GS vs. STA: Gods and Mortals

Bitchery reader Alyc writes:

This is more general than the regular HaBO, so it may not qualify. Here’s the deal: I’m a sucker for a good Eros/Cupid and Psyche retelling. My hazy memory tells me I have run across a few in my time, but the new version of the TV show has got me yearning to read a few good Cupid stories. I’m certain the readership here would be more than able to recommend some.

To narrow things down a bit, what I like about the story is the god/mortal dichotomy—pshaw! Who reads about Dukes when you’ve got gods to play around with? I also tend to prefer historicals over contemporaries, but I’ll dip my toes in contemporary waters for a good Eros and Psyche tale.

Five words come to my mind: I can has Jeremy Piven?

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    KimberlyD says:

    I feel like I’m missing an inside joke at the end there, Sarah. Either that, or you forgot the other 2 of the 5 words. ;)

  2. 2
    Mary Beth Miller says:

    Kimberly, you need more coffee.

    “I can has Jeremy Piven” equals 5 words.

    It’s ok- happens to me too. :)

  3. 3
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    I think Sherrilyn Kenyon has written about Cupid/Eros, but only as a secondary character.

    Also, it’s been years since I read Nightlife of the Gods by Thorne Smith, but as I recall it uses several characters from classical mythology in very funny and effective ways.

  4. 4
    DS says:

    Roberta Gellis retold the Psyche/Eros story in A Shimmering Splendor.  But her mythology books make the Greek gods out to be mages with godlike powers within certain perimeters.  I’m a Roberta Gellis junkie.

  5. 5
    SB Sarah says:

    KimberlyD was right – the code was broken and I fixed it so Jeremy Piven magically appeared.

    If only I had that kind of power in a more corporeal sense. Harumph.

  6. 6
    SB Sarah says:

    Also, the coffee just hit MY brain: P.C. Cast has a slew of god & mortal stories:

    Goddess of the Sea – Gaea and mermaids.

    Goddess of Spring (Made me cry at the end – I reviewed it in 2005.)

    Goddess of Light – Artemis & Apollo

    Goddess of the Rose – Beauty and the Beast mixed with Hecate and botany.

    Goddess of Love – Venus, obviously. Also, Special Guest Appearance by this here website appears in that novel.

    Warrior Rising – Achilles, the Trojan War, flaming gay buttocks.

    I don’t know what’s up with the new covers for Cast’s books, but the original issued books feature some of the most ethereally beautiful cover art I’ve seen in a long time. Now they’re all dark and man-titty. But Cast’s thing with that series was to take established mythology and subvert it with femnocentric themes and strong heroines, something I always enjoy.

    ETA: Not enough coffee. I’m not reading closely enough – Cupid only. Oops.

  7. 7
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot—The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius contains a version of the Eros/Psyche story.  I like the Robert Graves translation myself, but there’re lots more out there.

  8. 8

    I was going to mention the Gellis books.  I’ve always been a fan of the Hades/Persephone story, and seen it in a number of incarnations, including Gellis’ take on it.

  9. 9
    JennyOH says:

    If you’re looking specifically for romance this may not help, but C. S. Lewis wrote a fantastic retelling of this story called Till We Have Faces.  It’s written as the early Mesopotamian “real” story that became the roots for the Greek myth.  It’s narrated by one of Psyche’s sisters and is really touching.

  10. 10
    phyl says:

    In the late 1990’s Karen Harbaugh’s Cupid Trilogy was published in Signet’s traditional regency line. Cupid’s Mistake, Cupid’s Dart, and Cupid’s Kiss are the titles. Cupid is a secondary character in the first two, but iIn the last book, Cupid himself is the hero. The heroine’s name is Psyche; she’s the daughter of a classical scholar, if I recall correctly. I remember liking them, but they may be difficult to get your hands on.

  11. 11
    Estelle Chauvelin says:

    The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius contains a version of the Eros/Psyche story.

    The version in The Golden Ass is actually the oldest known version of the story, and may be the original.  As much as we think of it as just another Greek myth that dates back to the beginning of Helenic civilization, there’s no evidence that it predates the novel.

  12. 12
    RfP says:

    Karen Harbaugh wrote a “Cupid trilogy” for Signet Regency.  The last book is Cupid and Psyche’s story.

    Cupid’s Mistake (1996)
    Cupid’s Darts (1998)
    Cupid’s Kiss (1999)

    Harbaugh’s description of Kiss:

    Grown-up Psyche Hathaway is sending her mother into fits with the way she has turned down one eligible suitor after another. Picky, picky, picky! But why should Psyche marry when she is having so much fun matchmaking her friends in the haute ton? Especially when her very best friend, Harry, comes back from his on-going quest for a visit.

