Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Ariadne, Princess of Crete, grows up greeting the dawn from her beautiful dancing floor and listening to her nursemaid’s stories of gods and heroes. But beneath her golden palace echo the ever-present hoofbeats of her brother, the Minotaur, a monster who demands blood sacrifice every year.
When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives to vanquish the beast, Ariadne sees in his green eyes not a threat but an escape. Defying the gods, betraying her family and country, and risking everything for love, Ariadne helps Theseus kill the Minotaur. But will Ariadne’s decision ensure her happy ending? And what of Phaedra, the beloved little sister she leaves behind?
Hypnotic, propulsive, and utterly transporting, Jennifer Saint’s Ariadne forges a new epic, outside the traditional narratives of heroism and glory that leave no room for women.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Ariadne follows the life of Ariadne, from Greek mythology. I didn’t know much about her previous to this book, so I can’t speak to that aspect of this being a retelling. I haven’t read too many Greek mythology retellings in the last few years because I’ve continually been disappointed by them. But I’m happy to say that this wasn’t the case with Ariadne. While I wouldn’t say this was a very happy story (are there any actual happy stories when it comes to Greek myths?), I will say that I enjoyed it.
I really liked Ariadne as the main character. She hears stories of how other women of her time are treated (specifically Medusa) and is enraged. I would have liked to see a little bit more of this rage as actual anger instead of how it manifested mostly as distrust for Dionysus. Ariadne made some poor choices that led to her being abandoned on an island that belonged to Dionysus. He finds her there and the two very slowly develop a relationship. I really liked how their friendship developed and then later on turned into something else. I do think that this being a multiple-perspective story took a bit away from Ariadne and Dionysus’ story, which is what I really cared about. I didn’t care much about Ariadne’s sister and her chapters at all (I just finished this book and I already don’t even remember her name.)
Overall, I think this was a well-written story. I liked most of the characters that were supposed to like and despised the characters that we were obviously supposed to dislike. But I wouldn’t say that I ever felt so strongly about any of them that this story will leave a lasting impression. I think I’ll definitely give more of Saint’s books a try in the future.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.


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