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Ariadne Reviews

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Ariadne

Jennifer Saint

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Wildfire
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Publication date: 29 Apr 2021
ISBN: 9781472273864

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.

4 stars out of 5
Nick Rennison
23 May 2021

"gives a twist to familiar myth by offering the perspective of the women characters"

Stories from classical mythology have been cleverly refashioned for contemporary readers in recent novels such as Madeline Miller’s Circe and Natalie Haynes’s A Thousand Ships. Ariadne is a fine addition to their number...

The story is well known, of course, but Saint tells it skilfully and, like Miller and Haynes, gives a twist to familiar myth by offering the perspective of the women characters.

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
Antonia Senior
7 Apr 2021

"Saint’s version is energetic and compelling, and the women become more than just the victims of the whims of men"

The trend for feminist retellings of Greek myths continues. This debut follows in the footsteps of Pat Barker, Madeline Miller and Natalie Haynes. The Hera of this field is the great Mary Renault, whose novels The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea cover similar ground to Ariadne. In Renault’s version, the gods are distant; Jennifer Saint, like Miller in Circe, makes the gods flesh... The language errs towards the florid and is over-reliant on clichés. Over the two pages when Ariadne realises that Theseus has left her on Naxos, her voice catches in her throat, panic claws at her insides, her knees give way and her thoughts flail helplessly. That failing aside, Saint’s version is energetic and compelling, and the women become more than just the victims of the whims of men. Ariadne rages at “these men, these gods who toyed with our lives and cast us aside”.