The Princess And The God

Overview

Told from the compelling point of view of Psyche herself, here is the intensely romantic story of a mortal princess, Psyche, and the god who loves her. Psyche is so beautiful that Cupid's mother, Venus, becomes jealous. She commands her son to inflame Psyche with love for a monster. Instead, Cupid falls instantly in love with Psyche, and he spirits her away to a magical fortress. But Psyche and Cupid will be tested further. Their love will take them to the underworld and back before the reader reaches the ...
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Overview

Told from the compelling point of view of Psyche herself, here is the intensely romantic story of a mortal princess, Psyche, and the god who loves her. Psyche is so beautiful that Cupid's mother, Venus, becomes jealous. She commands her son to inflame Psyche with love for a monster. Instead, Cupid falls instantly in love with Psyche, and he spirits her away to a magical fortress. But Psyche and Cupid will be tested further. Their love will take them to the underworld and back before the reader reaches the satisfyingly triumphant conclusion.

Princess Psyche's beauty incurs the wrath of the goddess Venus who sends her son Cupid to seek revenge.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The legend of Cupid and Psyche is interwoven with other beloved myths and fairy tales to create a passionate and innocent love story. In a starred review, PW found Psyche a "fully and thrillingly human figure among the mighty Olympians." Ages 14-up. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
In her first novella, Ariadne Awake!, Doris Orgel breathed new life into the myth of Theseus. Now, in The Princess and the God, she fleshes out the myth of Cupid and Psyche. Both stories, true to their origins, have some strongly suggestive sexual scenes and are only recommended for older readers. Orgel fills in the blanks of the sketchy myth by allowing us to see through Psyche's eyes. She is beautiful and, through no fault of her own, is worshipped by her people as a goddess, and that infuriates Venus. Inside, Psyche is miserable, for she detests being loved for her looks alone and hungers for a fulfilling relationship. While Orgel follows the narrative of the myth truly, she places the story in context, which stresses her themes of the fulfillment of physical love, betrayal, curiosity, and secrecy. Orgel's Psyche and Cupid discover the endurance of true love and the happiness that comes after Herculean tasks have been performed. Orgel's voice revives the worlds of long ago while her portrayals of humanity create a story for today's readers.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 UpA mature retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth. Psyche tells of the problems created by her extraordinary beauty, her love affair with Cupid, and the trials she must go through to appease Venus, his angry mother. Other chapters, written in the third person, relate Venus's point of view as well as that of other gods. Psyche's character is the best developed; readers see into her soul as her love for Cupid and the child she carries grows, and as she journeys to Mount Aroanius and the Underworld to complete her tasks. Cupid, whom Psyche renames Amor, remains a somewhat immature character, even after he stands up to his mother and battles a Stygian sleep to save his beloved. Orgel emphasizes the physical as well as romantic relationship. Psyche describes the nights she spends with her "dragon bridegroom," whom she cannot look upon. At times, the prose reads like a bad romance novel, with passages like "Each night he awakened new joys in me. If he paused, I would whisper, `Love me again in darkness,' and he would resume ever more tenderly." Myths and folklore were originally told for adults, but it is hard to determine the intended audience for this book. Its length and format belie the level of the vocabulary and theme, but may attract reluctant readers. There's nothing shocking here for the right reader, and Psyche's quest is grippingly related.Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Hazel Rochman
The archetypal love story of Cupid and Psyche is told here with dramatic immediacy. Psyche is the princess so beautiful that the goddess Venus is jealous and sends her son, Cupid, to make Psyche love a monster. Instead, Cupid is entranced by her beauty, and they make passionate love in the darkness, night after night. Then the princess loses the great god of love and must undertake harsh, punishing labors to win him back. Psyche's personal narrative voice is direct, but some of the intensity is lost when her story is interwoven with other viewpoints and with a whole panorama of Greek mythology as she wanders Earth, Hades, and Heaven in search of her love. In Orgel's "Ariadne, Awake!" (1994), Moser's illustrations were often overwhelming; this time, there are no pictures (just Peter Catalanotto's sweeping cover of the embracing lovers in a vital universe)--it's the words that paint powerful scenes. Teens will be stirred by the story. They'll recognize the motifs of fairy tale, especially "Beauty and the Beast", with the jealous sisters, the dragon lover, and the brave young woman on a quest. Orgel makes it clear that this is a story about growing up and leaving home. Above all, it's about the transforming power of love.
Kirkus Reviews
The Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, retold in novel form: Psyche is a princess so beautiful that she is said to rival Venus, who sends her son Cupid to punish Psyche. Cupid falls in love with her instead, and takes her to his palace as his wife. When she breaks her promise never to try to look at him during his nightly visits, Psyche is subjected to impossible labors by the ever- jealous Venus.

With a naked couple making love on the cover and passages that are clearly, though not graphically, sexual, teenagers will snatch this from the YA shelves (if they find it there; the reading level is actually accessible to a middle-grade audience and the publisher pegged the book for "11-up"). In fact, if the jacket art and implicit sensuality of the book don't get past the censors, readers will miss one of Orgel's most lyrical, compelling works, with an epic love story at its center and adventure running through it like a stream.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440226918
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 11/10/1997
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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