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Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desireby Julius Lester
Synopses & Reviews
This is the story of Cupid — the god responsible for heartache, sleepless nights, and all those silly love songs — finally getting his comeuppance. When the god of love falls in love himself, things are bound to get interesting. And when he crosses his mama, Venus, in the process...Well, things could get downright messy.
The much-lauded author of Pharaoh's Daughter and When Dad Killed Mom brings his renowned storytelling skills to one of the world's most famous tales. In doing so he weaves a romantic, hilarious drama brought to life with a bold new voice that's loaded with sly wisdom. Julius Lester's retelling is sure to draw new readers to classic mythology while satisfying old fans as well.
"Just in time for Valentine's Day, Lester (Time's Memory) retells the tale of Cupid and Psyche, with appearances by some highly appealing lesser Greek and Roman characters, such as Oizys, goddess of pain, and the highly likeable Favonius, the West Wind, along with his other wind counterparts. Psyche comes across as especially sympathetic; her kindness is just as striking as her beauty. And even those familiar with the tale may be surprised at just how vindictive Psyche's jealous sisters can be, as they prompt Psyche to break her promise to Cupid (Cupid, who comes to Psyche only under cover of darkness, asks her to vow never to gaze upon his face or risk losing him forever). Unfortunately, the vague persona of the omniscient narrator here detracts from the pace and poetic details of the tale. The narrator reveals only tidbits of information about himself; for instance as he watches Psyche's wedding procession, he notes, 'This reminds me of my weddings. At all six of them, the bride cried.' He also conjures a rather contentious relationship with 'the story,' as when he raises the question of how it is that Psyche never detected Cupid's wings in all their nights of lovemaking: 'I asked the story about it. The story scratched its head and looked very confused.' Still, for fans of romance and mythology, this is highly entertaining. Lester casts the two protagonists as adolescents coming of age through the trials and ultimate triumph of their love. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The novel does not hold up to Lester's masterful standard. It might be a good introduction for someone unfamiliar with the traditional myth and could be useful in a classroom." School Library Jounral
"Older teens who can take the narrator's intrusions in stride will sink into the beautifully imagined ancient world, the erotic romance, and the insights into how love happens." Booklist
A beloved storyteller and Newbery Honor-winning author offers an inspired retelling of the classic myth of the Roman god of love, who finally gets some comeuppance by falling in love himself.
About the Author
Julius Lester is the Newbery Honor-winning author of more than twenty books for young readers. He lives in western Massachusetts.
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