I’m delighted to be part of the Jennifer Saint Ariadne blog tour today and would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate. My enormous thanks too, to Caitlin Raynor for sending me a surprise copy of Ariadne in return for an honest review. Having read the prologue that I’m excited to be sharing with you today I cannot wait to get to Ariadne.
Published by Headline imprint Wildfire on 29th April 2021, Ariadne is available for purchase through the links here.
‘My story would not be one of death and suffering and sacrifice, I would take my place in the songs that would be sung about Theseus; the princess who saved him and ended the monstrosity that blighted Crete’
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.
A truly spellbinding, epic story taking readers on an unforgettable journey. Perfect for fans of Circe, A Thousand Ships and The Silence of the Girls.
An Extract from Ariadne
Let me tell you the story of a righteous man.
The righteous man of the story is King Minos of Crete, who set out to wage a great war on Athens. His war was one of retribution upon them for the death of his son, Androgeos. This mighty athlete had reigned victorious in the city’s Panathenaic Games, only to be torn to pieces by a rampaging bull on a lonely Athenian hillside. Minos held Athens responsible for the loss of his triumphing son and thirsted for bloodsoaked punishment for their failure to protect the boy from the savage beast.
On his way to inflict his wrath upon the Athenians, Minos stopped to destroy the kingdom of Megara in a show of strength. The King of Megara, Nisus, was widely famed for his invincibility but his legend was no match for the mighty Minos, who cut away the crimson lock of hair upon which Nisus’ power depended. Divested of that blood-red curl, the hapless man was slain by the conquering Minos.
How had he known to shear away Nisus’ hair? Minos would cheerfully recount to me how the King’s daughter, the beautiful princess Scylla, had fallen wildly and helplessly in love with him. As she murmured her sweet promises into his receptive ear, telling of how she would gladly give up her home and family in exchange for his love, she let slip the key to her father’s ruin.
Of course, Minos was rightly disgusted by her lack of proper daughterly devotion and, once the kingdom had fallen with the bloody descent of his axe, he tied the lovestruck girl to the back of his boat and piously dragged her to her watery grave as she screamed and bewailed her tender trust in love.
She had betrayed her father and her kingdom, he told me, still glowing with the flush of victory on his return from the defeat of Athens. And what possible use could my father, King Minos of Crete, ever have for a treacherous daughter?
And of course, we really need to know the answer to that question don’t we?
About Jennifer Saint
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.
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