I have always been fascinated with the gods of both Greek and Roman legends. They supposedly had it all, from beauty and riches to the ability to toy with mere mortals, they seemed to relish their exalted position in the universe. I was happy to see that a number of authors are also exploring the way in which the gods are presented and the book Ariadne by Jennifer Saint, writes of the interactions of the gods and their mortals here on earth.
It’s truly a fascinating look at how the gods held dominion over the earth and did not well tolerate the humans who tried to go against their grand schemes, even if the human element suffered immeasurable loss. Ariadne was one caught up in the web as well as her sister, Phaedra, who are caught up in the web. When the young and charming prince of Athens, Theseus arrives in their father’s kingdom, he is on a mission, that to destroy the dreaded Minotaur, (brother to Ariadne and Phaedra), an eater of human flesh. The sisters fall under his spell and Ariadne falls in love with him. As tribute to the kingdom of Crete, twelve souls of Athens are required each year, to be offered to the Minotaur as blood sacrifice. Theseus is there to put an end to this.
To accomplish his task, he enlists the help of both Ariadne and Phaedra with consequences neither of the girls are aware of until it is too late. Left on an island, condemned to a certain death, Ariadne is saved by Dionysus, (another Olympian god), a man she falls in love with. Meanwhile back in Crete, Phaedra is carried away by Theseus, to be his wife unknowing of what really happened to her sister.
The girls well know that one does not attract the eyes of the gods without there being repercussions and the book is ever so adept at showing how women were under the thumb of both the divine and the human males they came in contact with.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable book and as a debut book, I was very impressed. Once again using the background of Greek mythology, we see a scenario where women are downtrodden and kept under the rule of their male oppressors.
and here’ the author:
Jennifer Saint grew up reading Greek mythology and was always drawn to the untold stories hidden within the myths. After thirteen years as a high school English teacher, she wrote ARIADNE which tells the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur from the perspective of Ariadne – the woman who made it happen. Jennifer Saint is now a full-time author, living in Yorshire, England, with her husband and two children.