A hidden prophecy. A chosen princess who speaks with snakes. A family duty. Sixteen year old Princess Antigone, daughter of the infamous ancient Greek King Oedipus, wants to lead a normal life and fulfill her duty to the gods, her city, and her family, but fate has other plans. The Olympian gods bless her, the snakes talk to her, her parents want her to marry a foreign prince, her embroidery looks like burial shrouds for dogs, and she has fallen in love with the wrong boy. When the mysterious and devastating prophecies surrounding her family are revealed, Antigone must choose where her allegiance lies: With the gods who have betrayed her family but who she is obliged to serve? With her plague ridden city? With her family which lay in ruins? Or even with herself?
Antigone is the first book by Canadian author Coreena McBurnie. The author, who has a degree in classical studies with a focus on Greek and Roman cultures is passionate about Greek mythology. Having read Homer’s Odyssey in its native Greek language she has a scholar perspective and enthusiast’s appreciation for ancient story telling.
Antigone The True Story follows Antigone, the daughter/sister of one the most recognized Greek characters, Oedipus. The story follows Antigone as she struggles to fulfill her destiny in a life filled with gods and prophecies. The author starts the story of Antigone in the very early story line of the Oedipus trilogy, actually set in the first installment, Oedipus The King. In the normal progression of this myth, Antigone a very minor character until the last installment, Antigone. In this book, Antigone the character I brought to life with imagery encompassing both the mundane and supernatural elements that are often glossed over by the mythologies and plays.
I was initially interested in this book due to the fact that it both follows a Greek myth and is considered a Young Adult novel. The author’s interpretation and take on the story was loosely aligned to the Greek play and she obviously had a great deal of fun creating the backstory and details about Antigone’s life. However, the story never really captured my full attention. I felt like I was reading a scholar’s analysis at times when I wanted the story to follow the energetic Young Adult style. The author treated the young adult characters very superficially and as bad stereotypes. This was confusing to me as the readership targeted is the Young Adult market. While the story as a whole had all the elements of a well written book, the initial spark that pull’s in the reader in just wasn’t there for me. I would not recommend this book for mainstream Young Adult readers. It might be a better fit for those of you who are intimately familiar with the Oedipus trilogy and Antigone mythology.
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