Book Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint


About the Book:

In one of the most famous Greek myths, Ariadne betrayed her father, King Minos, to help Theseus defeat the Minotaur. But Theseus in turn betrayed her. This is her story.

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.

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.

My Thoughts:

For a person who owns a dog named Zeus, I know very little about Ancient Greek mythology. But this didn’t hamper my enjoyment of this novel at all. Ariadne tells the story of the daughters of King Minos, Ariadne and Phaedra. It’s a story of love and betrayal and the ways in which women fall victim to the egos of the men in their lives. It’s also a story of sisterhood, with fates intersecting in the most tragic of ways. Of Gods and mortals, Ariadne is an unforgettable novel of female agency, immortal love, and the gripping intoxication of power.

Quotable Quotes:

‘What I did not know was that I had hit upon a truth of womanhood: however blameless a life we led, the passions and the greed of men could bring us to ruin, and there was nothing we could do.’


‘I have walked amongst mortals for many years and I know the dizzying joys of humanity: the fragile, ferocious power of human love and the savage force of grief.’


‘I would not let a man who knew the value of nothing make me doubt the value of myself.’


‘The price we paid for the resentment, the lust and the greed of arrogant men was our pain, shining and bright like the blade of a newly honed knife.’


Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of Ariadne for review.

About the Author:

Due to a lifelong fascination with Ancient Greek mythology, Jennifer Saint read Classical Studies at King’s College, London. She spent the next thirteen years as an English teacher, sharing a love of literature and creative writing with her students. ARIADNE is her first novel and she is working on another retelling of ancient myth for her second.

Published by Hachette Australia – Wildfire
Released 30th March 2021

11 thoughts on “Book Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

  1. It sounds like a good read, but the blurb is wrong, Ariadne is not a forgotten woman. She has been painted countless times, and you can find her in almost any of the galleries in Europe. This website mentions 232 reproductions of Ariadne paintings available for purchase.
    There’s even two by Norman Lindsay in the NGV!
    And there are lots of musical works that feature Ariadne too. If you search her name at Wikipedia and click on Musical Works in the ToC, you’ll see that it’s not just opera, everyone from Led Zeppelin to the Australian post-rock band Laura.
    So while the Greek myths were generally dismissive of women, Ariadne isn’t really one of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to read this book—–the moment it read “perfect for fans of Circe and Song of Achilles”, I was like got to read it

    That is how my journey with Greek Mythology retellings started————with Song of Achiles

    Liked by 1 person

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