Ariadne by: Jennifer Saint

A telling of the life of Ariadne with nothing powerful to show for it

I want to preface this by saying I did enjoy the book I enjoyed it as a single read only, but I did enjoy it.

I love Greek myth, I’m not sure who didn’t grow up at least a little interested in it. As a result, when I saw this book and it’s simple yet gorgeous cover, I fell in love.

The story of the minotaur is always told from the point of view of Theseus and I was really curious about how it would feel to read it from the point of view of the woman who made it possible.

This story reads with a feminist tilt. Ariadne and her younger sister Phaedra are women in a man’s world. They have no power and their father Minos is a monster in his own right. He uses the minotaur and the labyrinth that houses it as a weapon.

We all know the myth. What I wanted from this book is to see Ariadne coming into her power on her own.

That’s not what happens. Jennifer Saint writes the myth with more modern prose. It’s told from Ariadne’s point of view, then Phaedra’s. You get a solid enough feel for the two of them and become attached enough to follow them through their journeys but nothing really that I didn’t already know.

She doesn’t bring anything new to the story and the characters, while well rounded, didn’t really sink their hooks into me. I wanted more, I wanted to feel more for these women. Although I knew how it would end, I still wanted to be surprised.

Madeline Miller did this with Circe. While I knew the story, the way it was told and the life she breathed into the character of Circe was amazing. I wanted that. I wanted characters that felt real.

They were a bit flat. They were a bit boring. And there were points during the book where the dialogue and the conflict was off. There was a point where Ariadne and Dionysus had an argument and it felt contrived. It felt weak. Contrived.

There was a point where she was arguing with her sister and her sister’s words were meant to be hurtful and they boiled down to “I’m not fat from having kids, I don’t have a baby on my chest anymore.”

And that was meant to be hurtful? Not once after leaving Crete had Ariadne given any thought to her appearance and then her sister brings up that she’s fat because she’s had five children and that hurts?

It was so weak.

I finished the book to see the ending. Honestly, I was too close to the end of it to just give up. I closed the book and just shrugged.

Maybe someone else will enjoy it more. The writing it solid and easy to understand although Jennifer Saint has a problem in this book with hammering on with description of emotions. I read a literal paragraph of how glorious some part of Theseus body was or another paragraph about how handsome he was or when it came to how she was feeling she just kept saying the same thing over and over in the same paragraph.

Run on sentences are annoying when they happen often. When it’s the entire paragraph and you’re getting the same idea but with different flowery words, it’s enough to make me want to quit.

I’m giving it a two and a half.

Author:

Author. Reader. Reviewer. Interested in Sci-fi, Fantasy, and everything in between. Ya, and Adult. Looking for representaion where it matters! BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, everything! We all deserve stories!

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