Atalanta by Jennifer Saint

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Atalanta by Jennifer Saint

By Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

Atalanta by Jennifer Saint

Atalanta by Jennifer Saint is published with Wildfire Books and is described as ‘the mesmerising story of the only female Argonaut’. Did you know that there was a female Argonaut? I certainly didn’t, so I was only too delighted to find out more about this brave and courageous individual.

Atalanta, on birth, had her destiny marked out for her. Her father wanted a son so, in his disappointment, he left her fate to nature and cast her out on a mountain top. This practice of infant exposure was a thing apparently at the time! Left near a cave by a forest, Atalanta was ‘rescued’ by a mother bear, suckled as one of her own and reared in the woods to a young age.

Artemis, the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and vegetation and of chastity and childbirth (Ref Britannica), came for Atalanta. Taking her under her wing, Artemis protected Atalanta.

‘It was Artemis who had come for me, I would discover, and it was to her sacred grove that she had taken me. Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, to whom the forest and all its inhabitants belonged. We all fell under her silvery gaze, we all bowed to her might, from the worms slithering in the earth to the howling wolves. The forest of Arcadia shimmered with her power.’

After some time Artemis could see that, although mortal, Atalanta had traits beyond the normal. She was fearless, extremely fast with incredible strength and stamina and she was loyal. With the protection and encouragement of Artemis, Atalanta sought out Jason in order to join his fleet of heroes on the Argo in search of The Golden Fleece. As the only female, she was initially belittled and scoffed at but as their adventure progressed, Atalanta proved herself a worthy warrior and drew praise from unlikely quarters. Always an outsider in the company of men, Atalanta had sworn to celibacy as per the ways of Artemis but, as time passed she found herself in more than one uncompromising situation. She was oft-times divided in her allegiance to Artemis and her heart, neither ever to be in agreement.

Atalanta by Jennifer Saint is a retelling of the life of this mythologised and swift-of-foot heroine. Atalanta was not a god, which makes her story all the more intriguing. She had the vulnerabilities of a mortal, yet the strength of an Olympian. Her speed won her great acclaim but also it was to be her downfall.

Atalanta by Jennifer SaintAtalanta is another well-researched escapist tale from Jennifer Saint, with magical descriptions of adventure and bravery that jump off the pages. Atalanta defied the norm and established her own path in life. She never wanted the trappings of life associated with most women of the time. Fresh air, excitement, nature and the hunt were her desires and nothing was ever going to get in her way of fulfilling these needs. With captivating prose and dazzling exploits. Atalanta is a polished and exciting retelling of the life of this extraordinary and daring woman.

(c) Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

Order your copy online here.

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