Book Review

Review – Ariadne by Jennifer Saint


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?

ARIADNE gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel.

My Review:

“I would be Medusa, if it came to it, I resolved. If the gods held me accountable one day for the sins of someone else, if they came for me to punish a man’s actions, I would not hide away like Pasiphae. I would wear that coronet of snakes and the world would shrink from me instead.”

Throughout history, it has always been women who bear the sins of men. It has always been us who suffer pain, suffer humiliation, suffer the unimaginable heart break to be betrayed by the man who we love. And this is what Ariadne is about.

I am always fascinated and captivated by the mysterious but also gruesome tales of Greek mythology. I am no expert of Greek myth but oh my world, Ariadne has taken my breath away! It was utterly amazing and I have loved every minute of it (even though there are a couple of places where I found to be a bit stretched plot wise but I don’t care!). There is this sense of urgency, the urgency to give voice to Ariadne, to Phaedra, to Pasiphae, to all the women who have been wronged by men and who have suffered for the sins of men. There was this deep sorrow and ache throughout the story and I couldn’t look away.

The ending broke me and I felt so incredible sad because of it. Remember the sorrow I mentioned earlier? Yes that’s how I feel. This ache in my heart will not go away. Who would give names to these women who have been erased by history, by history written by men? Who would remember them for their kindness, for their innocent heart, for their unconditional love for their children?

Read this book.

Thank you so much Headline Books for this stunning copy to review.

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