A mesmerizing debut novel for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.
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.
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 younger sister she leaves behind?
Hypnotic, propulsive, and utterly transporting, Jennifer Saint's Ariadne forges a new epic, one that puts the forgotten women of Greek mythology back at the heart of the story, as they strive for a better world.
Saint's enchanting debut retells the myth of the minotaur through the eyes of Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete. Ariadne's life has always been touched by the gods, as her mother, Pasiphae, is the daughter of Helios, god of the sun. She has also witnessed their wrath, unfairly brought down upon Pasiphae by Poseidon, the sea god, because of Minos's transgressions against him. Her punishment, to fall into obsessive love with a bull, resulted in the Minotaur, Ariadne's half-human, half-bull brother. When Theseus, prince of Athens, is sent as part of that city's annual sacrifice to the Minotaur, a smitten Ariadne helps him defeat the monster and they flee Crete together. Ariadne hoped they would bring her sister, Phaedra, with them, but fickle Theseus breaks his promise, leaving Phaedra behind and abandoning Ariadne on the island of Naxos. The island is the home of Dionysus, god of wine and pleasure, and he takes Ariadne as his wife. Phaedra, meanwhile, is reluctantly married off to Theseus in a political maneuver of her father's. As the women navigate their changing positions of power, they court disaster at the hands of both gods and men. Saint expertly highlights how often the women of this world pay the price for the actions of the men around them. Lovers of mythology should snap this up. \n
A new classic
Beautifully poetically written