Release Date: November 27, 2018
Received From: NetGalley
The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength, even while her prophetic powers linger. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta.
To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia— where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’ second rule.
She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors willing to tempt fate to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.
SEXUALITY: bisexual, presumed lesbian
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: biromantic, presumed homoromantic
TROPES: rivals to friends to lovers, slow burn
TAGS: young adult, retelling, historical, fantasy, mythology, romance, queer romance, queer characters, black character, POC character
WARNINGS: ableism, violence, death, anti-native language (“savage”), kidnapping, slavery mention, mental illness (PTSD, panic attack), child trafficking mention, racism (“exotic”), misogyny, vomiting, sexual harassment, rape mention, parental death mention, death in childbirth mention, child abandonment mention
Atalanta was raised by blood-stained hands and slept with more weapons than blankets.
OUTRUN THE WIND is a retelling of the Greek myth about Atalanta and the Golden Apple, and a great one at that! Tammi takes certain liberties with the original mythology–amongst them, making it a sapphic romance–and gives her own take on the wild huntress and the tragic circumstances around the golden apple.
The novel starts off with a bang, dropping the reading into the midst of the action surrounding the boar hunt Atalanta takes part in with notable characters such as Meleager and Laertes. From that moment, it’s difficult not to be hooked on the novel and the mysteries and complexities of the world Atalanta lives in. And while the novel slows down quite a bit after a few chapters, it’s never quite a glacial pace, but one that pulls along evenly and makes the reader wonder what will happen next as she travels to Delphi, Arkadia, and back to Delphi.
One thing I loved about Elizabeth Tammi’s characterization of Atalanta is how determined she is, how devoted she is to the people she cares about. She is fierce, and at times, feral, but she has purpose. Alongside that, Tammi also exposes Atalanta’s vulnerabilities–her worries that no one will ever care for her as much as she does them, that no one will ever follow her or put her first. These fears are eventually quieted through the actions of Kahina, the other main character and Atalanta’s love interest, and Phelix, Atalanta’s half-brother, but it was really lovely to see this strong, brave girl experience a gamut of emotion, making her more real.
Also, I adored Kahina and the arc that she goes through during the novel. As one of Artemis’ Huntresses, she is tasked with keeping the boar safe and alive, but in a moment of inexplicable panic, she instead kills it in order to save Atalanta’s life. In doing so, she puts her own life at risk as Artemis’ favor is the only thing stopping Apollo from kidnapping her and once again forcing her to play Oracle in Delphi. This creates a strong hatred for herself and for Atalanta as she’s forced to go on a mission outside of Artemis’ Hunt, leaving her vulnerable to Apollo and her cousin, Hippomenes, who kidnapped her in the first place. Unbeknownst to her, this mission will bring her into even closer, extended contact with Atalanta, and it was incredibly entertaining to watch the two of them go from rivals to friends, and eventually, to more than that as they realize they have romantic feelings towards each other. The friendship is hard won, but I really enjoyed reading about the two of them sticking together and doing whatever they could to help and protect the other.
The big thing that struck me as “off” about the novel was the dialogue. It was super modern a lot of the time, using colloquialisms from our current contemporary society that wouldn’t have been used in Ancient Greece. It’s not the worst inconsistency that could’ve been included, so it didn’t bother me too much, but sometimes it was enough to throw me off and make me pause for a second.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable retelling and I look forward to more from Elizabeth Tammi in the future!
Elizabeth Tammi was born in California and grew up in Florida, but is currently double-majoring in Creative Writing and Journalism as an undergraduate at Mercer University in Georgia. When she’s not writing, you can probably find Elizabeth at rehearsal for one of her vocal ensembles, or at work for her university’s newspaper and literary magazine. Her other interests include traveling, caffeinated beverages, and mythology. Outrun the Wind is her debut novel. You can find Elizabeth online on Tumblr at (annabethisterrified), Twitter at (@ElizabethTammi), Instagram at (elizabeth_tammi), and at elizabethtammi.com.