“Circe led them through a stone gate into the courtyard of her home. Every animal fit comfortably inside it, and Chloe’s eyes grew wide at the sight of myriad other creatures, some she couldn’t name, napping silently beneath the colonnade. Even the birds, perched on the red tile roof, were quiet, their tiny eyes glued to their guests.”
- from Age of the Ashers, book 1 in The Petros Chronicles
Thanks to Homer’s timeless epic, The Odyssey, Circe is a character with whom most of us are familiar. On the mythical isle of Aeaea, where she lived alone (alone save for her vast menagerie of peculiar pets), she spent her time weaving at her loom and practicing sorcery, most famously the kind of sorcery that manifested transmutation, by which she could change any creature into another.
Shortly after Odysseus and his men arrive at Aeaea, Circe hosts a banquet for part of the crew. Little do they know that the food is laced with one of her magical potions…
Only one man, Eurylochos, realizes that something’s amiss. He shares the troubling news with Odysseus: the crew has been turned into swine.
“Now when she had given them the potion, and they had drunk it off, then she presently smote them with her wand, and penned them in the sties. And they had the heads, and voice, and bristles, and shape of swine, but their minds remained unchanged even as before. So they were penned there weeping, and before them Circe flung mast and acorns, and the fruit of the cornel tree, to eat, such things as wallowing swine are wont to feed upon.”
from The Odyssey, Book 10
Taking Hermes’ advice, Odysseus successfully recovers his men and they all end up spending a full year with the wacky witch.
One of my favorite parts of writing The Petros Chronicles was taking well established figures from Greek mythology and inserting them into the narrative in fresh, unexpected ways. I won’t give too much away, but in Age of the Ashers, Circe once again presents herself as a beautiful, charming, alluring hostess who wants nothing more than to share the beauty of her personal paradise with Chloe, the book’s protagonist. You can probably guess the sort of mischief she’s up to, but this time, since there’s no Hermes or Odysseus around to save the day (actually, Hermes is around, but he’s sort of one of Chloe’s biggest enemies…), who knows how Chloe will escape!? (I mean, I know, but I’m the author ;-))
If you want to learn more about Circe and how her wily ways come into play in my story, check out Age of the Ashers in ebook, paperback, or audio HERE!
“‘I will go have the Centaurs saddle the horses,’ Circe announced as she stood from the table. If Chloe hadn’t been so confused by the picture that statement evoked, she would have laughed. ‘Do try the pomegranate seeds, my dear Chloe. They are one of the keys to everlasting youth.’ She winked and tossed a silky curtain of hair over her shoulder as she headed toward the house.”
- from Age of the Ashers