Mythos was always going to be a tough act to follow. Not just because it was great, but because I also had the pleasure of reading it from a sunlounger on a Greek island as opposed to from a sofa in dark and rainy Devon. But Stephen Fry is fabulous and naturally pulled it off while making it look easy.
While Mythos looked at the creation and then shenanigans of the gods, Heroes is more down to earth – while the gods are still meddling, it’s humans who are front and centre here.
Taking us through the stories of Jason, Heracles, Perseus, Theseus, Orpheus, Atalanta and more, Fry once again brings a brilliantly wry conversational tone to the proceedings, telling their tales while helping us remember who’s who, reassuring us when we find the family trees and timelines impossible, and sometimes delivering incredibly Python-esque conversations through the lips of our cast of characters. He also gives us lots of footnotes, and I bloody love a good footnote.
Having dealt with the Heavens, and now the human heroes busy ridding the world of monsters to make way for man, I’m delighted to see that book 3 in this series is now also available and on one of my favourite subjects of all time – the Trojans. Even more excitingly, I note that The Odyssey will be the next to come from Fry’s pen, and I’m infinitely grateful that Stephen Fry and 2020 have finally given me something to really look forward to.