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  • Published: 28 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9780143776918
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $34.99

Psykhe




'Psykhe is the perfect winter read.'
GUARDIAN

'This romance is lush and forbidden, pushing and folding the peaks and troughs of the narrative to its final conclusion.'
ARTSHUB

The story of Psyche and Eros has been told for more than two-and-a-half thousand years. Kate Forsyth infuses it with new vigour as a life-affirming celebration of female strength, sexual desire, and empowerment.
It is not wise to anger the gods ... or to fall in love with one.

Psykhe has always been different. Fair as Venus, the goddess of love, and with the hard-won ability to save the lives of those of mortal blood, she is both shunned and revered.

When she unwittingly provokes Venus, she and her sisters lose everything. Psykhe must find a way to make amends and support her family.

Befriended by an old woman, Nokturna, Psykhe finds herself irresistibly drawn to her young friend, Ambrose. But neither is what they seem.

For Psykhe has fallen in love with a man whose face she is forbidden to see. After disobeying this injunction, she must risk everything to try to save him, even if it means travelling down to the shadowy Underworld to face Proserpina, queen of the dead.

The way to the realm of the dead is easy. A thrust of a sword, a sudden fall, a careless bite of toadstool, and the soul is sucked away. It is the return journey that is difficult ....

  • Published: 28 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9780143776918
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $34.99

About the author

Kate Forsyth

Dr Kate Forsyth is an award-winning author, poet, and storyteller. Her most recent novel is
The Crimson Thread, a reimagining of ‘The Minotaur in the Labyrinth’ myth set in Crete during the Nazi invasion and occupation of World War II.

Other historical novels include Beauty in Thorns, a reimagining of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ told in the voices of four women of the Pre-Raphaelite circle of artists and poets; The Wild Girl, the story of the forbidden romance behind the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales which was named Most Memorable Love Story of 2013; and Bitter Greens, a retelling of ‘Rapunzel’ which won the 2015 American Library Association award for Best Historical Fiction.

Kate has a Doctorate of Creative Arts in fairy tale studies, and is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers. She has taught writing retreats in Australia, Fiji, Greece, and the United Kingdom.

Also by Kate Forsyth

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Praise for Psykhe

In this textured and lyrical retelling, Forsyth explores the complexities of human nature and female agency through the lens of our heroine’s transformation from compliant daughter to defiant woman. The world of the ancient myth is very much there in the historical detail but Forsyth brings empathy and depth to the characters, offering a nuanced take on what it means to be a woman regardless of time or place. What sets this fictional retelling apart from the growing stable of myth-lit is Forsyth’s ability to imbue her sentences with a melodic rhythm that echoes the oral tradition of storytelling which birthed these myths, and of which she is an expert.

Emma Harcourt, The Australian

In a novel reminiscent of Madeline Miller’s Circe, Forsyth offers the reader a richly imagined world, set firmly within the framework of classical mythology. This romance is lush and forbidden, pushing and folding the peaks and troughs of the narrative to its final conclusion. Psykhe is intense and winding; avid fans of Forsyth’s work will enjoy the continued painterly storytelling evidenced here, while first-time readers are in for a strange and lovely surprise

Ellie Fisher, Arts Hub

Psykhe is the perfect winter read. Set against a rich historical backdrop, Forsyth’s latest is full of everything her readers have come to love about her work. Her attention to detail – early midwifery, herbal lore, Greek myth – brings layers of complexity to a familiar mythological story, and she is an assured storyteller who compellingly brings together the themes of solidarity, witchcraft and love. This a gripping, easy read, ideal for a late night in, hiding from the cold.

Bec Kavanagh, The Guardian

Rich with history, magic and beauty, Psykhe re-shapes one of the greatest love stories in classical mythology with grace and soul. A powerful reminder of why Kate Forsyth is one of Australia's most beloved storytellers.

Kell Woods

Kate Forsyth is a magical storyteller and, in this passionate and powerful work, she lures us into a vividly reimagined world of gods and mortals, beauty and horror, love and vengeance.

Suzanne Leal

Forsyth skillfully immerses the audience in the original mythos, tackling themes such as fate versus autonomy, female empowerment, and the power dynamics embedded in the patriarchy. Psykhe will appeal to those interested in Greek mythology and readers of Madeline Miller, particularly Circe.

Alexandra Ashburner-Hill, Books + Publishing

Everyone loves a good love story, a good fairy tale or myth. In Kate Forsyth's capable hands, her retelling of myths with a modern feminist imagining ticks all those boxes and shows us that mere mortals can love the gods.

Jennifer Somerville, Good Reading magazine

If you have never read the story of Eros and Psykhe, let Kate’s reimagining be an incredible introduction. Even if you have, this retelling is so engaging, immersive and above all gives deserved agency to Psykhe. This perilous tale is a ballad to the triumphant power of love, hope and a celebration of female power and determinism. Whilst staying true to the original myth you can feel Kate’s gentle and artistic influence throughout the novel that makes this so enjoyable to read.

Angus, Book of the Month, Better Read Than Dead

There is nothing quite like Forsyth's work. Her spin on this classic tale is vivid, compelling, compassionate, and most of all, utterly original. There is everything a good story needs, with the added bonus of some Forsyth flair! I'm so excited that this is our book of the month (and a shout out to the cover designer too).

Lexi, Book of the Month, Better Read Than Dead

The novel succeeds in its ambition to entice and delight. Forsyth is an assured writer who knows her stuff when it comes to myth, a storyteller who can draw the reader in with quiet confidence. The outsider coming to power; the thrill of a magical assist; the familiar rhythm of being taken on a journey that leads you there and back again – it’s an alluring opportunity to leave behind the worries of reality for a while.

Bec Kavanagh, The Guardian

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