The Goddess Legacy
by Aimée Carter
Thousands of years before Kate Winters fell in love with Henry/Hades and married him, becoming the new Queen of the Underworld, the gods had just defeated the titans and had to set up their new council and figure out how to run things. The Big Six aren't exactly a solid team and there are problems from the start.
Zeus and his sexist ways (he blames his mother who let his father take the lead, so now humans will never follow a woman) decide to give the men the three kingdoms of the sky, the sea, and the Underworld, while the women will be given smaller specialties like marriage, nature, love, etc... And Hera's not happy. She believes that the women, especially her since she was the one who helped the most in the war against the titans, should be equal to the men and Zeus's rules are unacceptable to her.
But what she really wants is to love and be loved. Though she is fond of Hades, he rejects her, so Zeus woos her and she finally consents to be his wife, as long as they are true equals. Things go well for a while, but then Hera notices a disturbing trend; Zeus is stacking the council. He's having affairs and bringing in his children, who are devoted to him, to help rule. Hera believes that he's trying to create a dictatorship and shove her out, so she tries, and fails, to take the leadership from him.
From there, all the other stories in this book take place. Hera affects all the others and their tales. From Aphrodite to Persephone to Hermes to Hades, she's never far. All of their stories intertwine and they are much different than the myths we learned in school.
Final thoughts: I liked reading these versions of the stories, especially Hades and Hermes. Hera started out being a little sympathetic, but mostly a pain. I've often felt bad for Hera in the past and Carter tried to make her honorable with good intentions at the beginning, but she really just came off as self-righteous, a little naive, and kind of whiny. Her story was interesting, but I got annoyed with how her story so infected everyone else's, setting up the "women ruin everything" plot. It's sad that it was a female author who perpetuated that idea. Overall though the book was well written and compelling.