Member Reviews

A Queer Retelling of Eros and Psyche? This sounded like a dream book.

Psyche, the youngest daughter of three, is so beautiful that she captures the attention of everyone around. Men flock to her home to view her, enraging Aphrodite. In retaliation, Aphrodite employs Eros to shoot Psyche with one of their arrows so that she falls in love with the most vile man. Instead, Eros falls for Psyche, taking her to a recluse palace to become her "husband" instead.

I loved the relationship between Psyche and Eros. Watching Psyche come into terms of her sexuality and understanding of Gender was a joy to see. Eros, non-binary with a certain magic that allows them to shift their body between the genders, loves her wholeheartedly. I did feel in Psyche's chapters she was simply...there, especially in the scenes where she's in the palace away from Eros. As for Eros, I really enjoyed their chapters. Seeing their interactions with the Gods and then Psyche herself.

While I enjoyed this retelling - there was something that fell flat for me. The writing is so beautiful, but I feel that I wanted a bit more from the character development and plot.

Thank you Netgalley and Atria Books for the E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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a sapphic horny retelling of greek mythology?? um YES. I absolutely could not put this book down. I love the way that there was gender play and openness with sexuality in a way that could only be described as FREE

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Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for providing me with an ARC of "The Palace of Eros.
Really 3.5 stars

I love greek mythology!
This book did such a great job with representation! The characters were likable and I loved the retelling aspect.
The only thing I would change was how long all of the chapters were and some paragraphs felt purely fluff.

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Cantoras is one of my favorite novels, so I was thrilled to receive an early review copy of The Palace of Eros. For anyone who keeps Cantoras close to their heart, you will find the same lush and gorgeous sentences, and a similar contemplation of the way society and its politics can change characters' lives.

However, in The Palace of Eros, Caro De Robertis is focused on the mythological. They take a very interesting approach to these characters: on the one hand, the book eschews the compression of mythology. The story also does not give them the full complexities of characters, the way, for instance, Cantoras gave its protagonists. Instead, The Palace of Eros works in a liminal space between these two, using the perspectives of Psyche and Eros to examine the reality of life for women, nonbinary people, and gods. This book stakes out its own space in storytelling, and while I didn't think it was completely successful, I really enjoyed the book, both its sweeping arcs and the beautiful moments that were studded like gems throughout its pages.

De Robertis has said that the focus of The Palace of Eros is focused on queer love and queer joy, and I think at this, the book certainly succees.

I will certainly be recommending The Palace of Eros to fellow readers, and am excited for the book to find its audience.

Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for an advance review copy of The Palace of Eros in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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A big thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for providing me with an ARC of "The Palace of Eros." This book is a captivating reimagining of a classic myth, and I couldn't put it down!

Caro De Robertis takes the familiar story of Psyche and Eros and weaves a spellbinding tale that's both deeply romantic and fiercely feminist. It's more than just a love story; it's a journey of self-discovery and defying societal expectations. I loved the exploration of themes like desire, beauty, identity, and the power of free will, as well as the gender-fluid representation.

P.S. This book is spicy, be prepared for some steamy scenes.

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Actually rated 3.75
This book is about Psyche and Eros, who are both very cute, to be honest. Psyche really only has her mother who truly loves her, with a cruel father and two older sisters. Her beauty is envied and draws the attention of Aphrodite who won’t stand for competition. She sends her daughter Eros to get rid of the threat but instead Eros sees a scared girl who yearns to be free. And so a romance starts…. The only rule is that Psyche cannot gaze upon the face of Eros and they can only meet at night.

I liked this book overall. I thought the gender identity of Eros was beautifully written and the romance between her and Psyche was full of sexual tension. I liked the storyline regarding not seeing each other and Psyche struggling with loving Eros but feeling trapped. However, there was something missing between them that I can’t put my finger on. I also felt like we should’ve seen more groveling from Eros lol. The ending didn’t quite HIT like I wanted.

However, I really did enjoy this story and would recommend it to people that like romances set among Greek mythology!! And who like some exploration of gender and sexuality within their romance stories.

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The only thing I love more than Greek Mythology is a modern retelling. I especially love retellings which give voice to historically marginalized perspectives or highlight social injustice and inequality. After spending a semester studying LGBTQ+ history in the context of Ancient Greece, I was thrilled to stumble across this queer retelling.

