Ariadne Review

Book Cover

GoodReads:

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?

My Review

I love mythology retellings, and I was really excited to read this! It did not disappoint.

Saint’s has a very enjoyable and easy style to read. None of the heaviness of the mythology is left out either. I could feel the distress and grief of the characters, their anger and hopes, and that made it a really hard read on the emotions as well lol. I do have to say someone on GoodReads had the exact idea, I was skimming through the reviews before reading and they spoke of pacing.

Pacing was disjointed. We spent a rather good chunk on this set up event and then when we get to Ariadne going past being a teenager, it all feels off kilter. The time jump feels a little out of place, the first one was understandable and it was clear why she did the second one as well but I would have loved to have seen Ariadne’s relationship with her love interest really develop. Instead we saw the makings of a beautiful beginning and we got the tragic ending, it was as if the middle of the story was left out.

And yet, despite that, it was still a very good read.

The writing style and the stark contrasts of emotions between characters made up for this glaring hole in the story that gave it a weird rushed pacing after the first quarter of the book. Ariadne has such an awareness of her own place in her story, Phaedra her sister is not as aware of where her place in a story might be, and I love that there is this difference between them. The author remains true to the mythology and that does make it so hard to deal with the ending.

I wanted to shout and shake my fists lol, I was not happy, but, I knew it was the ending it was meant to have, but it just felt so…frustrating. Which I suspect is exactly what Saint was going for. She didn’t want a complacent reader, she wanted us aware of the anger, pain, grief, and everything in between that these women would feel. That they paid the price for men and gods alike.

It was a good mythology retelling, great writing style, and really let you feel so many emotions. This book isn’t meant to appease you, and I loved that. My only issue

4/5 Cups of coffee from me, glad to get a book read and reviewed on my own, and I already started another book, so fingers crossed this is a good sign lol.

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