God of Fire
(A Greek myth retelling)
A gripping combination of tragedy and triumph, God of Fire will transport you to a world of gods, monsters and mortals.
In this modern retelling of the classic Greek myths, Hephaestus, the disabled god of fire, is evicted from Mount Olympus and raised beneath the waves by Thetis the sea witch.
Rejected and scorned, Hephaestus must endure physical and emotional pain as he is sentenced to life with the adulterous goddess of love, Aphrodite.
With his foster-mother’s help, Hephaestus lays claim to his legacy and finds his saving grace: the ability to forge magical metal artefacts. Of course, the other gods waste no time taking advantage of his inventions.
But the god of fire is nobody’s fool. The magic of Hephaestus has a shadow side, as gods and mortals learn to their cost when Zeus orders him to create Pandora and her infamous receptacle…
God of Fire is ideal for anyone who enjoys Greek myth retellings like Circe by Madeline Miller, Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes, or Mythos by Stephen Fry.
Review by the Historical Novel Society
This is a clear-eyed, unsentimental telling of the life of Hephaestus, the god of fire, who was born on Mount Olympus to Hera, the queen of the gods. Disgusted by him from his birth, Hera cast him out from Olympus. Injured in the fall, he was adopted by the sea witch Thetis and the earth’s creatrix, Eurynome. Called Heph, he yearns to be loved by his real mother and to discover the identity of his father.
Steadman skillfully weaves together the old Greek myths of Prometheus, Medusa, Hercules, Io, Pandora, and others, relating the tales through Hephaestus’ eyes and thus giving the reader a fresh perspective on the old stories. Heph is a sympathetic and appealing character, considered ungainly and ugly by the other Olympians for his lameness and unattractive features, but tolerated for his formidable talents as a smith. He’s usually caught up in his divine family’s schemes and plots through no fault of his own and often finds himself torn by their constant squabbling and infighting. Even his jokingly arranged marriage to Aphrodite, the most beautiful of the goddesses, proves no picnic, as she is vain, self-absorbed, and oftentimes downright nasty.
The author, with her storytelling skill, wit, and attention to detail, brings the myriad characters of Greek mythology vividly to life. She provides alternative and imaginative takes on several of the myths, including the creation of man (and woman), how Persephone became queen of Hades, and how a golden apple started a war, first between the Olympians and then between Greece and Troy. At the same time, Steadman keeps the novel’s focus on Heph, determined to discover his true history and find his place among the pantheon of the gods.
Michael I. Shoop