Heracles, the natal result of a Zeusian dalliance, is the subject of Mr. Iliffe’s new series. Son of Zeus is a wonderful telling of the first part of the Heracles myth; the enmity and hatred of Hera toward him is the focal point as Heracles struggles mightily not only with the first three challenging labors but with his own peace of mind as he tries to understand why he murdered his children. Heracles, while known for his strength, is shown to be a man totally driven to find the redemption he is promised, and it is this aspect that drives the narrative. The three labors in this tale are marvelously written; the rank bestiality and cunning of the Nemean Lion; the absolute innocence of a young girl in the Ceryneian Hind; the seeming unstoppable Hydra, take the reader into the heart of the action and drama. While Heracles is up against impossible tasks, his wife Megara is also trying to come to grips with the horror she had gone through. This story line, her search for the answer as to why he did what he did, is crafted in a heart rending fashion, and is another example of the author’s skill in presenting believable characters. I am certainly looking forward to book 2, the author ends book 1 with a lovely nugget for us to chew on.