Thursday 3 June 2010

Review: Dido - Adele Geras

Aeneas leaned forward a little and kissed her on the mouth.  Just one swift, soft touch of his lips on hers and then he turned and walked away.

Love can be deadly.  Especially when two young women fall for the same man - one a queen, the other a serving maid.

Elissa knows she is playing with fire, but she can't resist.  Queen Dido suspects nothing, until one fateful night ... Secrets are revealed, hearts are broken and as dawn breaks, a terrible tragedy unfolds.

A passionate tale of love, betrayal and revenge.

Adele Geras' books based on classic Greek Myths:

Visit Adele Geras' website for more information

This is the story of Queen Dido and nursemaid Elissa and their love for Trojan prince Aeneas.  Dido and Aeneas are married but Aeneas is leaving to fulfill his destiny and Dido is distraught.  Elissa has fallen in love with the Queen's husband, she knows it is wrong but she just can't help herself.  The events of the book take place over one fateful night but we learn of events over the previous 2 years in the form of flashbacks from various characters.  Dido and Elissa's tale is full of secrets, jealousy and lies - can if have anything other than a tragic ending?

Dido is a re-telling of a classic Greek myth, I have to confess that I don't know much about Greek mythology so I don't know the original story & can't compare this book to it.  However, I can say how much I enjoyed reading Dido and what a fantastic job Adel Geras has done bringing these characters to life. 

The story is told by 4 different narrators - nursemaid Elissa, Dido's sister Anna, Poet Iopas and kitchen boy Cubby.  Sometimes I find having multiple narrators can make for a confusing read but Adele Geras has done such a great job of giving each of them individual voices that I found it easy switching between them.  The way the story is told through flashbacks by the different narrators really added to the story, allowing the reader to see events from different perspectives and discover the character's feelings and motives.

I love the way various Greek Gods & Goddesses are brought to life and make appearances throughout the book meddling in the lives of the various characters.  Although I have to say that the minute one appears to me I'll be running in the opposite direction as fast as I possibly can because even when they mean well they have a knack of causing more harm than good!  I thoroughly enjoyed the story and am looking forward to reading Adele's other books based on Greek mythology - Troy and Ithakas.

Source: Thanks to RHCB for sending me this book for review

Other reviews of this book:
Chrissie's Corner
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. I am glad you enjoyed this. I am familiar with the story of Dido and Aeneas because I had to read it for school. Dido sounds like a really good book.

    I agree with you about the role that the gods usually play in mythology. They do tend to make things very complicated and unpleasant even when they try to do something good for someone.

    Nice review!

  2. I only read one book about the love of Dido and Aeneas, it was Aeneid by Vergillius. I read it in Dutch and thought it was beautiful, but also very hard to get in to. This one sounds so lovely and easy,too bad it's not translated into Dutch, it would have been a very good book for the kids at highschool.

  3. This sounds like such a fantastic read. I majored in Classical Studies in college (Ancien Roman and Greek Language and Literature) and so I am very familiar with the story of Aeneas and Dido.

    I'm always interest in reading modern day interpretations and variations and am grateful for the authors in bringing such classic pieces of literature to young readers of today.

  4. the cover is very different and unique and the book sounds lovely

  5. I also love the way various Greek Gods & Goddesses are brought to life and meddling in the lives of the various characters! I maybe have miss this review before because I adore this book and have read so many reviews on this one.It's a shame i did this after you host a giveaway =(

  6. Great review Sarah.I finished reading this a couple of days ago and I have just sat down at my computer to right my review now. Looks like we have similar feelings towards this book - I loved it too! I've also read Troy and would highly recommend that one as well :)

  7. @ Christina - I don't remember doing anything about Greek mythology at school, I wish it was something we had been taught though as I think it would be really interesting. I definitely wouldn't want to be "Favored" by the Gods - you'd know something terrible was going to happen if you were LOL.

    I'd be really interested to see what someone who knows the story of Dido & Aeneas thinks of this book. I really enjoyed it so I hope you would too :o)

    @ Nina - I'm quite tempted to find another copy of the story just to see how it compares to Adele's version. I think it would be interesting to compare the two. Dido was very well written & easy to read, it is definitely the kind of book I can see being used in schools so perhaps one day it will be.

    @ Drea-C - I imagine that Classical Studies must have been a really interesting subject to study at college. I'd be very curious to see what you think of this compared to the original story. As a new reader to Greek mythology it definitely made me curious to find out more about Dido's story so hopefully it will capture a new generations interest in mythology

    @ Blueicegal - I really like the cover, it's so pretty :o) I enjoyed the story too, definitely different from books I've read before

    @ Darlyn - It was interesting watching the Goddesses meddling in things that happened in this book, I felt quite sorry for Dido & Elissa that they had been manipulated by them! I'd definitely recommend this book :o)

    @ Chrissie - It's a great book isn't it :o) I'll look forward to reading your review & I'm glad you would recommend Troy too. Definitely added to my wishlist now! Let me know when you post your review & I'll add your link for you :o)

  8. I've seen a review about this book before. And i would really like to read this, since then.

    Thanks for the review !

  9. Hi Sarah, my review is up now. The link is:
    Thanks :)

  10. @ Mariska - I really enjoyed Dido, I hope you like it as much as I did when you read it :o)

    @ Chrissie - I'm just about to add your link now :o)

  11. This book sounds great! I love to read stories like this one.

  12. Awesome review Sarah, really can't wait to dig into this one!x

  13. @ Aik - I've not read many stories like this but I really enjoyed it & will definitely be reading more of Adele's books :o)

    @ Carly - I'm glad you liked my review & I hope you like the book as much as I did :o)

  14. I love Greek mythology, so maybe this is the right book for me!

  15. @ Okapi - If you like Greek Mythology I'm sure you'll enjoy this one :o)



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