Friday, May 14, 2021

Blog Tour Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Today I'm thrilled to share my blog tour stop with you all for Jennifer Saint's Ariadne, which is available now! I was so excited when Amelia from Flatiron Books reached out about reading a copy of Ariadne and participating in this blog tour. My post will feature some info about the book, as well as my review!

Author:  Jennifer Saint
Pub. Date: May 4th, 2021
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Find it: B&N | IndieBound | AmazonGoogle Play | Book Depostiory

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."

Ariadne is a beautiful retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus and the minotaur, with a spotlight on Ariadne and her sister Phaedra. As a Classicist, I am always excited about any Greek myth retelling and snatch them up as soon as possible, so I was particularly thrilled by the idea of Ariadne because this seems to spotlight a lesser known myth and even lesser known characters. 
Ariadne had a slow start for me while the world was being set up and some general background was developed, so I was a little hesitant about what to expect as the story continued. Fortunately, once the general plot really started, things started to fall into place and it became a much easier read for me that I ended up having a hard time pulling myself away from. Saint managed to craft the slower setup of the beginning of the book into a carefully told tale of the power of gods and men and how the women involved navigate their lives and the forces surrounding them.
I really enjoyed following Ariadne and Phaedra on their respective journeys which seemed to mirror one another in opposite ways. Both of these young women experience so much in this story and their methods of resilience emerge in very different ways, which I found particularly compelling. It was heartbreaking to read various points of this book, but also full of emotion and intrigue. The personalities of both women were wonderfully developed and I think their strong multi-dimensional aspects brought so much life to this incredible myth. 
One of my favorite things about this retelling was how Saint worked many original myth elements into the story. The way she retold the minotaur's conception was particularly enjoyable, as well as the small details added to create plot points matching the myth, all of which were done in a clever and original manner. I really got the sense from Saint's writing that she had a connection to this story and the characters she wrote about, and I think that really gave this story a life of it's own that beautifully incorporated the ancient and the modern with themes that feel universal and relevant to all.
Saint's prose was beautiful and lyrical, and was wonderfully paced, though slightly on the slower side. This isn't a book to be rushed through (despite my desire to find out what would happen), but rather a book to be savored and thought about. I was particularly impressed by and enjoyed Saint's insight into what the dynamics were like for human and god interactions, as well as an exploration of how some gods may perceive human life. For instance, the god Dionysus spends time throughout the book talking about the differences between a god's outlook on life versus a human's, the latter of which often has more passion in it since it is so much shorter, and I  really found myself engaged with these more philosophical discussions and thought experiments. 
 If you love a beautiful retelling full of vivid characters, incredible stories, and an exploration of the relationships between mortals and the Greek gods, then this is the book for you!


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.

LINKS: Twitter | Goodreads


  1. I think this is the first review of this book I've read, and its very tempting! Glad you enjoyed it๐Ÿ˜

  2. I've really been enjoying Greek mythology retellings, so I'm definitely looking forward to this one. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!