Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review - Hera by Julien Longo

Hera: Book 1 of The Goddess Chronicles

TITLE:    Hera: Book 1 of The Goddess Chronicles
AUTHOR:    Julien Longo
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 291 pages
PUBLISHED:   Fire Raven Press, 2010
ISBN#:   978-1-45055-7528
HOW I GOT IT:   Received from the Author for Review

FROM GOODREADS:  In this series, Longo reinvents the Greek creation story, weaving a mystic tale that reveals the secret of how the Greek Gods and Goddesses came into being. It's a tale that embodies the rich tapestry of mysticism, and immortal love. In book one, Hera captivates readers with her life story when she discovers an immortal secret and a destiny she was born to fulfill.

MY TAKE:   To say that I love this book is way too tame and a BIG understatement.  Herawas amazing!  I have always enjoyed reading Greek mythology and reading about the Gods and Goddesses who inhabit those myths.  I really wasn't prepared by how much this book would blow me away.  I literally didn't put it down until I was finished.
The story of Hera is familiar to most readers who have sampled the Greek myths.  She is usually portrayed as the jealous and vindictive wife of Zeus.  THIS book tells us about Hera, the girl.  Hera the young, untrained priestess of the Emerald Temple.  It shows us the life she led and the people in that life who shaped the Hera that would come to rule.  You will recognize many of the players, but not necessarily the situations that they are in.  The author shows us the people behind the big, mythical names ~ Hecate, Zeus, Hades, Persephone, Aphrodite, etc.
Ms. Longo's style of writing really draws the reader in.  She makes you feel as if you are right there with Hera as she hunts the wild boar along her best friend and soulmate, Artemis - sister of Apollo.  You can feel Hera's heart beat faster when she spies the handsome Titan, Zeus.  Your fingertips burn too when Hera calls up the fire within her.  I just flat out LOVED this book.  
I haven't felt drawn into a story like this since I first read "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  In fact, the feeling of this initial book in the series is reminiscent of that most beloved Avalon saga.  Longo's story has that same texture and mystical quality that kept me completely immersed in that tale for quite a while.  Hera also celebrates the feminine without discounting the male.  The extensive research she undertook is very obvious in all of the elements of the story:  spirituality, herbology, Greek mythology, the Titans, geography, etc.  
I don't need a crystal ball to tell you that this book is going to be huge.  In fact, it would make an awesome epic movie.  I can't wait to read the next installment "Romancing the Dragon".  I wish I had it right now so I could continue reading well into the night. 
Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:
I did mention that I LOVED this book didn't I?

About the author:In writing the Goddess Chronicles, author Julien Longo drew heavily on her theological studies. She holds a M.A. in Humanities and Leadership, with an emphasis on Creation Spirituality, from New College of California. She has attended Squaw Valley Writers Community, and studied poetry with Lucille Clifton and Sharon Olds. When a life-changing injury forced her to leave her work in middle school education, she turned to the mystic traditions she had studied and put them into practice in order to cope with her illness, reclaim her life, and heal. Today, she teaches mystic practices and is the founder of Mystic Pie and The Healing Tribe. She lives in California.

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1 comment:

  1. Lovely review! New follower! Stop by and say hi if you get a chance-and check out my giveaway!


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