Review: Stone Blind

Title: Stone Blind
Author: Natalie Haynes
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mythology
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: February 7, 2023
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

A fresh take on the story of Medusa, the original monstered woman.

They will fear you and flee you and call you a monster. 

The only mortal in a family of gods, Medusa is the youngest of the Gorgon sisters. Unlike her siblings, Medusa grows older, experiences change, feels weakness. Her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.

When the sea god Poseidon assaults Medusa in Athene’s temple, the goddess is enraged. Furious by the violation of her sacred space, Athene takes revenge–on the young woman. Punished for Poseidon’s actions, Medusa is forever transformed. Writhing snakes replace her hair and her gaze will turn any living creature to stone. Cursed with the power to destroy all she loves with one look, Medusa condemns herself to a life of solitude.

Until Perseus embarks upon a fateful quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon…

In Stone Blind, classicist and comedian Natalie Haynes turns our understanding of this legendary myth on its head, bringing empathy and nuance to one of the earliest stories in which a woman–injured by a powerful man–is blamed, punished, and monstered for the assault. Delving into the origins of this mythic tale, Haynes revitalizes and reconstructs Medusa’s story with her passion and fierce wit, offering a timely retelling of this classic myth that speaks to us today.


Medusa was the youngest Gorgon sister, and the only mortal one. After Poseidon attacks her in Athene’s temple, Athene takes revenge on Medusa by turning Medusa’s hair into snakes and making her gaze turn anyone who she looks at into stone. Meanwhile, Perseus is the son of Zeus and a mortal woman. When a king threatens to steal Perseus’s mother and marry her, Perseus is given a quest to save his mother by bringing the king the head of a Gorgon. Perseus goes blindly on the quest to get the head of Medusa, the only mortal Gorgon. 

Medusa was always portrayed as a villain and monster in Greek mythology. However, this story shows how she was a victim of the Gods. She was attacked by Poseidon, then punished by Athene, who later helped Perseus behead her. Everything that happened to Medusa was done to her, making her a victim, not a monster. 

Though this book tells a tragic story, there was also a lot of humor. The humor was often in the banter between the Gods, which usually contradicted each other or made them look silly and petty. This story was focused on the women’s stories. Each chapter was from the perspective of one of the female characters. This was refreshing because history is often through a male lens. 

Stone Blind is a fantastic, entertaining story. 

Thank you HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy of this book.

What to read next:

Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes

Have you read Stone Blind? What did you think of it?


Review: Athena: Goddess of Wisdom and War

Title: Athena: Goddess of Wisdom and War
Author: Imogen Greenberg and Isabel Greenberg (illustrations)
Genre: Children’s, Mythology
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 22, 2021
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

A spunky, feminist take on the myth of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, and courage

From the moment she sprung from Zeus’s head, Athena was extraordinary. Even though some doubted her as a young goddess, Athena never backed down from a fight. Poseidon wants to be the patron god of a nearby city? Well, so does Athena! And she’s going to outwit him and found Athens. Perseus doesn’t know how to defeat Medusa? No problem! Athena can give him the knowledge (and shield) he needs to take off her head. Odysseus is lost at sea, seemingly doomed? Not anymore! Athena can get him home. Follow the goddess of wisdom through her adventures with gods and mortals, discover the perils of crossing her, and see how she eventually learned to better understand and aid the human race.


Athena was a Greek goddess who was born from Zeus’s head. From the moment she was born, she was ready to fight. She was often underestimated because she was a young goddess. However, she was able to hold her own against the gods. Athena defeated her uncle Poseidon to become the patron of Athena. She helped demigods on their quests. She even fought alongside the warriors in the Trojan War and guided Odysseus home. Athena was a strong and determined goddess.

The short stories in this illustrated children’s book show some of the most important moments in Athena’s life. She sometimes got in trouble with her father for meddling in the lives of humans, but she was also clever in finding ways to save people from their mistakes. When the Trojan War was getting out of hand, she persuaded the Greeks to make a large horse to sneak into the city of Troy. Some of these classic images from Greek mythology, such as the Trojan horse and Medusa’s head, came from Athena’s creativity.

Athena is a fun book to introduce children to Greek mythology.

Thank you Amulet Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Ancient Greeks by Isabel Greenberg, Imogen Greenberg

Marie Curie and her Daughters by Imogen Greenberg, Isabel Greenberg

Have you read Athena: Goddess of Wisdom and War? What did you think of it?

Review: Mortals and Immortals of Greek Mythology


Title: Mortals and Immortals of Greek Mythology
Author: Françoise Rachnuhl, Charlotte Gastaut
Genre: Children’s, Mythology
Publisher: Lion Forge
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

In Greek myths, extraordinary men and women are distinguished from other mortals: they are the heroes. Sometimes helped by the gods and sometimes hindered, they perform extraordinary exploits of strength, bravery, or intelligence. Jason, Theseus, Helen, Achilles, and Atalanta are among these mythical figures. The stories of the Greek mortals and immortals, and their legendary exploits, tower as tall now as they have for thousands of years! Alternately rivals or allies, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, Artemis, Apollo, and Dionysus form a restless family, which Zeus sometimes has trouble appeasing. But the king of the gods is far from irreproachable himself! Join these twelve gods at the top of Olympus, where they will give you all their secrets, even the most incredible ones. Never have these classic stories of Greek gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, been so sumptuously illustrated. All your favorites are here, but this beautiful art and design will make you want to learn their stories all over again.


I love Greek mythology. I would have loved this book when I was a kid. My first introduction to Greek mythology was reading the book series Dolphin Diaries, where the dolphin was named after Apollo.

This book was filled with short origin stories of the Greek gods. They were each just a few pages long and told the most exciting stories about them. There were also some important mortals included at the end of the book including Jason, Achilles, Theseus, Helen and Atalanta.

I loved the way the stories were simplified for children to read. I found it funny when the male gods were described as having “adventures” which ended in them having children. It was a euphemism for when they would assume a mortal form and seduce a woman, but I found it funny to call them adventures.

I enjoyed this book. It’s a great guide to Greek mythology for young kids.

What to read next:

  • Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli

  • The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan


Have you read Mortals and Immortals of Greek Mythology? What did you think of it?

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No Bullshit Guide to World Mythology

Title: Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No Bullshit Guide to World Mythology
Author: Cory O’Brien
Genre: Humour, Mythology
Publisher: TarcherPerigree
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Rating: ★★★★★

My favourite courses in university were my Greek mythology classes. I find those stories fascinating. Cory O’Brien loves myths too, so he retells a variety of world myths in this collection. He covers everything from Greek to Hindu to Chinese to Native American myths. He even discusses “American” myths, which are the stories of the founding of the United States.

This book is hilarious. He tells each story in a blunt way, though the general story is correct. He draws attention to the promiscuous acts of Zeus in Greek mythology and the gold loving dwarves in Norse mythology.

Though O’Brien makes fun of the absurdity of these myths, in the conclusion he is more serious. The mythologies of different cultures have a lot in common. They all have a creation myth and a myth where the gods destroy the humans on earth. It’s amazing how these cultures that are so distant in geography and in beliefs can have the same plots in their mythologies.

I loved this book. It is quite explicit at times, but the myths are very funny. I really enjoyed it!