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Publisher's Summary

The mesmerising retelling from the woman at the heart of one of Ancient Greece's most famous myths. 

Ariadne, Princess of Crete and daughter of the fearsome King Minos, grows up hearing stories of gods and heroes. But beneath the golden palace something else stirs, the hoofbeats and bellows echoing from the Labyrinth below. Every year its captive, the Minotaur—Ariadne's brother—demands blood.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne sees in him her chance to escape. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that drawing the attention of the mercurial gods may cost her everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne's decision to risk everything for love 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. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this exceptional debut novel is perfect for fans of Circe, A Song of Achilles, and The Silence of The Girls.

©2021 Jennifer Saint (P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Exquisitely written and exceptionally moving, this is a mythical retelling to savour." (Elodie Harper, author of The Wolf Den)

"A lyrical, insightful re-telling." (Daily Mail)

"If you like Madeline Miller's Circe and Song of Achilles, you will eat up Ariadne.... Saint makes it a page-turner." (Glamour)

What listeners say about Ariadne

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Couldn't Take the Melodrama

It's really good - well written and well read - but when the melodrama get's going my eyes start to roll all by themselves. I just feel like I want to explain to the author - you don't always have to be ripped in half by black spears of despair - or flying in golden clouds of bliss - or transported by burning lava flows of rage... there are those too, of course - but there are often more ordinary states of emotion in between - like irritation - worry - curiosity. And the lesser ones in between make the extreme ones more special and more dramatic. But when you smear it on in spades ALL THE TIME like a giant hamfest -well it frequently gets to be too much... hey maybe it's just me...

8 people found this helpful

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Good but tedious writing style

I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but the author uses too many descriptive words to describe the protagonist's thoughts when a few words would have sufficed. The internal dialogue just goes on and on and on... It really distracts from the storyline and sometimes I wished the author would just get on with it and tell the story rather than give another monologue. Other than that the book covers a lot of ground plot wise and fleshes out the myth of Ariadne in a surprising way.

3 people found this helpful

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Fabulous

Loved it! Wonderful telling of intimate personal experience that seamlessly merged the real lives of the ancient Greek world with the mythical. Will satisfy male and female readers alike and offers deep insights into the meaning of the Greek gods.

3 people found this helpful

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A Fascinating Retelling of the Ancient Myth

My knowledge of Ariadne ended on the beach so it was fascinating to read on with this new and vibrant retelling. Ariadne is such a strong and resilient character - a delight to read her story, beautifully told by the author, and read with drama and authority by Kristin Atherton.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kat
  • 24-09-2021

Beautiful surprise

Beautiful, well told story. One for those who love a Greek tragedy, but also for someone who understands loss and love. This story left me quite humbled and heartbroken at its end.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful retelling of a lesser known myth

As a fan of Circe, Troy and Stephen Fry's Greek opus, I thoroughly enjoyed this gripping and moving tale from Ariadne's perspective. My only gripe is a familiar one: a recording flaw I face too many times on Audible. I found myself constantly either turning the volume up to hear the mutterings and mumblings of Theseus and Dionysus, or turning it down during the shrieks and shrill outbursts of Ariadne and Phaedra. I warn other listeners who like me, listen to Audible in bed!

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Pretty Good!

A riveting story with plenty drama and an exciting take on an ancient myth.

1 person found this helpful

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Glorious!!!

I listened for hours and hours. Narrator's voice is soothing. Just the right amount of drama to keep your ears glued to the story. i highly Recommend it

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A well written book, wonderfully narrated.

A woman's experience of love, despair, life, family and motherhood are well explored through the various characters. The sub theme of motherhood I felt really captures the bittersweet nature of the experience. I also find Kristin Atherton is a masterful narrator and this book is no exception.

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loved it

great story. well written & read. I liked seeing a different version of Dionysus than have seen before. didn't expect the very end, but found it quite beautiful.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-03-2022

Boooooring

There is absolutely no reason why it would be better to read this version than the original Greek myth. There is a lot of internal monologue, but the story of what has happened could be told on no more than 20 pages.
Until now I thought Ariadne to be cool, but in this version she is pretty much whining all the time. She contemplates and contemplates what she should do, and this is more or less followed by her inaction, at least untill the very end.
Also, way too much of misandry in this book for my taste - and I consider myself to be a feminist!
I also disliked the narrator. Her voice is as bland as the story.

