Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
Give us ALL the Greek Mythology. This was my most anticipated release of 2021 and it did not disappoint, just LOOK at that cover – had so much fun dressing it up for this pic. @madeline.e.miller is one of my all time favourite authors (and one of the nicest people I have ever met), and I immediately buy anything from @nataliehaynesauthor and Pat Barker so when @caitlinraynorsent us this book I literally stopped midway through my current read to devour it in one sitting.
This is the tale of Ariadne and Phaedra as they have never been seen. The heroism of Theseus destroying the Minotaur is peeled back to reveal the courageous Princesses of Crete who risked everything to help him succeed, betraying their tyrant of a father King Minos. In a world of capricious and petty Gods and Kings these sisters flourish and persevere. There are many representations of Ariadne but this is possibly my favourite. I was so delighted to read about Phaedra who I first learnt about when studying Ovid and Euripides, and the imagining of Pasiphae as yet another tormented victim of Posiden instead of a perverted witch was inspired.
The writing is utterly transportive and beautifully crafted, immediately taking you to Crete and Athens. It’s richly detailed and fast paced, going in between the sisters perspectives which I loved. There were many poignant moments where the author explores the very beginnings of misogyny and rape stereotypes (Medusa my darling we see you) that elevated this, making it transcend the time.
Can you tell I’m a fan. It’s out now – buy it immediately. Would re-read in a heartbeat. Preferably on a Greek Island. Thank you @headlinebooks for this copy and congratulation to @jennifer.saint.author for an exceptional debut.