Hey friends! I have an interesting book to share with you all today! If you’re a fan of The Song of Achilles or Circe by Madeline Miller, stick around for a book that’s totally up your alley.
About the Book:
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.
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.
Ariadne is such a hard book to review. I’m a huge Madeline Miller fan, and I’m always looking for more mythology books. On the one hand, I loved the lush writing and all the descriptions and stories of the gods. I especially loved the motif of Medusa throughout the whole book, and this quotes really stuck with me even after I’ve finished the book:
”I would be Medusa… if the gods held me accountable one day for the sins of someone else, if they came for me to punish a mans actions, I would not hide away like Pasiphae. I would wear that coronet of snakes and the world would shrink for me instead.”
Ariadne was such a complexing character and I found myself full of dread most of the book in fear of what her ultimate fate would become. Throughout the book she becomes stronger and less naive of the men in her life, and I loved her character growth. Her sister Phaedra was a character I really enjoyed in the beginning. I thought her reckless personality perfectly contrasted Ariadne’s caution. The sister dynamic was so tangible and reminded me a lot of my relationship with my sister. However, Phaedra’s character arc was lackluster as the book progressed, and the end of her story felt so rushed and so unlike her character. She went from a strong-willed and independent young woman to someone who desperately sought the affection of a man. I get that it was a part of the tragedy, but it was hard to read such a downfall (so much so it made me cringe.)
The ending was also very tragic and quite disappointing. I know this was marketed as a “feminist” recounting of Ariadne’s story, but I think that ultimately Ariadne does assimilate for the men in her life and she doesn’t really do anything revolutionary in her story arc, unlike in Circe by Madeline Miller.
Overall, I have a bunch of mixed feelings. I did enjoy the journey reading Ariadne, but I was disappointed by some elements. If you’re looking for some great writing and storytelling, I would recommend you give this book a shot.