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Summary

A mesmerising retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Perfect for fans of Circe, The 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' 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.

©2021 Jennifer Saint (P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic reviews

"Exquisitely written and exceptionally moving, this is a mythical retelling to savour." (Elodie Harper, author of The Wolf Den)

What listeners say about Ariadne

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not very good.

if being a book written by a woman about a woman makes something feminist. then this is a feminist book. however in my opinion it is simply a Mills and boon style rewriting of the myth of Ariadne. beautiful told by the narrator however it is as if somebody had copied Madeline Millers homework. if you enjoyed the nuance and beauty of Madeline Miller circe then this book will likely irritate you.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story

I couldn't put this book down, or more accurately stop listening to it. The narrator is fantastic, she even carries off male voices with no problem and had me crying in certain parts, the emotions felt so raw.

The mythology behind this is sound and it's absolutely fantastic that a previously generally ignored figure from the time of gods and monsters has been given her place in fictional history.

Honestly, if you want to lose yourself to a beautifully crafted story, this is for you.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful dramatic narration

I haven’t been able to get the book yet but hope to read it soon. This is a good dramatic audible for long distance runners and car journeys. The plot is women centred and the dual narration works well. It’s not scholarly like Natalie Haynes but very accessible to a modern audience.

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  • 26-06-21

A wonderful listen!

God, Theseus is such a coward isn’t he? Also, Phaedra was as annoying as I thought she was from the very start. Was a pity though.. because she was a smart girl. I really enjoyed this listen and thought that it was narrated very well.

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  • 02-08-21

this book was ok

i enjoyed the start of this book and i enjoyed the end, however somewhere in the middle the story gets a little lost. The middle section is a little repetitive and becomes a struggle to get through. its a shame as the overall aspect of the story is good

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Mills and Boon

I have had to give up on this as the overwrought writing was just too painful. Adjectives and adverbs flung around with abandon. The characterisations were heavy handed and motivations simplified to the point of banality.

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An amazing debut novel

I really enjoyed this story. It is beaufully written and very well narrated. I was completely engaged from the very beginning would definitely recommend. I didn't really know anything about Greek Mythology before starting this book, but it really brought the characters to life, and has left me wanting to know more.

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A mixed bag

The overall story was good and many chapters were interesting and engaging. However, there were also lots of chapters that were painfully slow and it seemed to take a thousand words to describe a pretty straightforward event and took so long to get where I knew it was going. The narration was good but the constant intense dramatic tone was a bit wearing.