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  • Chris
  • 15-05-2021

not very good.

if being a book written by a woman about a woman makes something feminist. then this is a feminist book. however in my opinion it is simply a Mills and boon style rewriting of the myth of Ariadne. beautiful told by the narrator however it is as if somebody had copied Madeline Millers homework. if you enjoyed the nuance and beauty of Madeline Miller circe then this book will likely irritate you.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Bijoux
  • 14-09-2021

Ancient Greek Chiton Ripper

Where to start? Whilst the reader did her level best with the material this absolute mess of a book is basically a bizarre Mills & Boon set in mythological Greece. Saying that, the author plays fast and loose with the actual myths in order to present a devilishly caddish Theseus, all rippling muscles and ‘icy green eyes’, and our eponymous heroine, the fragrant and patently English middle class Ariadne who in modern life would drive a Chelsea Tractor and wear Hunters with her print frock. Her later romance with the god Dionysus - yes - descends into inadvertently hilarious domestic farce quite quickly and like so many contemporary writers ‘doing’ Ancient Greek Myths she has no concept of symbolism, religious faith or indeed, mythology. If you want the genuine article, listen to Mary Renault’s The Mask Of Apollo. If you want bulging thews and fluttering hearts give this a go and the best of luck.

9 people found this helpful

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  • CV
  • 26-06-2021

A wonderful listen!

God, Theseus is such a coward isn’t he? Also, Phaedra was as annoying as I thought she was from the very start. Was a pity though.. because she was a smart girl. I really enjoyed this listen and thought that it was narrated very well.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-02-2022

Heartbreaking - in every way brilliant

Such a gut wrenchingly sad story. Written and performed with such beauty and tenderness. Outstanding

2 people found this helpful

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  • Hannah
  • 23-07-2021

Beautiful story

I couldn't put this book down, or more accurately stop listening to it. The narrator is fantastic, she even carries off male voices with no problem and had me crying in certain parts, the emotions felt so raw.

The mythology behind this is sound and it's absolutely fantastic that a previously generally ignored figure from the time of gods and monsters has been given her place in fictional history.

Honestly, if you want to lose yourself to a beautifully crafted story, this is for you.

2 people found this helpful

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  • queenselphie
  • 01-02-2022

amazing narrator, fantastic story

oh my gosh the narrator is SO GOOD. I cried at the end and I'm sure it was because she was so amazing as well as the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Goldshadow
  • 02-09-2021

Eh

(Spoilers ahead)
This ending is unforgivable, mostly because it doesn't make any goddamn sense.

The book was pretty "meh" in the beginning, then turned relatively good around 40% of it (when Dionysos steps in), but then, oh boy, did the text fell into a dark pit of mess again. Jennifer Saint, attempting to truly write a feminist retelling, tries to antagonise every male character in this story (except, mabye, Hyppolitus). Dunno if she knows, and there are ofc many variants of the story, but Dionysos has no "secret dark side" concealed from his wife. Ariadne participated in the dionysias, countless classical murials will show you so. So she shrinking away from her husband, finding the rites revolting, doesn't make much sense to me...

Not to mention, in the myths Dionysos immortalises Ariadne just like he did his mother. Ariadne, frantically running up to Perseus (who should be long dead by the time Thesus' and Ariadne's even born, since Heracles is his offspring) just to look into Medusa's eyes... Come on.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-07-2021

Wonderful dramatic narration

I haven’t been able to get the book yet but hope to read it soon. This is a good dramatic audible for long distance runners and car journeys. The plot is women centred and the dual narration works well. It’s not scholarly like Natalie Haynes but very accessible to a modern audience.

1 person found this helpful

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  • C. Mayne
  • 10-08-2022

Saved by a great story and good performance

Don't think I would have finished this book if I had been reading it as the writing is unimaginative and simplistic. By no means a literary masterpiece, this book is held together by simply being a great story, performed admirably by Kristin Atherton.

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  • jkersley
  • 06-07-2022

Beautiful & tragic retelling

I thoroughly enjoyed this retelling of Ariadne’s story, filled with beautiful descriptions & heartbreaking moments. The narration was well done, with clear distinction between the different characters and an appropriate tempo.

My only slight criticism would be that the microphone needed a better pop shield, as the recording has picked up the narrator occasionally swallowing, which, although not hugely obvious, was sometimes a bit distracting.

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