Orual, the ugly Queen of Glome and our narrator, writes this book as a complaint about "the gods."
The story is set in the imaginary county of Glome, on the outskirts of the Hellenistic world and Greek culture, about 200 years before the birth of Christ.
After his wifes deather, The King of Glome wants a male heir and quickly remarries. But his new wife dies during the birth of a baby girl, Psyche. This child is unbelievably beautiful. The ugly Orual, the King's daughter form his first marriage, loves the beautiful Psyche and devotedly acts as her mother, meanwhile ignoring her other sister, Redival. The people of Glome come to worship Psyche for her beauty and healing touch—instead of worshipping the local nature goddess, Ungit (their embodiment of Venus).
After a horrible plague, drought and famine, the Priest of Ungit tells the king that relief will only come if Psyche is sacrificed to Ungit's son, the “brute.” The King complies and sacrifices his daughter. Orual goes to bury Psyche's bones and finds Psyche alive and clothed in rags. Psyche invites Orual to her palace—invisible to Orual—and speaks of a husband she has never seen. Orual convinces Psyche to take a lamp in at night and look at her husband, the “brute.”
Psyche looks on her husband and is sent into exile, since in any divine and mortal union the mortal can never look upon the god. Orual sees Psyche's husband in all his beauty and hears him tell her a special message.
From this point on Orual starts wearing a veil to hide her face and feelings from others. The King dies and Orual becomes Queen of Glome—becoming more like a man and less like a woman. Years later she hears a story about Psyche, but it's all wrong! She decides to write her own story.
This leads to a self-discovery. Orual realized that she spent her whole life ruining the lives of those she most loved.
The review of this Book prepared by R. Ford
The sister of Psyche discovers love and beauty in Lewis's best fictional work. A complex allegory ranking alongside Pilgrim's Progress it depicts Orual's hunt for her sister and God's hunt for Orual. It is the story of all our lives set in an authentic depiction of Ancient Greece. The most subtle of Lewis's adult fiction and the least known in his home country. It is a classic, but society has yet to realise this.
The review of this Book prepared by G. Ian Goodson
A retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, located in an ancient kingdom near Greece. Orual, destined to be queen but never to find love, is the ugly sister. Clever and determined she is a just and fitting ruler. Her preternaturally beautiful sister, Psyche, is to be sacrificed to the dark god to end a plague, but is saved by the god of love. The love affair is doomed by the bitter motives of others. This is a tale of the deepest emotional needs, of jealousy and sacrifice. The most complex of all Lewis's fiction works, many-layered.
The review of this Book prepared by Michael JR Jose