- Genre: Fantasy
- Pages: 320
- Publication date: May 4, 2021
- Buy: Ariadne: A Novel
I was given a digital ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the tale of the Minotaur to the story of Hippolytus, this novel chronicles the lives of the two princesses of Crete, Ariadne and Phaedra.
Told at last from the point of view of the women, Jennifer Saint reveals the darker side to the myths you read in high school–revealing the way in which society punishes the women for the mistakes of the men they choose to trust.
If this book does not win all the major fantasy awards, I’ll be both shocked and appalled.
First of all, this is beautifully written with prose that often read more like poetry. Moreover, the social commentary supplied throughout the tale is appropriate to our modern society, and it is supplied in a way that does not detract from the overall plot. It’s not preachy, but it will make you think.
Ariadne’s character development is perfect. She starts as a naive little princess with a serious hero-worship issue and ends as a strong, confident woman. She stops defining herself by the men in her life, and starts making decisions for herself.
Phaedra, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of her sister–as one develops one way, the other seems to shift in the other directions. Their stories, though rarely intersecting, are fantastically balanced.
Honestly, this is one that everyone should read at least once. Also, I want to start teaching this in school. That’s cool, right? I mean, Ariadne is a much more likable character than Odysseus in the Odyssey.