Master storyteller Roberta Gellis leads us on another fabulous foray into Greek mythology to weave the legend of Psyche and Eros into a stunning romance to charm even the most modern of readers.

No Olympian, not even the goddess of love, possesses the mesmerizing beauty of Eros. But youthful folly causes Zeus to order a spell of repulsion to be cast over the reckless god, making him an outcast that only Aphrodite welcomes into her household. Her friendship, however, is not enough to keep him from eventually sliding into a slough of despair. Only a reckless challenge to the goddess' worship by an arrogant human king and his beautiful daughter brings a spark to his eye.

Sacrilege has indeed occurred. Desperate to escape her contentious suitors, Psyche had sought shelter in the temple but was then rejected by Aphrodite's priestess as unsuitable because of her hatred of all beauty and love. To make matters worse, her enraged father has the temple closed and the priestess beaten.

Aphrodite's champion, Eros is sworn to avenge the heinous insult, but, as one who has suffered because of his own beauty, he empathizes with the lovely Psyche's plight. Might she be the one woman who could truly come to love him for himself? If so, how can he be really sure?

Declaring the sacrifice of Psyche to be the price of the return of Aphrodite's favor, Eros carries off his lady fair to a remote valley wherein she sees him only as a blot of darkness. Will she be able to love the monster she assumes him to be?

Ms. Gellis takes our breath away as these two legendary lovers overcome one obstacle after another to set the very heavens ablaze with the glory of their love. (May, 416 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
M. Helfer