Most people think of Medusa as the monster from Greek myth who is ugly and cruel. She has snakes for hair and can turn people to stone with a single look. In the end, Perseus, who fights her with a mirror, took her down. After that, Perseus is famous for cutting off Medusa’s head and attaching it to his shield for battle. He used it as a ward against his enemies.
This is true, but it’s not the whole story. Medusa’s mythical origin story isn’t as well known as it should be.
When she was a child, she was one of the Gorgons, three sisters who were demigods and each had a different talent. Medusa was the only one of them who was alive. Incredibly, Medusa is sometimes shown as beautiful and seductive, and other times, she is shown as ugly. Isn’t it true that “gorgon” itself is a word that means bad?
Before Medusa and Perseus had a fight, there was Poseidon, who was the god of the sea. The Gorgons lived at the sea, and Medusa caught the attention of Poseidon, the god of the sea. Some versions of the story say that Medusa got Poseidon to fall in love with her, or that he took her because he was in love with her.
In other words, the myth of Medusa has a classic “he said, she said” story about rape and victim blaming.
Medusa’s snake hair was a punishment from Athena because the rape happened inside Athena’s temple. Athena was jealous and angry because the rape happened inside her temple.
From the author of The Miniaturist comes a dazzling, feminist retelling of Greek myth, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill.
There isn’t anyone else there except the snakes that Medusa wears on her head as hair. The gods sent her there by accident. Her life isn’t disrupted until Perseus, a charmed and beautiful boy, comes to the island. His arrival causes desire, love, and betrayal to burst out of her.
If you’ve read Circe and The Silence of the Girls, you’ll love Olivia Lomenech Gill’s full-color illustrations in this retelling of Greek myth. To show who Medusa was, it shines light on her. It brings her story to life for a whole new group of people.
In the last few years, retells of Greek mythology have been taking over the YA world like crazy. When you have authors like Madeleine Miller, who wrote the best-selling Song of Achilles, you can see why the genre has become so popular! (especially with the help of TikTok). With its beautiful illustrations, Medusa is a new twist on a popular genre of young adult historical fiction.
Olivia Lomenech Gill, who worked on J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, did the illustrations for Medusa. She did the same thing for Fantastic Beasts. Gill combines the fantastic and mythical parts of Greek myth with raw, evocative images to make mesmerizing illustrations that show Medusa’s journey.
While this is a young adult book for people who are at least 12 years old, the feminist themes and topics of sexual harassment and gender politics are also important for people who are adults. Though it’s interesting, Greek mythology often doesn’t include women or makes them out to be bad, so it was refreshing to look at this old myth from a new angle. Burton’s Medusa isn’t the monster that turns men to stone. Instead, she has a tender side with fears and uncertainty that give her character depth and nuance, making her more interesting than the monster. It turns out that Medusa has become an inspiring and powerful woman by the end of the story.
The mythical retelling of Medusa is one of the best I’ve read so far. Burton changes the original story to show how Medusa went through a lot of bad things, often at the hands of men. This retelling is powerful, timely, and inspirational. You won’t soon forget it.
It’s time to give Medusa a better, more honest story.
This is how these stories look at the roots and themes of Medusa’s story. But each one gives the woman in the myth a much more believable story than the last one.
Retelling: Set in Stone by R.C. Berry
They put the mythical figure in R.C. Berry’s hands and show how the story shifts from that of a male-dominated culture to that of a woman.
Berry asks important questions as she tells the story of Medusa’s beginnings and tragic end. She wonders how a person who lived among the gods and heroes became a monster that people feared. How did she become that way? Berry asks these questions as they go along. In addition, she has a better ending after death than the mythical figure, which isn’t always the case for her.
Science Fiction: Medusa Uploaded by Emily Devenport
Emily Devenport used the myth of Medusa to write this science fiction thriller. It has a very different tone, but the same themes of power, control, and revenge.
Olympia’s Oichi Ngelis is a member of the lowest class on board the ship. Her general learns a secret that gives her more power on the ship. At least until he shoots her out of the ship into space and kills her. But Oichi isn’t dead.
It turns out that she is saved by Medusa, a piece of armor that is AI. With each other, they make their way back to make things right and start a new revolution. Or is it more mean than that?
Young Adult: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Having to start a new school in a new city is scary for Grace, as it is for any teen who moves to a new place. Then, the minotaur comes out of the woods and walks around.
Teenage girls in Tera Lynn Childs’ young adult urban fantasy series find out that they are descended from Medusa. They meet all kinds of scary monsters in this book series.
As the three girls learn to work together to fight monsters of mythical size, they also learn how to use their birthright to its fullest.
Memoir: MEdusa: Confessions of an Angry Black Girl by Cotty Davis
She rises in the world of ballet, poetry, and Double Dutch as a young girl, but she also has a hard time at home. This is a coming-of-age memoir filled with heartache. As a woman, she has to deal with the violence in her past, including the PTSD she got from her time in the army. In this book, there is a lot of heart and pain, just like the mythical creature she identifies with, as she tries to find a sense of self-worth in the midst of her life’s problems. Is told in a way that is similar to how mixtapes were made back then, which is why it’s all told this way.