Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Posted May 17, 2021 by Stephanie in Reviews / 15 Comments

Title: Ariadne
Author: Jennifer Saint
Publication: April 29th 2021 by Wildfire
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology Retelling
Find it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | iBooks |Β Kobo
Rating: 3/5β˜…

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.

Greek mythology retellings focused on the often forgotten female mytholical characters have been on the rise in the last few years and I’m so here for it all. There’s not one that I wouldn’t read and the same goes for Ariadne. I’m so glad to have finally read this book. The writing was so beautiful and I really did enjoy it but in the end I missed a little more ‘oomph’ to the characters and story.

Ariadne is a reimagining of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. I think most people are familiar with that story and how shitty Theseus is. Spoiler alert: that doesn’t change in this book. But Ariadne can now finally be the true hero that the myth deserved. And oh I loved Ariadne’s character. She was a joy to read about and easily my favorite character in the book.

We also get her younger sister Phaedra’s POV, which I hadn’t expected. It was very striking to see even though they are sisters they had such different experiences in life, especially as they got older and became mothers. It was really interesting to see and read that.

Now as much as I enjoyed the book for the most part, ultimately I just wanted a little more from it. There wasn’t a lot of plot and some of the characters could really have used some more development. It very much relied on the stunning writing. The end, though, almost made me cry. It was a very emotional one but oh so beautiful.

Written in both Ariadne’s and her sister Phaedra’s point of view this was a powerful read. It was a really beautiful written and poignant story with a focus on sistershood. It was definitely impressive for a debut novel and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Jennifer Saint.


About the author:

Jennifer Saint grew up reading Greek mythology and was always drawn to the untold stories hidden within the myths. After thirteen years as a high school English teacher, she wrote ARIADNE which tells the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur from the perspective of Ariadne – the woman who made it happen. Jennifer Saint is now a full-time author, living in Yorkshire, England, with her husband and two children.

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15 responses to “Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

  1. verushka

    It sounds amazing, even if it did lack the oomph you needed – it did something right if it made you cry ?

    • I can definitely see how it’s compared to Circe but I enjoyed Circe way more (I gave that 5 stars). Ariadne is still worth a read, just not the best I’ve ever read, you know.

  2. A retelling of Theseus and the Minotaur? Now that is something you don’t read every day! I’m sorry it wasn’t an outstanding read for you, but glad you still found it enjoyable πŸ™‚

  3. I have seen some people loving this book and some others finding it lacking in some ways like you did. I am sorry you didn’t adore it more! I have to admit I still want to give it a try myself though :3

    Olivia Roach recently posted: April Wrap Up [2021]

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