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Ariadne: A Novel Kindle Edition
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A Most Anticipated Book (Bustle, Buzzfeed, PopSugar, Goodreads)
“Beautifully written and nuanced, Ariadne explores the bonds between women and their epic quest for agency in patriarchal Greek society.”
"Circe fans would do well to take note."
“If you loved Madeline Miller’s Circe, then you have to check out Ariadne by Jennifer Saint.”
“Saint’s immersive novel thrusts the reader straight into the heart of Greek mythology with this wonderful reimagining of the story of Ariadne.”
―The Independent (UK)
“A lyrical, insightful re-telling.”
―The Daily Mail
“Energetic and compelling.”
―The Times (UK)
“Captivating…Saint’s mesmerizingly beautiful prose makes Ariadne a fascinating read.”
―The Nerd Daily
“An illuminating read.”
―Woman & Home
“Relevant and revelatory.”
“A beautiful epic…In a world ruled by temperamental, petulant gods, Ariadne is a shining beacon of female strength and courage―making this a story that’s impossible to forget.”
“Enchanting…Saint expertly highlights how often the women of this world pay the price for the actions of the men around them. Lovers of mythology should snap this up.”
“Complex―and bold…Fans of Madeline Miller's Circe will enjoy this faithful retelling that centers the often-forgotten women of Greek myth.”
"Ariadne is a shimmering tapestry of two sisters bound by deceit and the shadows of family history. One marries a hero, the other a god. As their lives criss-cross through girlhood and womanhood, the secrets that their husbands keep become a monstrous backdrop to their relationship. With a fresh voice and keen insight, Saint adds flesh and bone to an ancient myth, drawing the reader into an uneasy world of ever-afters."
―Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Tiger
“An ancient story of love and sisterhood reimagined, Jennifer Saint's Ariadne is a truly masterful debut―compulsive, absorbing and lyrical. Saint breathes new life into the forgotten women of Greek mythology with a novel that's both incredibly absorbing, and full of heart.” ―Katie Lowe, author of The Furies
- ASIN : B08FGV6R9D
- Publisher : Flatiron Books (May 4, 2021)
- Publication date : May 4, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 3458 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 309 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #29,681 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Ariadne and Phaedra - sisters, princesses, King Minos's daughters - have to deal with the consequences of the acts of gods and men. Ariadne is left to die in the island of Naxos after helping Theseus defeat the Minotaur. Phaedra becomes the queen she always dreamed of becoming, only to feel trapped in a gilded cage until she falls in love with a man she can't have.
I enjoyed the critique of the double standards between men and women. But... I was expecting more from Ariadne's story. I think her characters she could've been developed a bit more. And I was expecting more gore from the Dionysus' rituals, from what I had read in the book "Wake, Siren."
I didn't know about Phaedra's story before this book, so I enjoyed her chapters more. I think that this character was complicated, complex, rash, flawed, and I loved her.
(A quick note: I listened to the audiobook version of the book, and the narrator performed wonderfully! Highly recommended.)
Many books have claimed to be spiritual successors to Madeleine Miller's phenomenal Circe, but Ariadne is the first one that, for me, really earns that distinction. Although it can be argued that the story does not stray far enough from the source mythos to be considered a feminist retelling in the same way that Circe challenges our assumptions about the famous witch of the Odyssey, showing her in a new light, I still feel Ariadne does an excellent job of framing the decisions of its characters in such a way as to give us fresh emotional context for Ariadne and Phaedra's choices.
It's impossible to talk about this book without mentioning how beautifully written it is. The prose is gorgeous from start to finish, and the alternating first-person POVs between the two sisters invites a sense of intimacy. Saint knows exactly when and where to linger in her scenes to capitalize on the emotion therein. Likewise, the pacing is excellent for a story that heavily relies on the internal experiences of the characters and their relationships to one another, with the big mythological moments many readers are already familiar with (slaying the Minotaur, etc.) nestled between rather than dominating the story. While the ending devastated me, it also felt completely earned by all that had come before it, which is really all one can ask for!
As someone with only a passing knowledge of Ariadne from Greek mythology—and none of her sister—I was constantly surprised by what happened, leading me to read quickly on. Readers with more familiarity may not find the plot twists as shocking, but Saint's execution entertains nevertheless.
Overall, this was a phenomenal debut, and I'm only sorry that I'll have to wait to see what this author writes next!
And the God Dionysus comes to life in this book. Ariadne relationship with him goes on over time. The Maenads come to stay on the Island of Naxos. Perseus, the hero who slayed Medusa is featured.
Trying not to give the book away, this was a thoughtful & revealing journey with Ariadne.
Recommend this one.
Jennifer Saint fills out the original myth in a fascinating manner. There is so much to learn about Greek mythology here, even if readers think they know the original tales. Gripping.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2021
Sadly the characterization was very poor and none of the protagonists had any depth to them so it was very difficult to engage in their joys and sorrows. But wow! The cover is fabulous.
For all that, it was an excellent concept, the story of two sisters and the different ways that life dealt with them and they dealt with half gods, human men and the activities of the gods. The story could have been really exciting, desperate and full of love, betrayals, joys and sorrows.
Too much was spent at the beginning of the book trying to establish what it must have felt like to believe and live within a sphere of powerful gods.
And Ariadne dancing by herself with no music (?) for what reason?
The only aspect that came across strongly was the relationship with and love of one of the sisters Ariadne for her children when they were babies and little children.
Does a writer have to experience the deep emotions they write about in order to portray them adequately? I don’t know.
Well.... it was a first novel and maybe Jennifer Saint’s writing will improve.
* Greek Myths
* Female POV
* Gods & Monsters
* Light romance
Ariadne was a wonderful read, it was so nice to be in the head of one of the women involved in the story of Theseus, to see what was going on around the whole minotaur situation.
I enjoyed the writing style and found it an easy read, which only took me three days to read. You can also tell that the author has some kind of background in Greek literature, rather than one who has only researched it for a book.
My only negatives were that there were some aspects that seemed as if they could have done with some more story time, such as Minos' quest and his ending. I would also have liked more of an interaction with Hera & Dionysus as that aspect of the story just came on suddenly near the end of the book.
I think the book would have been better if the author had proceeded it with the story of Medusa & Perseus.
All in all, I definitely recommend reading it and I will be buying the next book the author will be releasing.