20 Books for Christmas Book Fifteen Review – Ariadne

Title: Ariadne

Author: Jennifer Saint

Genre: Fantasy/ Mythology/ Historical Fiction

Goodreads Rating: 3.83

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Source: ARC


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’d like to thank NetGalley and Headline for approving me for an ARC of this book.

Prior to reading this book I had some (but very little) knowledge of Greek mythology. I actually remember doing a Year 5 assembly about them and I played Athena Goddess of War, so you can see where my knowledge base starts. I was familiar with the story of Theseus and the Minotaur but again only briefly.

I read this as part of NetGalley November, however I didn’t quite get it done in time to claim it on my stats. I will admit that I did find aspects of this one a struggle and found I had to give myself a break whilst reading it to digest a lot of the information. I honestly think part of this was down to me reading this at the end of term when everything is ramping up for Christmas so my concentration level isn’t at it’s best.

Jennifer Saint well and truly brings women and their voices to the forefront of this story. The beautiful relationship between Ariadne and Phaedra tugged on my heart strings and I felt myself break more than once as their story progressed.

I admired both women’s determination to survive, despite the fact that they had placed their trust in the wrong man on more than one occasion. It was so sad to see how easily they had been used as pawns in a game and I found myself seething at how cruelly they were treated.

The settings were beautifully described, I could vividly imagine Ancient Greece and the island. It was also interesting to learn the backstories of some of the other characters, especially Dionysus. This was a beautifully written story, overflowing with Greek mythology.


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