|| Book Review || Ariadne by Jennifer Saint ||

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Genre: Fantasy, Mythology

Age category: Adult

Release Date: April 29th 2021

My Rating:✨✨✨✨✨

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A mesmerising retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Perfect for fans of CIRCE, A SONG OF ACHILLES, and THE SILENCE OF THE GIRLS. 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


Ariadne was a book I was really looking forward to reading and I am pleased to say that it was everything that I had hoped it would be!

I borrowed my copy from the library and was absolutely stunned by the gorgeous cover and the fact it was a signed edition too. I wanted to keep it!

Ariadne focuses on the stories of two sisters and how they manage to survive in a world of gods and men.

I was not familiar with Ariadne’s story before reading this but that did not at all affect my enjoyment of the novel. In fact I think that it aided it as there were many surprises and I had no idea where the story was going which made it more exciting and interesting to me.

Growing up as princess’s of Crete with a tyrannical father Ariadne and Phaedra live in shame and fear with the constant gossiping of their mother’s adultery and the pounding of the hooves of their brother, the Minotaur beneath their feet.

The sisters couldn’t be more different from one another. Ariadne is gentle, quiet and brave whereas Phaedra is more outgoing and confident.

I really enjoyed the chapters that were told from both POV’s and was not expecting the chapters which were told from Phaedra’s perspective so that was a nice surprise and really added something for me.

My favourite parts of this book were the birth of the Minotaur as how it came about as well as the birth of Ariadne and Phaedra’s children and how they both take so differently to the role of motherhood.

I loved that this book gives voice to the women in Greek mythology and the way it explores survival and the treatment of women in society. The story of Perseus and Medusa in particular and how she came to be cursed all because of a man’s actions.

I absolutely hated Theseus of course but so happy to see Dionysus included although I found him complicated he is a very intriguing god!

It also touches on a few other gods and we also get to see a little of Hades and the underworld too which I really liked!

The book is beautifully written in vivid detail that is easy to picture in your mind. I am not an expert on Greek Mythology so there is a lot that I learned just from reading this and then looking up more information online because I was just so curious and needed to know more.

I am looking forward to picking up more books like this in the future!


Read Ariadne if you like…


— Greek Mythology retellings

— Books where women are given a voice

— Vivid descriptive writing

— Books about gods


Favourite Quotes


“I would not let a man who knew the value of nothing make me doubt the value of myself.”

“Because if I had learned anything, I had learned enough to know that a god in pain is dangerous.”

“Mortals may age, but the gods are prisoners of their own infantile whimsies, never capable of change and never knowing what it is to love, because they dare not risk the suffering of loss.”

“All mortals live and die by the threads they spin – and each mortal shall die when they cut that thread.”






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