For the Immortal by Emily Hauser
Year Published: 2018
#3 in the Golden Apples trilogy
TW: Violence, rape
Thousands of years ago, in an ancient world where the gods control all and heroes fight to have their names remembered down the ages, two extraordinary women become entangled in one of the greatest heroic tales of all time . . . and must face how much they are willing to risk for immortality.
Desperate to save her dying brother, Admete persuades her father, the king of Tiryns, to let her join Hercules on one of his legendary twelve labours. Travelling to the renowned female warrior Amazons in search of a cure, Admete soon discovers that both Hercules and the fearsome Amazons are not as they first seemed.
The Amazons greet the arrival of the Greeks with mixed feelings – and none more so than Hippolyta, the revered queen of the tribe. For Hercules and his band of fighters pose a threat to her way of life – but also stir up painful memories that threaten to expose her deepest secret.
As battle lines are drawn between the Greeks and the Amazons, both women soon learn the inevitable truth – in war, sacrifices must be made; especially if they are to protect the ones they love most. (Synopsis from GoodReads)
Why I was interested:
For the Immortal is a retelling of Hercules, Theseus and Amazons myth from point of view of Admete and Hippolyta.
What I liked:
World building: Emily Hauser is a Classicist and has studied the ancient world extensively, especially Greek history and culture. This was apparent in the overall world building, such as the religion, culture and social structures of both the Greeks and the Amazons, which was fascinating.
What I disliked:
Setting descriptions: I didn’t care much about the setting, so I kind of glossed over those parts. The descriptions took up a lot more time than was necessary. I would have been happier if we spent more time focusing on the characters or plot.
Writing: The writing was in need of editing. The author used words that were completely erroneous. Like ‘essaying’ instead of ‘assaying’ medicines. Or ‘insurrection’ instead of ‘insubordination’ when Admete questions Hercules’ decisions. And some of the sentences are way too long, with a million commas, so, by the end, I’d have to go all the way back, right to the beginning, to read the sentence, in its entirety, or in parts, all over again, in order to understand what the hell was said. I just glossed over these parts in the end.
Overall I found For the Immortal average. While some elements were great, others weren’t. The plot was interesting. The two main characters were engaging. I just wish I’d read the first two in the series, because while most of the novel was a standalone, some parts following the gods were apparently carried over from previous novels.