Til We Have Faces: A Myth Retold

twhfI have been wanting to read Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis for awhile now, mainly because I’ve read his other works of fiction and have been intrigued by his writing style. He also considered this to be one of his best novels.  I just happened to have some free time the past couple of days because this stupid stomach bug so I’ve been taking it easy and catching up on some reading.

I remember studying this original story of Cupid and Psyche in high school English mythology and I thought this could be an interesting review of that. Turns out, I didn’t remember a whole lot of the original story but this story retold was very good and very intriguing and I don’t think you have to have studied the original to enjoy the book. The story opens with three princesses, one ugly – Orual, one pretty – Redival and the other so beautiful she is likened to a goddess – Istra/Psyche. The kingdom they live in worships the goddess Ungit (Venus or Arphodite in the other nearby cultures) and the girls have a Greek slave teacher, ‘The Fox’ that enlightens them to the ways of the outside world. Orual loves Psyche obsessively and eventually, because of her beauty, Psyche is taken away from her to be offered as a sacrifice to the gods.  Orual, in an attempt to save Psyche, ultimately sends her to her doom and thus begins her complaint against the gods for taking away her one true love. To tell anymore ruins the intrigue of this book, but I think it is worth reading if you are interested in mythology at all. 8.5/10


  1. Posted February 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    sounds awesome, thanks for the something new to read idea

  2. nickiberthiaume
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    i only read the story of cupid and psyche after reading Till We Have Faces. This book of Lewis’ is probably one of my favorite books even though I DID read it before knowing the myth.

  3. Posted February 4, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Now I really want to read it!

  4. Kristin Kailing
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Have you ever read a book that would get a 10? Just curious, It sounds like a book I really would enjoy reading

  5. Posted February 5, 2009 at 11:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    It’s hard to choose a “favorite” book of Lewis’s, but TWHF would be close. There is so many thoughtful insights about love and justice and our place in this world.

    One of my favorite pieces of this book is Lewis’s belief that God is not clear and thin, but “thick and dark like blood.”

  6. Posted March 30, 2009 at 10:32 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have to agree that this is one of the best works by Lewis. It’s my personal favorite; so many great insights and quotes are in this book.

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