One of the things that motivated me to write The Four Legendary Kingdoms was a desire to explore humanity’s fascination with myths, in particular, the myth of the Twelve Labours of Hercules.
I’ve long been intrigued by the Twelve Labours: those twelve tasks given to the great warrior Hercules that were so monstrously difficult they inspired the adjective “Herculean”. More than that, they were so momentous they are still talked about today, 3,000 years after Hercules supposedly performed them.
We all vaguely know the Labours: defeating the Nemean Lion (with its impenetrable pelt) or slaying the Hydra (with its many regenerating heads) or capture the Cretan Bull. Continue reading