Flatiron. May 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781250773586. $26.99. F
DEBUT Saint retells stories of the ancient Greek gods from a human—particularly female—perspective. Ariadne is the granddaughter of the sun god and sister of the Minotaur, a monstrous bull with a taste for human blood. She longs to escape Crete and the unappealing marriage her father has planned for her; when Theseus arrives as part of the group to be sacrificed to the Minotaur, she sees her chance and helps him defeat the beast. But on their return to his homeland, Theseus abandons Ariadne on the island of Naxos, and she has lost all hope of rescue when Dionysus, the god of wine, appears. He seems unlike the other gods—considerate, caring, gentle—and they marry. As Dionysus begins to long for a worldwide cult of worshippers, he asks his younger brother Perseus to help him. But Perseus, slayer of the Medusa, refuses to be subjugated, and tragedy ensues. Saint skillfully weaves the Greek mythology of heroism and revenge into whole cloth, making the fabric of interactions among humans and gods compelling and entertaining as she shows us that women often get the blame for men’s (and gods’) actions. Sisterhood is required for survival.
VERDICT Readers of mythology and human relations will enjoy this book. Highly recommended.
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