The Goddess Legacy is a collection of short stories about our favourite as well as most hated gods. There are five different parts centring around Calliope (Hera), Ava (Aphrodite), Persephone, James (Hermes) and Henry (Hades). Some parts have more than one chapter. They tell tales from the beginning of the rule of the gods to when Henry meets Kate for the first time and they help to enlighten some of the dynamics of the characters in the Goddess Test Series .
The Goddess Queen
Calliope’s story starts after the war against the titans is won. It is told from her perspective and while you can see why the other gods never suspected her of trying to kill Kate, there are hints throughout the story of the Calliope we got to know in the series. Interesting for me was, that she fell in love with Henry before she fell in love with Walter. I always thought that she only fell in love with Henry after the whole Persephone debacle. After Henry leaves to rule the underworld and breaks a promise to visit her, though, she starts to accept Walter’s courtship.
They eventually marry and the rest is famously known through mythology. Here’s the thing, I do pity Hera. Being cheated on is never fun. But why couldn’t she just focus her revenge on her husband? Why kill innocent girls who want to help her beloved brother live a happy life? Or just leave the cheating husband, that is always an options. Even for gods.
At the end, Walter and Calliope are kind of perfect for each other. Sure, in some things they are complete opposites. She values fidelity, he only when it suits him. Yet, both are so power hungry, Walter tries to take control over the counsel through all his children and Calliope tries to kill his children so that she doesn’t loose her power. Even though, I do not like Walter very much and I do feel for Calliope after all the cheating and having to hear all the time that goddesses can’t be the only rulers, in this fight I am totally on Walter’s side. He might not be a good person, but she is definitely worse.
Deception, manipulation. Calliope’s story has it all. It is certainly a good insight into the way she thinks and how she became the person she was, when Kate met her. Still, it never made me like her a little more or even dislike her less.
The Lovestruck Goddess
Ava’s story is about her love for Calliope and Walter’s sons Dylan (Ares) and Nicholas (Hephaestus). And it is about love and the way Ava loves. Ava was one of my all time favourite characters before, her story made me love her even more. In a way it’s quite funny. Both Ava and Walter are not into fidelity and yet, somehow, Walter always seems to be more the bad guy than Ava in that regard. At least to me. It probably has to do with the fact that Walter promised Calliope to be faithful and then wasn’t while Ava never made such a promise to anyone.
This story also explained why Ava was married to Nicholas and how their marriage, as unusual as it might be, works. With this comes another change that Aimée Carter made in regards to how their marriage was portrayed in the stories of Greek Mythology. And it works quite well in distinguishing how Nicholas, who is Calliope’s son after all, never became like his mother and tried to murder people and stuff. I liked how this fleshed him out. Nicholas doesn’t get much of that within the trilogy itself. This, of course, also applies to Dylan.
Goddess of the Underworld
Persephone’s story sheds some light about her and Henry’s relationship. I found it particularly interesting that she described her feelings for him going from friendship to nothing. Knowing what powers Calliope has, my guess what be that this was her doing. Instead of giving Persephone and Henry any chance she just made sure both were miserable. Then again, this marriage probably never had any real chance of success, regardless of what I suspect Calliope did. After all, Walter only wanted Persephone, his daughter with Diana, to marry Henry to hurt Calliope, who always had feelings for Henry. The story also details Persephone’s relationships with James and Adonis and how she decided to abandon her immortality for an afterlife with Adonis.
God of Thieves
James’story explains why the gods had to change their names and Zeus is now called Walter and so on. This short story is also my least favourite. Not just because it revolves around James, who I just never got to like, also because the gods behaved crueller than ever. After Persephone went to her afterlife, none of the other gods speak or even acknowledge James for a couple of hundred years. I could understand Henry hating him, but the others? Not really.
God of Darkness
As we learn in Henry’s story, eventually, after meeting Kate for the first time, when she was seven years old on her birthday in Central Park – the same memory she thinks of in The Goddess Test – Henry forgives James. I liked how he let James meet Tuck. What I found interesting, was that Henry’s story wasn’t told from a first-person narrative like the others were. You still got to understand him and his actions better, yet just like all the other gods always say: Henry is different from them and it even shows in the narrative aspect. Most of his pain has been explained in the trilogy, it was hard reading it though, as it put even more impact on it than it had before.
All in all, I liked the fact that the stories were in chronological order. It would have been nice if some of the other stories had included more of the not so prominently featured members of the counsel, like Ava’s story did with Dylan and Nicholas or Calliope’s story and the rest of the series that depicts Walter (Zeus) and Diana (Demeter) more. Ella (Artemis), Theo (Apollo), Sofia (Hestia), Phillip (Poseidon), Irene (Athene) and Xander (Dionysos) never really got their shot, not even in the other books. My favourite Greek goddess has always been Athena (Irene), given our “connection” and all, so I would have loved to read more about her. Hopefully, Aimée Carter will return to this series one day and give Irene the story she deserves. (My hopes aren’t that high, tough. But who knows, stranger things have happened!)
So, what did you think? Did you like The Goddess Legacy? Any gods you would have loved to be featured instead of someone else? Let me know in the comments.
Title: The Goddess Legacy
Author: Aimée Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: 31-07-2012