Thursday, December 28

Audiobook Review: Pericles and Aspasia by Yvonne Korshak

Author: Yvonne Korshak
Narrator: Alan Adelberg
Title: Pericles and Aspasia
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: October 4, 2022
Where I got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion

Two lovers crest the wave of the golden age of Pericles, statesman and general, and Aspasia, his courtesan, a philosopher's daughter, and a brilliant woman in her own right. In a world of hierarchies, he is at the top when she arrives as little more than flotsam cast up on Athenian shores. Their love transcends social sanctions, enduring and deepening despite the grave threat it presents to Pericles' reputation as a leader of the Athenian democracy.

The novel unfolds against the background of the arts and history of the Golden Age, seen through the eyes of two individuals who lent their particular brilliance to make it "golden": Pericles, the great orator and visionary of democracy, and its most influential woman, Aspasia. Their story takes them from the Agora-Athens' marketplace to the Acropolis, from the raunchy Athenian Port Piraeus mercantile across the Aegean Sea to East Greece. Pericles and Aspasia—together and apart—navigate treacherous paths from venal calculations to impassioned philosophical inquiry, from high-stakes sea battles to the passions of family life.

Pericles and Aspasia engages issues that are vital today—the paradoxes of democracy, the tensions of hierarchy, the ironies of gender, and others—but this novel is immersed in classical the city, its sunshine, its physical presence, its people, and their struggles and aspirations.

It feels nice jumping back into ancient times! I love a good historical fiction set in Ancient Greece or Rome. Always a blast. 

Here we follow Pericles and Aspasia and their romance. Pericles is a well-respected statesman while Aspasia was taken from her home has become a courtesan. The two meet and fall in love. This love could ruin Pericles' reputation and make him question many laws and societal norms. 

Throughout my journey of learning about Ancient Greece the name Pericles has been mentioned more than once. He was pretty prominent in his time. I'll admit...I don't recall the name Aspasia as much. I'm sure she was mentioned, but never really dwelled upon. After reading this, I went on a journey to learn some more about her. Her history isn't really known. They don't even know if she ever became Pericles' wife or whatnot. She is a mystery. That is interesting and a little bit sad. Heck, we can't even be sure of Pericles' first wife's name! Sad that these women are barely remembered. 

I enjoyed this story quite a bit.I loved reading both his POV and her POV. I'm glad we got to see both sides of the story. I, especially, loved seeing Aspasia's story. I know we can only guess, but I loved the origin story the author gave her. It was fitting and seemed so right. 

There are a few spots of info-dumping, but I found sometimes it was necessary for the story/scene at hand. Sometimes the info-dumping was a hair too much. 

This was a pretty hefty book and it worked! To be honest? I didn't want it to end. I wanted to see more. No spoilers, but there is more to the story and I would've loved an epilogue of sorts! The ending ended well, but I'm greedy and wanted more...especially of Aspasia. I loved her while Pericles...I liked him....but I wanted to kick him sometimes too. 

The narrator was fantastic. I feel like I have heard his voice before but when I looked up other books he has done I don't recall those books. But yes, his voice was fitting and he did a good job even with the female voices. A lot of the female voices were similar to each other, but he did good. Luckily there weren't a lot of women running around so that made the job easier I suppose. 

All-in-all I did enjoy this. Some info-dumping that was a bit too much, but it was easy to wade through that, and still like the story. The narrator was fantastic and fit. If you like historical fiction about Ancient Greece I fully recommend this one. It was a good one! 4 stars from me. 

- #61 for Audiobook Challenge


Blodeuedd said...

Good for you. They always work for you

Melliane said...

Oh it looks good!

Carole Rae said...

B, I'm super duper picky. LOL

Melliane, it was fun!