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Atalanta by Jennifer Saint

I bought this book together with Elektra, to read something from Greece mythology during my trip there. Atalanta is not a goddess but an ordinary human, born to the King of Arcadia. He was hoping for a son and left her as a baby on the mountainside. A mother bear takes care of her and raises her alongside her own cubs. All under the protective eye of the goddess Artemis.

As one can imagine she grows up to master survival in nature. Having a pleasant life with Artemis coming to visit from time to time, otherwise growing up under the watchful eyes of the nymphs.

She becomes a hunter, excels in running and survival skills. One day Artemis sends her on a quest. She is supposed to join Jason and his Argonauts on their quest for the golden fleece. When she sets out on her journey she discovers a very different world out there.

The novel retells the story of the Argonauts and their adventures as they are searching for the golden fleece. Atalanta, the only woman among men, has to show that she can be on the same level as they. As the journey proceeds, her skills come in handy when she discovers that the men can be easily fooled away from the path.

Although I liked the independent female character of Atalanta, I did not really take to her. The story was interesting, especially since I wanted to learn more about Jason and the Argonauts, but I did not find the search very exciting. A lack of engagement in the characters. However, the prose is beautiful and was enjoyable. I did like the ending which came as a great surprise.

As with Elektra the cover is gorgeous. My favourite story of Jennifer Saint is still Ariadne.

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