“Deane’s tour de force debut …brings the familiar story to fresh, vivid, and unforgettable new life.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Drawing on ancient texts and modern archeology to reveal the trans woman’s story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane’s Wrath Goddess Sing weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles’ vanished world, perfect for fans of Song of Achilles, The Witch’s Heart, and the Inheritance trilogy.
The gods wanted blood. She fought for love.
Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses of Great Mother Aphrodite. When Odysseus comes to recruit the “prince” Achilles for a war against the Hittites, she prepares to die rather than fight as a man. However, her divine mother, Athena, intervenes, transforming her body into the woman’s body she always longed for, and promises her everything: glory, power, fame, victory in war, and, most importantly, a child born of her own body. Reunited with her beloved cousin, Patroklos, and his brilliant wife, the sorceress Meryapi, Achilles sets out to war with a vengeance.
But the gods—a dysfunctional family of abusive immortals that have glutted on human sacrifices for centuries—have woven ancient schemes more blood-soaked and nightmarish than Achilles can imagine. At the center of it all is the cruel, immortal Helen, who sees Achilles as a worthy enemy after millennia of ennui and emptiness. In love with her newfound nemesis, Helen sets out to destroy everything and everyone Achilles cherishes, seeking a battle to the death.
An innovative spin on a familiar tale, this is the Trojan War unlike anything ever told, and an Achilles whose vulnerability is revealed by the people she chooses to fight…and chooses to trust.
Deane's tour de force debut gives The Iliad the beating heart of a legendary warrior. Alaksandu the Hittite prince has stolen Helen, the wife of King Menelaos, using magic, and it's prophesied that only Achilles, the transgender demigod daughter of Athena, can defeat him. But Achilles is hiding on Skyros, transitioning using herbal medicines, and doesn't want to abandon her only chance at staving off her natural puberty. To convince her to go with King Agamemnon to win Helen back, Athena comes to Achilles and grants her the body she's always prayed for. But Helen is more than mortal and certainly not the passive prize the Greeks have painted her. Soon, Achilles is enmeshed in a web of godly plots and counterplots, searching for a set of ancient magical weapons powerful enough to defeat Zeus himself before he can wipe the world clean. Deane's narrative soars: epic in scope without ever growing tedious, with a huge supporting cast (including many wonderful LGBTQ characters) that readers will have no trouble keeping straight due to their beautifully shaded personalities. Add in massive battle scenes, meddling gods, and all the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, and the result brings the familiar story to fresh, vivid, and unforgettable new life.