Caro De Robertis transformed this infamous story into a thought provoking poem which effortlessly encompasses difficult discussions of gender, sexuality, self-identity, pleasure, feminism, patriarchy, and discrimination (just to name a few). Despite the extent of these discussions, the original story was not diluted or deteriorated. De Robertis’s harmonious integration of social injustice into the storyline is incredibly inconspicuous and leaves the reader questioning how the story was ever narrated prior to this retelling. Personally, I love the characterization of Eros as a non-binary deity exploring and embracing their gender fluidity. I feel as though this characterization adds a dimension and understanding which is not achievable through the myth’s original telling.

The most notable aspect of this novel is its intense imagery and lyrical pose. I quickly found myself highlighting quote after quote, as if I was instead reading a textbook containing the content of an upcoming exam. With all that said, I did slightly struggle with the middle of the book. Personally, I felt as though this aspect was slightly drawn-out and repetitive. At the same time, I feel as though this might have been a conscious and creative decision by the author to tangibly convey Psyche’s experience to the reader. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read which I would definitely recommend to other readers who enjoy modern retellings of Greek myths, diverse and/or queer literature, or themes of social inequality and injustice.

I would rate this read 3.5/5 stars.

Thank you, NetGalley and Atria Books, for the opportunity to access an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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Positionality statement: I do not identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Consequently, I do not claim to have a comprehensive understanding of this experience. Additionally, I recognize that lived experiences of marginalization, oppression, and disenfranchisement are unique to the individual and the lived experience of an individual may not be accurately portrayed through a summative, community perspective. With that said, my current graduate studies are concentrated in LGBTQ+ Health. Giving LGBTQ+ voices and experiences a platform in effort to identify and address disparities is a focus of my work.

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I loved this book! The characters were great and the story was super engaging. I’m picky about mythology retellings, but this one won me over!

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Oh my gosh I loved this!!! The way everything just flowed so easily! Eros is by far my favorite part. I will admit that I cried for the first few Psyche chapters.

It took me less than 24 hours to read this and I work a 10 hr shift everyday!

Thank you NetGalley for the arc!!

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I want to thank NetGalley and Atria Books for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Even while writing this review I still have conflicted feelings in regards to how I feel the author handled certain subject matters in this book. I understand the author may have been trying to lean more to the historical/mythologically accurate, but at the same time it felt like it was conflating to what I believe the author was trying to say about gender identity and giving an LGBTQIA+ voice to the retelling of this myth. I appreciate what the author was trying to do with this retelling though, for me, I don't think they quite hit the mark as much as I was hoping it would.

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As a lover of Greek mythology I am always on the lookout for new retellings. This particular one drew me in as it added elements of queerness and gender to the classic story of Eros and Psyche. The Palace of Eros is told in dual POV and it was so refreshing to see both sides of this often one-sided story. I enjoyed Psyche's POV for the themes of freedom, desire and questioning identity. Eros’ POV primarily deals with their journey of self discovery through time. This POV kept the story moving and gave compelling looks into the past. The themes of gender, specifically in regards to Eros, were handled very tactfully. I liked that they slowly included the backstory into Eros’ development. Seeing the introspective parts of gender identity juxtaposed with the reaction by outside forces was interesting to see and compare to today's society. If you are a fan of queer literature, mythology, and introspective prose then this book is for you!

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Beautiful writing and a genderqueer take on Greek mythology, freedom, desire, what makes us. Very queer and I love that! I also love the politics of this novel - gender and freedom in all forms. Thank you for this preview, NetGalley!

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I really enjoyed and appreciated the way that the author depicted Eros and how they configured the character as nonbinary with the same trappings and traumas that contemporary individuals face except set in mythology. It was very clever and compelling. The way that Zeus’ lechery and voyeurism led to her shame was brilliantly done. The writing was beautiful. My qualms lie in the plot: I needed more plot development to explain the gods’ actions. The ending felt rushed and too kind for Greek mythology.

