I must admit I only really knew the story of Ariadne through who she’s connected to. Mainly the Minotaur (not one I ever really knew either) and Daedalus and Icarus.
So when I picked this book up thinking to just try a chapter I was drawn in fast. It’s a pretty readable book. Ariadne is like a good beach read myth retelling. While nowhere near as lyrically drawn it has some shades of Circe as well.
So who is Ariadne you ask?
Well according to the back of the book: sister, lover, traitor and hero. We see her growing up with the Minotaur as her brother. An event of course which shamed her mother and would have shamed her father if he had any. He only used to the monster to gain power and fear to his neighbors.
Every year as part of a truce Athens has to send 14 boys and girls as a sacrifice and we join the story when one of those boys happens to be the handsome hero who wants to end the monster.
And then there’s betrayal, love, more betrayal more love, Gods and sisters!
Pretty much a fun time overall. While this retelling is pretty simple I do like Ariadne’s musings on the Gods especially how their wrath is almost always born by women like her mother. And eventually who she becomes connected to and how some people and beings can’t really escape their natures or their fates.
This also ties into a bit of deconstruction about the traditional Greek heroes never having been what they seemed. And also having a whole lot of destroyed and dead women in their wake.
And while her father is not much in this I did like how Saint weaved his (King Minos) unraveling story throughout.
While Ariadne is the main character we also get the POV of her younger sister Phaedra and considering how that goes I think we needed to more of it. As it stands it feels like the ending goes by way to swiftly. Phaedra is an interesting character in her own right and while she’s very much a contrast to Ariadne maybe both sisters deserved their own books especially considering what happens to her.
Ariadne is a little uneven and doesn’t have the beautiful lyricism of a book like Circe but it’s a fun summer read bringing two sisters of myth to the forefront. And honestly a God that I never read much about makes a few appearances as well!