    Amazon/Reed’s description:

    Harbaugh pairs her charming, mythical hero, Harry (Eros), with his longtime friend Psyche Hathaway, and finally allows them to fall in love. Unfortunately, Harry’s being already married and duty-bound to find his long-lost wife?thus saving the gods from virtual extinction and the world from chaos?creates an obvious dilemma for them both. The solution, of course, is equally obvious to everyone but Harry and Psyche, and while their determined refusal to see the truth may be agonizing to readers, the exquisitely depicted awakening of their love and compelling sexual tension more than compensate for this small frustration.

  13. 13

    Karen Harbaugh wrote a trilogy of Cupid romances (and the final one is with Cupid/Psyche)—they are Regency categories.

  14. 14
    Meljean says:

    What RfP said.

  15. 15
    Chicklet says:

    Five words come to my mind: I can has Jeremy Piven?

    I’m a bit trepidatious about the new version of the show, but the new Trevor is Bobby Cannavale, so I’ll most definitely be giving it a shot. *g*

  16. 16
    Kiersten says:

    My first thought was TILL WE HAVE FACES b/c it’s a seminal retelling of the myth, though perhaps decidedly less man-titty than others mentioned here. Apparently JennyOH and I are on the same wavelength. It is fantastic and moving and hard to get through the beginning but totally worth it.

  17. 17
    Sarah, Hawthorne says:

    C.S. Lewis (he of the Narnia/ Mere Christianity fame) wrote a really fantastic stand alone novel called “Til We Have Faces” that retold the Psyche myth from the perspective of one of the sisters.  Who is so racked by remorse she decides to go out and kick some ass.  Since it’s C.S. Lewis it’s less of a romance and more of an allegory about the line between selfless and selfish love, but it’s also one of the only books I’ve ever read that allows its heroine to be seriously flawed and yet still completely awesome.  It’s one of my favorite books.

  18. 18
    ChrissyV says:

    Different genre, but a good read: Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire by Julius Lester.

  19. 19
    Brandy says:

    Cupid, Inc. by Michele Bardsley. Contemporary featuring Psyche and Eros running a matchmaking agency in Las Vegas.

  20. 20
    Jessa Slade says:

    An old fantasy/romance trilogy I loved has a play on the powerful god/mortal woman who falls for him story… with an evil (sort of) twist that reset my tween brain on the nature of good vs evil.  It’s the Time Master trilogy (The Initiate, The Outcast & The Master) by Louise Cooper.  It has some beautifully lyrical language that you don’t see much of anymore, if you like your fantasy with a dose of poetry.  It was the first book I read that used “nacreous.”  I loved it so much I felt obligated to find a home for that word in my story :)

  21. 21
    SonomaLass says:

    One of my favorite books from childhood (for fellow YA fans) was Louisa May Alcott’s Rose In Bloom, the sequel to Eight Cousins.  Alcott makes lovely use of the Cupid/Psyche imagery, even though the characters are all too mortal and human.

  22. 22
    FD says:

    Gods Behaving Badly, by Marie Phillips – Greek Gods in the 21st century, answering that question of what, exactly does happen to deities when people stop believing in them.

  23. 23
    Julie Leto says:

    The upcoming Blaze collection, Blazing Bedtime Stories (Kimberly Raye, Rhonda Nelson and Leslie Kelly) features Cupid as a secondary character.

  24. 24
    Kay Webb Harrison says:

    I think Sherrilyn Kenyon has written about Cupid/Eros, but only as a secondary character.

    I’m pretty sure that the book was Night Embrace, Talon’s and Sunshine’s story. It took place during Mardi Gras, and Cupid/Eros was wearing his “diaper” costume.

    Kay

  25. 25
    Harlequin says:

    Third or fourth vote for Till we have faces. Although not so much with the major romance, it is a wonderful book.

    They’re remaking Cupid? YAY! I love Rob Thomas. But no Piven is not good. Sigh.

    Oiche shona Shamhna everyone!

  26. 26
    Ariana says:

    I’m a huge fan of Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block.  Not necessarily literally about gods, but a seriously cool take on the Psyche/Eros story and some more myths besides.

  27. 27
    T.R. says:

    I’ve read Psyche in a Dress too and loved it as well and now, all of a sudden, i have the urge to read it.

    kudos to Ariana for reminding me.

  28. 28
    Karrigan says:

    I (whatever number) Till We Have Faces. Amazingly powerful book.

  29. 29
    Venus Vaughn says:

    I loooooved Cupid.  I lost all faith in TV programming when they put it on a bad night and then yanked it for not having good ratings.

    It’s also where I fell in lust with Jeremy Piven.
    *le sigh*

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