Today I am reviewing Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi. I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Outrun the Wind is the first published book by Elizabeth Tammi. Just look at this gorgeous cover!
Release Date: November 27, 2018
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“The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta. To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia, where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’s second rule. She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.” (book description courtesy of NetGalley)
If you’re a Greek Mythology buff, you may have heard of Atalanta. If you’re drawing a blank, she was the lost princess of Arkadia, raised by hunters to be swift and strong. Atalanta was a fierce huntress who was known for her part in the Calydonian Boar Hunt as well as forcing men to race for her hand in marriage. There are many different stories about her, but I won’t go into them all, since they are not pertinent at the moment. If you are interested in reading more about Atalanta, check out this site.
If you’ve never heard of Atalanta, I’m sure you’ve heard of Artemis, one of the twelve Olympians, twin sister to Apollo, and the goddess of the hunt, wilderness, wild animals, and maidens. She was said to have surrounded herself with nymphs and maidens who were huntresses. Again, if you’re interested in reading more about Artemis, check out this site.
Our two main heroines, Atalanta and Kahina, are at odds with one another. Atalanta is part of a team of hunters sent to fight the Calydonian Boar, a monster sent by Artemis to destroy Calydon due to the king not honoring her during a sacrifice ritual. Kahina is one of Artemis’s huntresses sent to protect the Calydonain Boar in order for it to accomplish its task. What neither one of the heroines were counting on, was Kahina risking everything to save Atalanta from the boar and changing both of their fates. (Okay, obviously, this is where some of the creative differences begin, but bear with me.)
Atalanta flees. Kahina is punished and sent to Arkadia on a quest to restore something that was once Artemis’s, but now belongs to her brother, Apollo. But fate is funny. Atalanta was found by her father, the king of Arkadia, in the city of Delphi, and was brought back to Arkadia as its long, lost princess. Kahina is hired on as Atalanta’s handmaiden to instruct her on being a female and princess, since Atalanta’s savage upbringing leaves much room for improvement in the etiquette department.
While at odds at first, the girls begin to grow closer and begin to confide in each other. When it is announced that Atalanta was to marry, they devised a plan to still get the riches brought by the suitors, but to keep Atalanta from marrying any of them. Their secret weapon? Atalanta is ridiculously quick and she’s counting on that speed to maintain her maidenhood and still help save Arkadia.
Of course, the past tends to come back and bite everyone in the butt. Hippomenes, a man who has a part in both girls’ pasts, shows up and puts a kink in everyone’s plans.
I think my love of Greek mythology stems from my early childhood and my mom watching Clash of the Titans (the original) all of the time. It always surprises her when my sister and I talk about the movie and can quote parts of it, and she comments that she didn’t realize she made us watch it that many times. Also, when I was in fourth–grade, we studied the Greek Gods in my gifted program class. We got to make the gods out of Barbie dolls and display them on “Olympus”. That was probably one of my favorite projects ever and I’ll always remember creating Aphrodite, Eros, Ares, and Hephaestus in my group. Totally unrelated side note: My group happened to include my fourth-grade crush. 🙂
So, even though I enjoy Greek mythology, I was not all that versed in the back story of Atalanta when I first picked up this book. I went ahead and Googled her story and immediately became concerned that the author would take her story and create a story very loosely based on the truth. But I decided to give it a shot, since I love a good kick-ass heroine and I love Greek mythology.
I decided to clear my mind of pre-judgement, remembering that Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun, West of the Moon are both based off of the Greek myths of Eros and Psyche and Hades and Persephone, and look how wonderful those stories were! Not to mention, I love re-imaginings of Beauty and the Beast, because there are so many ways to interpret a story.
Once I had let go of any pre-judgements, I really enjoyed the story. The author did very well mixing the known story with some of her own creative flair and characters. I liked Kahina’s personality more than Atalanta’s, mainly because Atalanta seemed like too much of a follower through most of the book. In all honesty, I felt thatwhile both girls had a sense of growth through the book, Kahina’s journey was a little more impressive to me. ButI also feel that in the end, both Atalanta and Kahina redeem each other.
I had to laugh when reading about the foot races for Atalanta’s hand in marriage, because I was taken back to a time when I was in kindergarten and I decided to have these three boys race to be my boyfriend. I really wanted this one boy to win, but he and the second decided to quit the race and go play somewhere else. This left the boy I absolutely didn’t want to win to win by default. I called the race off and left the boy in the dust. I didn’t even know about Atalanta back then, but I felt that I channeled her a little bit back then.
I give Outrun the Wind 4.5 stars. I felt the retelling was tastefully done and a story was told that was unique to me. For a new author, I think Elizabeth has a bright future as a writer and I look forward to her next book. I recommend the book to anyone who enjoys Fantasy, Greek mythology, Young Adult, and a good kick-ass heroine.
Until next time! Happy reading friends!