Review: Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes – The Nerd Daily
On a weekend trip to London, I entered a bookstore and randomly picked up Stone Blind—it was a gorgeous edition, a mix of gold, black, and turquoise with sprayed edges. That book left the shop with me, and I started reading it immediately. In only a few days, I had devoured it.
Stone Blind is a retelling of the myth of Medusa, where she is not the monster usually depicted, but instead a victim in the games Olympus’ Gods and Goddesses play with no regard for others. This book is a gripping stroll across ancient Greece’s world, full of heart-wrenching events and emotional moments. It challenges what you thought you knew about the legend as the “monsters” here become the characters who deserve the most empathy and love.
Stheno and Euryale, winged immortal beings with heads full of snakes, are raising their younger sister, Medusa, a mortal child with beautiful hair. She appears so weak and strange to her older siblings, but the three of them are a tight-knit, loving, and accepting sisterhood.
They live in peace on the coast of Libya, avoided by humans. Until the day Poseidon assaults Medusa in Athene’s temple, and the Goddess of wisdom and war punishes the girl, condemning her to never again be able to look upon a living being without killing them.
Perseus, the demi-god son of Zeus, the “hero”, is painted as self-absorbed and ignorant, sent on a seemingly impossible quest by King Polydectes in order to save his mother from a forced marriage to said king. With a lot of help from the Gods, he travels through the continents, killing anyone he perceives as monstrous along the way. His journey brings him to the garden of the Hesperides, to Ethiopia where he meets Andromeda, to the cave at the end of the world in which the Graiai reside, and then to Libya, where the Gorgon sisters live. Where Medusa is recovering from what had been done to her.
On top of a compelling storyline, the prose is exceptional. The writing style weaves beautiful descriptions and dynamic dialogue as we follow the multitude of characters involved in this tale: Medusa, Perseus, Athene, and Poseidon, but also other mythical creatures, goddesses, gods, and humans. The narrator, who speaks directly to the reader in some chapters, brings a small touch of laughter with its straight-forward tone, and involves you even deeper in the story.
Stone Blind is a tale of political intrigue between the members of the Olympian cohort, who disregard the lives of those they trample and exploit in their own plots for revenge against one another. It’s also a tale about family, a desperate quest, and fate, but beware as not a lot of characters are likeable in this story, which challenges us to think about who the real monsters are.
While at first picked up for entertainment purposes, Stone Blind also …….