Book Review: The Shadow of Perseus by Claire Heywood

“But who protects you?”

“We protect ourselves.”

Claire Heywood, The Shadow of Perseus

Title: The Shadow of Perseus
Author: Claire Heywood
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retelling
Pages: 304 (Kindle)
Publish Date: February 21st, 2023

My Rating: ★★★½
Read: 11/17/2022 – 11/20/2022


Of all of the Greek mythology retellings, The Shadow of Perseus has been my favorite. I am inexplicably drawn to these stories even though they make me realize how little I actually know of their origins.

The book follows Danae, Medusa, and Andromeda all relating to and interacting with Perseus in one way or another. Through their stories, a different picture of the epic hero is painted. Was his story truly one of heroism, or was it merely ego? Each of the women are presented in a different time of his life, starting with his mother Danae and with Medusa and Andromeda following in ways that haven’t been seen before from what I can gather.

I liked that each of the women had their own section of the book rather than it completely jumping around. It made it a smooth read and there wasn’t any confusion. As has been the case with all of the other mythological retellings I’ve read, I’m realizing this is best appreciated with an extensive knowledge of the characters and their connections. The writing was engaging which kept me interested despite this. I found myself wanting to learn more about their backstories rather than waiting for the book to end. I was definitely still lost, but that is on me and not the story itself.

A huge thanks to Dutton for reaching out and offering me a free ARC of this book through NetGalley to read and review!

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The linear telling of the story and the clarity of whose story is being told.
  • The feminine edge.

What I didn’t like:

  • Maybe it’s just me, but the lack of explanation. I wish retellings had a bit more context for newbies.


After reading The Song of Achilles, I’d sworn off Greek mythology unless it was the original thing. I’m glad I changed my mind when this book was offered to me because it renewed my hope that I might find one someday that I fall head over heels for. Once I learn more about the universe of these stories, I think I’ll revisit this one and have a greater appreciation.

Where to buy the book:

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