Review | Ariadne
Updated: Mar 15
By Jennifer Saint
Published : 29th April 2021
Publisher : Wildfire books
Format : Kindle, Hardback,
Genre : Greek Mythology
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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?
I danced for the end of everything I knew and the beginning of everything I did not.
Firstly I have to say a huge thank you to @wildfirebooks for sending me this stunning copy.
I hadn’t read any Greek Mythology books prior to this one but the synopsis caught my attention straight away and I was totally intrigued.
The story is about Ariadne, Princess of Crete, daughter to the tyrant King Minos and sister to the Minotaur beast that stalks the palace below in his labyrinth prison.
After conquering Athens, in payment for keeping war from their shores, every year fourteen children are sent to be fed to the Minotaur that stalks within the labyrinth below the palace. Ariadne and her sister Phaedra hate this and try not to watch but this year among the children that are sent for the offering a Prince is with them, prepared to slay the beast.
Prince Thesus has come to kill the Minotaur and Ariadne, struck by love at first sight helps him. She gives him a rope that he can tie to the door when he enters as no one has ever survived the complex maze that Daedalus, King Mino's prisoner, designed and together they eventually manage to flee, Thesus promises a life by his side and Ariadne all to willingly follows but life doesn’t plan out the way she expected it to that night she left with the Prince of her dreams.
I loved Thesus at first. He came with honourable intentions, fell in love with a beautiful princess and with her help they stayed a mighty beast. But I soon very quickly disliked him, like all greek gods he was selfish and only interested in his own worth.
Thesus moors his ship at an island for them to rest, the pair spend the night together and she falls asleep in his arms, but by morning he has gone and Ariadne has no choice but to wait for him to come back. This doesn't happen and Ariadne, having grown up watching her mother disappear on herself after being punished by the gods in the most awful ways for the wrong doings of her father, refuses to allow this to happen to her and swears that no matter what, she will not be forgotten or punished for anything a man does.
This isnt the end for Ariadne though, the island actually belongs to Dionysus, God of wine and ecstasy and it isnt long before he shows up and together they slowly begin to make a life together. Little does Ariadne know, meanwhile Thesus actually took her little sister Phadra back to his kingdom to become his wife. What happens when Ariadne goes to Athena to help her little sister give birth just adds to the depth of this story, the love between the two sisters, even though strained and parted is clearly very strong.
my favourite part of the story was the middle when Ariadne was happy and content, settled with her husband and children on Naxos. As a couple Ariadne and Dionysus were perfect. He devoted on her, they happily created a life with many children and it seemed I was wrong about all greek men...
This story tells of Ariadne’s life after fleeing the confines of Crete and the over shadowing of her feared brother and father but also of the life she lived upon the island of Naxos.
I was totally enraptured by this story, the power of the gods, the way women were punished for the misdoings of the men and the strength that lives within Ariadne and her sister Phaedra.
@jennifer.saint.author please write Medusa’s story
This is also my BOOK OF THE MONTH choice for December 👑
Why I Loved It
I am now obsessed with Greek Mythology and have already ordered a few more as I could read them all day long! in fact this story sparked my love so much that I have now enrolled onto a Classical Studies degree at university and plan to write my own mythology in the future.
I absolutely loved every character in this story. Ariadnes strength came through tremoundsly and by the end of this story I just wanted to cry. Every detail from the never ending wine on Naxos that flowed magically from the garden fountain, the deep juicy grapes that would endlessly appear on the vines or the deep, dark cavernous passage ways which housed the monstrous Minotaur, every aspect was written with such detail that I found myself caught up inside an atmospheric mythology bubble, utterly enthralled and unable to put it down unless absolutely necessary.
The sadness I felt for Ariadne, Phaedra and Pasipaë who all paid the price one way or another due to a mans wrong doings. I don't think I will ever forget that ending,
it totally broke my heart but at the same time this was a truly epic retelling, and is the first of an ever growing vast collection.
The author totally draws you in, her writing is so smooth like a siren drawing you to the page, you will not be able to put this book down or forget it long after you have finished reading.
My favourite character was undoubtedly Ariadne. She was strong and determined and a women I would loved to have met in real life.
It was the women, always the women, be they helpless serving girls or princesses, who paid the price.
Meet the author
Due to a lifelong fascination with Ancient Greek mythology, Jennifer Saint read Classical Studies at King's College, London.
She spent the next thirteen years as an English teacher, sharing a love of literature and creative writing with her students. ARIADNE is her first novel and she is working on another retelling of ancient myth for her second.
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