Ariadne is a retelling of the Greek myths involving the titular heroine, including both her roles in aiding Theseus in the defeat the Minotaur and as the wife of Dionysus.
This story covers the entire scope of Ariadne’s life, so there are quieter, slower sections where not much is happening, but even the action scenes feel quieter. The tone of the book definitely feels like the telling of a very ancient story, without much urgency, one where the outcome is already decided. This isn’t an illogical choice for a Greek myth, but it does make for a less exciting novel, as it keeps the stakes from feeling as high as they could have (life and death or life-changing choices normally create a bit more tension).
I really liked Ariadne’s recognition of how the women in her world so often bore the punishment for men’s wrongs, but for all her talk it never seemed to affect her behavior other than making her angry. This could have been a really interesting theme if it had been explored more fully, and easily could have been if Ariadne had been a more active character rather than a passive one.
I also have one odd note—I think this book uses “viscous” more times than all the other books I’ve read combined. It’s a perfectly good word, but repetitive descriptors tend to draw attention, and this one especially jumped out.
While the book is not a perfect one, it does still present an interesting story, and it did motivate me to do a little more digging into Greek mythology to better understand some of the character references. All in all, I give Ariadne 2.75 stars out of 5.