artemis is talking to someone about her life which I enjoyed immensely as most novels I have seen like this aren’t written from a perspective like this.
One of my favourite scenes was when Artemis met Orion; son of Posiden for the first time, this is also her first time encountering someone of the opposite sex as Zeus has ensured her Chasity and surrounded her with only women for company. Artemis immediately feels an attraction to Orion and she greatly enjoys his company, especially when Orion shares his hunting secrets with her allowing Artemis to acquire greater skill and accuracy when hunting. As we past the 1/4 mark in the novel we begin to see Artemis in a different light, not the blood-thristy huntress she is portrayed as but as someone who only wants to help and protect others this is one of the main reasons she became the Goddess of childbirth and maiden; to protect them.
I loved learning more about Pan as well, after reading the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan I was fascinated with Pan especially as he is such an elusive character so it was nice to see an author flesh him out a bit more. We gradually begin to see a relationship although non-physical develop between Artemis and Orion, even though Apollo tries to drive a wedge between them telling Artemis lies about Orion’s past, and the tension seems to grow ever darker between the twin dieties. By the time we reach the half way point the novel, Apollo is once again interfering in Artemis’ life with Orion by bringing a man called Actaeon to her island in Crete. While she loves Orion she must first get rid of Actaeon who Apollo has made her new hunting partner, so sets him three tasks she considers impossible for any hunter. But to her surprise and disappointment Actaeon completed the first two tasks due to her unclear wording but she is quietly confident he won’t complete the third. In doing this Artemis is defying Zeus in bonding herself to Orion with the intent to take him as a husband in every sense the word.
While Actaeon completed Artemis’ tasks shows no favour towards him and secretly pines for Orion who left Crete for her safety although he does return. When comes back Artemis bolder and now refers to Orion as her lover, at one point they are caught by Actaeon who secretly lusts for the maiden goddess but she deals with him and he is never seen again making Artemis very happy but she knows sooner or later her brother will come back. When Apollo does return he sets Artemis a challenge a huntress to hit a target very far away, the target she hits turns out to be her love Orion and got her brother’s deceit she vanishes him from her island, she buries her lover with a vow to love another and even find him in the underworld when her time comes. By this point in the novel I was practically weeping for Artemis and her lost love Orion and was cursing Zeus for his selfish ways by imposing her chasity upon her.
Artemis soon learns the true joys and equal sadness that comes with womanhood especially when she cares for Atalanta, and this proves the Artemis would have been the perfect mother and caregiver if given the chance to be. As we reach the 3/4 mark in the novel, Artemis has returned to Crete and gained a new companion in Aura; the wind goddess, who unlike Artemis takes pride in her voluntary chasity and is slightly outraged at the fact that Artemis lays flowers on the grave of a man, but she doesn’t know what this particular man meant to the huntress. Things take a very sour turn when Aura implies that Orion raped Artemis to which she tells her the truth that she gave her maidenhood willingly to a man she loved and Aura wastes no time in going to tell Zeus who still boosts of her purity on Olympus.
Artemis soon sees the result of her rash decision by employing Nemesis’ justice when she learns that Aura was raped and is now pregnant with twins for questioning her honour even though Artemis knows she has none in these circumstances. I do feel sorry for Aura as she is driven mad by the loss of the thing she treasured the most and she even goes as far as killing one of her twins, Artemis luckily manages to get the second twin to Demeter who gratefully takes him in and gives him a home to call his own. Apollo despite all of his past mistakes comes through for Artemis and restores her heart but the challenge for her comes now in the form of telling her father that she is no longer chaste and has found a man with whom she wants to spend all her years.
Despite their fears everything works out well in the end and we also see the reasons behind the creation of the Orion constellation, and for the first time in many moons Artemis is truly happy with her new husband by her side although to have this she had to sacrifice any chance she had at motherhood but for him it is enough. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to see more from this series and author. I highly recommend this book to all who love Greek mythology and retellings. I loved this book and it definitely deserves the 5* rating.
This book was sent to me for review consideration by YA Bound Book Tours
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