The Heracliad: The Epic Saga of Hercules
There’s probably no better known figure in Greek mythology than Heracles (a.k.a. Hercules). His prodigious strength and heroic feats have spanned millennia, told and retold so many times that it’s hard to separate the original tales from pop culture’s interpretations in film and television. How does Kevin Sorbo’s paragon of virtue or Alan Steel’s hunky dimwit compare to the lion-pelted son of Zeus the Greeks envisioned?
Richard Bertematti tackled the unenviable task of assembling as complete a telling of the life and adventures of Heracles as possible, and for the most part, he did exactly that. The Heracliad offers the birth-to-death chronicle of the half-god’s exploits, focusing mainly on his twelve labors and his involvement with the Argonauts. And the picture he draws is more conflicted than any I’ve ever encountered.
In these tales, Heracles ricochets wildly between foolish pride, heroic selflessness, callous disregard, and wanton entitlement, and you never know whether he’ll regret one action for years or shrug it off as no big thing. While The Heracliad does make Heracles more human, it doesn’t clear the air nearly as effectively as Bertematti hoped.
|Page Count||700 pages|
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