Soon I am hosting the first time novelist Lorna George. She has a marvelous story, called The Redwood Rebel about a deposed princess who has to co-operate with the one who imprisoned her in order to defend her land. Check out the book trailer.
She got me thinking about all the exiles in Greek stories, so I’m going to talk about them for a few posts.
When Jason’s father is deposed by his uncle Pelias, his mother mourns that the baby prince Jason died in the fighting. But she manages to send him from the city to the wilds of Mount Pelion where he is raised by the centaur Cheiron. Pelias rules securing in Iolkos, except for one prophecy from Delphi: beware the man with one sandal.
Cheiron is a master of healing and battle. He teaches Jason the skills of bow and sword as well as wisdom.
When Jason grows into a strong young man, he returns to Iolkos. On the way, he comes to a raging river with an old, old woman sitting on the bank. The woman tells him that she must reach the other side but she cannot endure the rushing water. He offers to carry her across. Half way he slips and loses a sandal, but the woman never touches the water and he bears her safely to the other side.
There she reveals that she is Hera and offers him the blessing of the gods in thanks.
When he gets to the city, news comes to Pelias that a man with one sandal has arrived. Jason comes to the palace and announces who he is. The ruler hosts a banquet for Jason. During the meal he tests the returned prince. “Do you have what it takes to be king, I wonder. Let me ask, what would you do with a troublesome young upstart in your kingdom?”
Jason considered. He saw what the usurper planned, but he also knew he had the blessing of Olympus. “I’d send him after the golden fleece.”
“Perfect,” said Pelias. “Return with the golden fleece, and I will give you this throne.”
The story of the search for the golden fleece is complex but with the help of Herakles and Orpheus, along with the timely aid of Poseidon, Jason succeeds. His arrival home is complex, and he ends up ruling Corinth, a prince in exile, but this is a story for another time.
Do check out Lorna’s deposed princess and look for her post here.