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i really really enjoyed it!! i love mythology retellings, and i hadn’t read many psyche and eros ones before. i really love this one and the writing and imagery. the POV switches between psyche and eros, how it mostly stays true to the myth but expands upon it. as a hellenist myself (apollo devotee) i do believe, as with all mythology retellings, to remember that these are not the actual myths. but that doesn’t make it any less good. i really loved this

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This was a very solid book! I enjoyed the plot, but the pacing definitely felt off at times. That being said, I was worried Psyche’s trials would take up most of the book, so I was pretty pleased with how De Robertis chose to space it. The prose was beautiful, and overall I would definitely recommend.

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I love Greek mythology retellings and this was great. The cast of characters was interesting and all so different from one another. I love the setting and environment this book created it really helped to create well rounded and dynamic characters

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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the free copy of this book for an honest review.

I finished this book a day ago and I still cannot fully wrap my head around my true feelings for this book, especially with the myth of Eros and Psyche meaning so much to me. I was so excited to see a sapphic retelling. There were some parts that I loved and that moved me. While other parts felt like they dragged on far too long.

I will say, the author's writing is lyrical and beautiful. There were many moving passages in this book. This book read very much like an original myth. Whether that particular part was a good thing for me or not is hard to tell. Despite being less than 300 pages it felt like it dragged on and could have been shortened.

The discussion of gender and being nonbinary was also very moving. That first conversation Eros had with Psyche about it struck me and was so beautiful. However, I wish it wasn't halfway through the book with almost zero references to Eros' identity in the first half. <spoiler> I didn't mind and quite liked the discussion of gender and the fluidity of it for Eros until the part about the deal made with Zeus about having to watch Eros have sex nine times in the male form before she was free to shift however much she wanted. I get this is Greek mythology and weird shit like this is common but in a modern retelling this just felt gross and unneeded. I feel like the story would have just as much impact without it.l </spoiler>

The differences and creative liberties taken within this retelling, for the most part, felt honest and true to the original myth and the original characters in the myth (besides what was mentioned in spoilers above.). <spoiler> Even though I'm not a fan of the surprise pregnancy trope, I do think there was good value in adding it to this story. I think it gives Psyche a much more valid reason for betraying Eros that makes sense. </spoiler>

Ultimately, while I did struggle through chunks of this book, I think it's worth the read and I don't regret picking it up. I think it was wrapped up beautifully.

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I expected to like this book, but I loved it so, so much! De Robertis’ writing is flowing and emotional. I felt intimately connected to the characters, Psyche in particular, and loved reading their reflections and emotions.

The Palace of Eros is one of the best retellings of Greek mythology I’ve read. De Robertis created a story that expands what women in ancient Greece could be, what forms love can take, and how gender is expansive and wonderful. I can’t wait for this book to be out in the world 🫶🏼

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for a copy of this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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A queer retelling of a Greek myth? Sign me up!

I thought this was very beautifully written. The prose at times lends itself to an almost poetic style and completely immerses the reader with some of the inner monologues. You really route for the characters and their fight against the patriarchal accepted norm.

The middle of the book was a bit slower and some of the passages felt like they dragged a bit unfortunately. I think it could have benefitted the story as a whole to be a little shorter. Although, the ending did come back in a satisfying way!

Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book and provide and honest review!

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*Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

I truly went into this book blind, and with zero (if not low) expectations. After a grueling stint of mythology studies in high school, I hadn’t started dabbling in rewrites until very recently. The other portrayals I’ve read were fine, but I did not find myself putting them down with any desire to pick another one up.

“The Palace of Eros” by Caro De Robertis has changed this for me. The myth of Eros and Psyche in its most basic form is entertaining enough: Cupid struck by his own arrow. It’s fairly hard to get it wrong, so the challenge comes in enhancing it. De Robertis did this wonderfully. A critique of the patriarchy, a sapphic retelling, gender swapping, and challenging the concept of gender in a way I’ve never read. It was tender and rough, light and dark, clear and blurred. Their love and exploration of one another felt safe and comforting.

The one thing I struggled with was the length of many aspects. The paragraphs were long, the chapters were long, and sometimes I felt like passages were purely fluff in its simplest form. When I moved to the next chapter and my kindle showed me the dreaded “45 minutes left”, it sometimes kept me from wanting to engage. This is my own preference though!

I highly recommend this novel to those looking to venture into mythology retellings, and those who’ve read it all. I look forward to reading more of this author’s work.

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