Herakles by Vijay Hare


About the Book
From whom the gods grant power, they first demand pain...

Greece, in the Age of Legend.

Heroes quest across a land haunted by gods and spirits. Prophecies and pride drive them to complete mighty deeds. All except one of them. The greatest of them all.

Wearied from his many Labours, broken by the lives lost along the way, the fabled Herakles has rejected the hero’s path forevermore. Never again will he perform deeds of legend. Never again will he be a weapon of Fate.

Until word reaches him of a Thessalian upstart named Jason, and a gathering of foolhardy lords and champions. Their aim, to sail to the distant land of Colchis and steal the legendary Golden Fleece.

But as Jason’s reckless quest throws the power of the gods themselves into jeopardy, Herakles must don his club and Lionskin once more, rejoining the world he left behind…and changing the Fate of gods and men forever.

From prizewinning author and classicist Vijay Hare comes the first title in a brand new series, retelling the exploits of heroes of Greek mythology. For fans of Madeline Miller, Jennifer Saint, Mark Knowles, and Costanza Casati.
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My Review


(Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and are honest and unbiased.)

A while back, I had the pleasure of reviewing Vijay Hare’s debut novel, Legion That Was. So, of course, I jumped on the opportunity to read and review his next novel, Herakles. Once again, Vijay Hare did NOT disappoint. Herakles is perfect for fans of Greek mythology, but it's also an amazing read even without considering the source material.

Herakles was a powerful tale of love, loss, ambition, and fate. It offered a good look at how we can so easily destroy our heroes by not seeing through to the human underneath the glory and the resulting expectations. For me, one of the core themes of Herakles was letting go of the past and finding one's own path.

I loved how Vijay wove multiple internal and external conflicts together, each feeding off the others to heighten the intensity. He succeeded in crafting an intriguing, cohesive, creative story that felt original and familiar all at once. Did I mention that Vijay is also a master of description? I always felt connected to the story, and every scene was clear in my mind.

Vijay did a great job rounding out the characters, giving them the depth and complexity they needed to pop off the page, especially Herakles. Airing out his emotional wounds helped raise the stakes and made me more attached to him as a character. I also loved Atalanta’s characterization and arc. I’m glad she wasn’t cut from the story.

Herakles was an emotional roller coaster of a book with vivid descriptions, edge-of-your-seat action, thought-provoking themes, and epic battles. Be sure to check it out if you're looking for an action-packed adventure and enjoy retellings of Greek mythology. Even though this can work well as a standalone novel, I would be interested in reading a sequel.

About the Author



Vijay Hare comes from Oxford, and read Classics at the University of Warwick.


Some misguided early career steps, a bout of appallingly poor health, and the coronavirus pandemic all left him trapped at home for almost two years, where he began novel writing as a way to weaponize the ominous-looking gap in his CV.


Outside of work, he enjoys starring in amateur dramatics, long solitary walks, and the occasional Kopparberg.

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