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by Phoenicia Rogerson

Published : 31st August 2023

Publisher : HQ

Format : Kindle, Audio, Paperback, Hardback

Genre : Greek Mythology

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* All words highlighted in grey are affiliate links to either purchase from a range of sellers or links to the author's sites. Wherever possible I will try and provide different versions of the book on all purchase sites.


This should be the story of Hercules: his twelve labours, his endless adventures…everyone’s favourite hero, right?

Well, it’s not.

This is the story of everyone else:

Alcmene: Herc’s mother (She has knives everywhere)

Hylas: Herc’s first friend (They were more than friends)

Megara: Herc’s wife (She’ll tell you about their marriage)

Eurystheus: Oversaw Herc’s labours (He never asked for the job)

His friends, his enemies, his wives, his children, his lovers, his rivals, his gods, his victims.

It’s time to hear their stories.

My Review

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I’ll start my review by stating that I went into Herc apprehensive. I wasn’t sure if I would wholly take to it as I like my myths as they are & wondered how this queer retelling would pan out.

I couldn’t be more wrong with my apprehension. I L O V E D every moment I spent reading this intricate, heavily layered story, told through the eyes of the people who know Hercules rather than from his POV.

I loved the plethora of characters throughout Greek mythology, giving a different voice individually to each one, somehow linked to Hercules. Every chapter is from a different POV, the most touching being the love he shares with Hylas. His chapters were the ones I looked forward to the most. The author has captured Hercules's life spectacularly through other’s experiences with him & this detailed not only a brute but also a softness you do not expect that draws you emotionally to him despite his misgivings.

The only aspect of the story I couldn’t wrap my head around was his time spent with Omphale. I just couldn’t image Herc in a dress, regardless of his softness with his male lovers. It just didn’t sit right with his character. Yes, I loved reading about his love with Hylas and Lolaus, this side to him gave him a softness that turned to raw pain when Hera cursed him to lose them, but no matter what I couldn't picture this massive lump of a man walking around in a dress and liking it. And I wouldn’t quite say it’s a feminist retelling, it’s not told primarily through the narrative of a female perspective, it’s told via both male & female if anything maybe more male, but regardless of this, Herc has become my book of the month for being so utterly brilliant.

I was totally consumed, unable to put it down & enthralled with every different narrative that I read, Each one, & there are many, has such a rich & varied tale of Hercules, most I recognised, some I did not. If anything, I ended up feeling a deep sorrow for a demigod who was cursed constantly throughout his life by a goddess with a grudge ( not Herc’s fault ) & paying the price constantly throughout his life with the people he loves.

If you like a Greek Myth retelling then this is the book for you. Also, this is my book of the year. Yes, It was that good!

Thank you @hqstories for this fantastic copy & @thatphoenicia for such a vibrant & entertaining read.

Oh, and it’s out TODAY




Purchase Here

If you liked Herc, you will love...

Argo by Mark Knowles

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?



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