One Story, Two Views
I’ve been a Sherrilyn Kenyon fan since reading my first Dark Hunter novel. She writes multiple genres and every novel is well-crafted. Take her two books ACHERON and STYXX as examples. The main characters in the two novels are identical twin brothers born to a Greek queen some eleven thousand years ago during the height of the Greek, Egyptian, and Atlantean pantheons. The only physical difference is their eyes. Acheron is not the queen’s child. Mommy and Daddy are powerful Atlantean deity. The baby was implanted in the queen’s womb in an attempt to hide the boy from his father until Acheron turned twenty-one and came into his god powers. Styxx is the mortal son of the king and queen of the Greek city state Didymos.
ACHERON depicts the horrors and injustices the god-to-be suffered as a mortal. He is cursed to be desired by all who see him. He is taken by his uncle and trained as a male prostitute. He is betrayed by the one person he loves, the goddess Artemis. Separated from both his blood family and his birth family, he is left to fend for himself in the hostile world of Greek gods verses mortals.
Styxx fares no better than his brother. The curse that plagues Acheron is shared by Styxx; he is desired by all who meet him. There is a second part to Styxx’s curse – whatever happens to Acheron is transferred to Styxx. To add insult to injury, the prince cannot die as long as Acheron is alive. Their experiences build resentment and distrust to the point the young men come to hate one another. The alienation thrives for thousands of years.
Ms. Kenyon’s depiction of events from both viewpoints permits the reader to understand there is more than one truth. It allows us to ask ourselves how we would have responded. Would we have chosen different paths or are we doomed to make equally painful choices? History is told by those who lived it, and the facts vary depending on who is telling the story. In many cases there are no real heroes or villains. Reality is in the eye of the beholder. It depends on how the author chooses to relate the facts. It gives us a sense of power. And maybe that is one reason we write.