Thursday 29 April 2021

Book Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint book cover

AD* | As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur - Minos's greatest shame and Ariadne's brother - demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods - drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne's decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover's ambition?

The classic Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur is brought to life in a brand new way in this immersive novel. Ariadne is a tale of gods, kings, family, love and loss, but above all else, it is the story of two young women.

The eponymous Ariadne and her younger sister Phaedra are princesses of Crete - but their lives are not as blessed as their luxurious surroundings would suggest. Their father is the cruel King Minos; their brother is the horrific Minotaur. When the charming young hero Theseus arrives in Knossos, the sisters' lives are changed forever as they set out on the paths the fates destined for them. 

The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur is familiar to many, yet it is rare to read a story of Greek mythology that focuses on women. Rather than solely being mothers, slaves, objects of temptation, or fodder for the gods' cruel games, Ariadne brings the women of myth and legend to the fore. It humanises these women and girls, telling their own stories - from their perspectives - and bringing them to life as complex, individual people. 

This is a beautifully written book, flawlessly balancing classic mythology with engaging prose and lively characters. It effortlessly alternates between the horrors of the labyrinth, the might of the gods, and the thoughts and feelings of two young women. The distant shores of ancient Greece come to life through the book's vivid descriptions of its people and places, making it easy to imagine the characters and their world alike. 

Ariadne is a strong, vivid retelling of a classic Greek myth - with a brand new angle. 

Rating: 3 stars

Ariadne is available to buy now. 

If you like the sound of this book, you might also enjoy...

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

No comments:

Post a Comment