The Curse of Beauty

An Ancient Legends Novel: The Story Behind the Myth of Medusa

Fiction - Drama
497 Pages
Reviewed on 01/28/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

"My mission: resurrecting the past one tale at a time." ~Lauren Lee Merewether

Lauren wanted to write a story that could have taken place in history to inspire the Medusa creature of myth. What could have happened in real life and retold through oral tradition over a period of time to Hesiod, who first mentioned Medusa, the Gorgon who laid with the Lord of Dark Hair (Poseidon)? Thus, after countless hours of research, The Curse of Beauty was born.

Lauren is an ancient family saga fiction author and loves to learn about other worlds and civilizations now past. Bringing the world stories forgotten by time, Lauren lives to breathe new life into lost people as characters who love and lose, fight wrong with right, and feel hope in times of despair.

If you like page-turning dramatic plots, simple dialogue, stories that evoke strong emotions, well-researched historical details, and characters with genuine, relatable feelings, a majority of Lauren's reader reviews say you will like her books. Lauren writes multi-genre fiction stories that blend the historical, drama, and family saga genres and contain elements of coming of age, women's fiction, and romance.

Content Disclaimer: Most if not all of Lauren's books have violence and adult themes. Lauren does not write explicit sex or gore scenes nor uses mature language. While she has gone to great lengths to ensure sensitive subject matters are dealt with in a compassionate and respectful manner, some subject matter in her books may be troubling for some readers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Curse of Beauty is a work of historical fiction and interpersonal drama which is part of the Ancient Legends novel series. It is intended for the general adult reading audience owing to non-graphic reference to abuse, violence, and assault, and was penned by author Lauren Lee Merewether. In this thrilling standalone novel that explores the story which inspired the myth of the infamous figure Medusa, we find ourselves in Greece circa 1650 BC. Our central protagonist, Thais, is the daughter of a chieftain who wants to settle with oncoming invaders without the need for bloodshed. Although she believes in his peaceful vision, the personal cost Thais will suffer sees her undergo a trial of legendary proportions.

I always enjoy diving into historical works by Lauren Lee Merewether, particularly because this is an author who knows how to balance all the most interesting and well-researched elements of ancient history with emotional parallels to modern life and drama so that every character resonates with contemporary readers. Thais is no exception to this, and when Merewether’s up-close and empathetic narrative style is combined with the many sensations, family conflicts, and political struggles of this exciting plotline, it makes for an unstoppable read that I couldn’t put down without wondering what was yet to happen and aching to pick it back up again. From its slow-burning politically charged aggression to its poignant observations about the role of women and attitudes toward them during ancient times, The Curse of Beauty delivers everything you could possibly hope for in a historical drama. Unmissable.

Teresa Syms

The Curse of Beauty is an incredible book of mythology and drama by Lauren Lee Merewether. The self-proclaimed king of the seas, King Oceanus arrives in the peaceful city of Tiryns. He claims he comes as an ally, but his ultimate goal is to overtake the city and enslave those who oppose him. He demands ultimate power. However, in a show of strength, he kills the chieftain’s wife and the mother of Thais, a beautiful girl who is cursed by evil spirits. Some of the council members oppose King Oceanus and want to either leave Tiryns or stand and fight. Gorgon is so opposed but he cannot convince the Chieftain. Thais is caught between her father, her people, and Oceanus. Before Thais’ mother is killed, she prays to their Mother Goddess to trade her life for her daughter's. In time, Thais learns her mother’s bargain has left her life with nothing but an epic struggle to survive. Will Tiryns's people be captured and enslaved or will they be allowed to peacefully co-exist with the soldiers?

The Curse of Beauty is a powerful book overflowing with drama, intrigue, love, hate, passion and violence. Lauren Lee Merewether has penned a book the reader will be unable to put down until the very end, leaving them wanting more. The plot was very well written and developed. It had perfect flow and continuity. The characters were expertly crafted and came to life in front of me. To me, that is a sign of an exceptional story. I found the intricate story web developed by the author to be captivating. I lost myself in the story of Thais, her family and friends, as well as King Oceanus and his son. Friendships are treasured, other friendships are betrayed, but overall, love will win out. But how will Thais, Alexin, and King Inachus make this happen? You will have to read this book and all will become clear. I truly enjoyed The Curse of Beauty and look forward to reading more from this author.

Jamie Michele

The Curse of Beauty by Lauren Lee Merewether is a standalone historical novel in the author's An Ancient Legends Novel: The Story Behind the Myth series. Merewether paints a pre-history account of the famed Medusa's origin story, spinning a tale that begins with a mother's love and sacrifice and the trajectory of her daughter, Thais, in the lifetime that follows. As Thais comes of age, she puts herself in service to a temple in the hope that the heart of a friend softens toward marriage. She does not know that his heart belongs to another, Callista, or what is to come years later when Thais' destiny is tied to the emergence of one of the most famous figures in Greek mythology... a woman painted as a monster who is not, and a story for the centuries to come. Or is it a story? “It is not a story,” she whispered. “It is what happened. Remember it, and tell it again.”

If I only had a single word to sum up how I feel about The Curse of Beauty it would be, “WOAH.” Lauren Lee Merewether went in directions I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams, allowing for profoundly human moments in what I initially believed to be another lightning bolt, Clash of the Titans-esque war of man versus the gods. Not the case at all! Merewether breathes actual real life into her wonderfully well-developed characters and gives us a gripping plot and its eventual outcome with each turn of the page. It is rare to be surprised when we think we know an ending because it has been given to us sometime between our freshman to senior years of high school through required reading. This was bigger than a surprise. It was a shock—and a glorious one at that, spurred on through a creative storyline that stays with you long after the book ends.