Blog Tour: Black Water Sister – Zen Cho

Blog Tour: Black Water Sister – Zen Cho


Release Date:
June 10th
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.

Jessamyn Teoh is closeted, broke and moving back to Malaysia, a country she left when she was a toddler. So when Jess starts hearing voices, she chalks it up to stress. But there’s only one voice in her head, and it claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother, Ah Ma. In life Ah Ma was a spirit medium, the avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god–and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it.

Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny. If she fails, the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.

Review

Black Water Sister first caught my eye when I heard the story described by the author as “A stressed zillennial lesbian fights gods, ghosts, gangsters & grandmas in 21st century Penang.” If that doesn’t intrigue you I don’t know what will! Black Water Sister is the engaging story of Jessamyn Teoh, a young woman moving from the US back to Malaysia with her parents. When she starts hearing a voice in her head she assumes it’s the stress of the move, but when the ghost admits to being her recently deceased grandmother, Jess ends up entangled in a plot to get revenge on a gang boss who has offended a god.

Black Water Sister is such a unique read and I got completely wrapped up in this magical story. The story is excellently plotted and well-paced, I found myself racing through the second half of the book because I wanted to know what was going to happen. This is my first book by Zen Cho and I enjoyed her writing style immensely, it was so easy to picture the sights and sounds of Malaysia. I love learning about the gods and the culture, especially as I don’t think I’ve read many books set there. Whilst this is my first book by the author it definitely won’t be my last and I will definitely be ordering Sorcerer to the Crown!

In this story, we meet some truly compelling characters and it was the incredible characters that really made this book for me. Jess is a brilliant protagonist – she’s trying to find herself, never having fit in in the US or in Malaysia. She’s trying to have a long-distance relationship with her girlfriend and her parents don’t know that she’s gay. There’s a lot going on, but Jess made for a really likeable character and I was rooting for her to succeed. I was similarly fascinated by Ah Ma, the snarky Grandma who is much more than she seems. I loved the way Cho mixed the magical mystery elements with typical family drama, it made for such a compelling and intriguing read.

Black Water Sister is a beautifully written, vivid tale of ghosts, mystery and family. If you’re looking for a fantasy read that’s completely unlike anything you’ve read before – this one is a must-read.

Blog Tour: The Maidens – Alex Michaelides

Blog Tour: The Maidens – Alex Michaelides


Release Date:
June 15th 2021
Publisher:  W&N
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.

Review

The Maidens is the all-new thriller by The Silent Patient author Alex Michaelides. The Silent Patient was one of my favourite thriller reads of 2019 and I was really excited to see what Michaelides did next. The story follows Mariana, a group therapist who becomes obsessed with the maidens when a friend of her niece is found murdered in Cambridge. Mariana knows for sure that even though he has an alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of murder and she will do anything to prove it. As Mariana becomes more and more obsessed, she soon finds her credibility and her closest relationships falling away from her – but can she stop the killer?

Just like The Silent Patient, I found myself getting completely lost in this story and raced through it in a few gripping sittings. The story captivated me from the outset and Michaelides has such a brilliant writing style that I was completely swept away in this story. It’s fast-paced with pretty short chapters that kept me completely hooked. The story is full to the brim with twists and turns and given the surprises in his first book I knew anything was possible. Michaelides has such a great way of making you a bit suspicious of everyone and the final reveal definitely wasn’t what I expected.

The Maidens is a dark and compelling read, one I think thriller fans will completely adore. Mariana is an interesting protagonist she is someone dealing with grief who very quickly spirals into obsession. I really liked the Cambridge setting in the story, which definitely came to life in the vivid descriptions. If you’re a fan of gripping psychological thrillers you can’t look away from, The Maidens should definitely be your next read.

Blog Tour: Monstrous Design – Kat Dunn

Blog Tour: Monstrous Design – Kat Dunn


Series:
Battalion of the Dead #2 (See my review of book one here!)
Release Date: June 10th 2021
Publisher: Zephyr Books
Pages: 432
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

1794, London: Camille and Al are desperately hunting Olympe’s kidnapper. From the glamorous excesses of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to the city’s seedy underbelly, they are caught in a dangerous game of lies and deceit. And a terrible new enemy lies in wait with designs more monstrous than they could ever imagine… Can Camille play on to the end or will she be forced to show her hand?

In Paris, the Duc is playing his own dangerous games. With Ada in his thrall, old loyalties are thrown into question. The Battalion are torn apart as never before, and everything – Ada’s love for Camille, her allegiance to the battalion itself – is under threat.

Review

Monstrous Design is the second instalment in Kat Dunn’s thrilling Battalion of the Dead series. The story picks up right after the events of Dangerous Remedy. We follow Camille and Al as they attempt to get Olympe back and we follow Ada and Guil as they attempt to find where the Duc is hiding out. As the stakes get higher alliances are soon called into question – but will the battalion of the dead be able to survive their latest adventure?

Dangerous Remedy was one of my favourite books of 2020. It was one of those books I still thought about months after reading it, and Monstrous Design was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021. Monstrous Design is action-packed – it’s a rollercoaster ride that does not stop till the very last page. It’s a pretty fast-paced story and despite being nearly 500 pages I read it in a single day. Dunn really hooks the reader in with this addictive plot that’s full of twists – with everyone playing their own game I never quite knew what was going to happen next.

In Monstrous Design we are transported to England as well as France and Dunn really makes the sights and sounds of both cities come alive in the story. My favourite thing about Dangerous Remedy was the brilliant characters and that was definitely the same in Monstrous Design. I loved being back with the Batallion again and it was fascinating seeing how the characters grow in this second instalment. I think Al is still my favourite, but I honestly love them all. I also really liked getting to know James more and learning more about his motivations as a character. He was a really fascinating POV character – he is really complex and torn between loyalties. Like wise I loved Camille and Ada, they are such compelling characters and I think I could read a dozen books about the crew and their daring heists.

Monstrous Design is a brilliant sequel and I am incredibly excited to see where Kat Dunn will take us in book three. If you’ve been curious about this series I definitely recommend picking it up and if you’ve already read Dangerous Remedy, you need to pick up book two now!

Blog Tour: Threadneedle – Cari Thomas

Blog Tour: Threadneedle – Cari Thomas


Series:
The Language of Magic #1
Release Date: May 27th 2021
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Pages: 576
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Within the boroughs of London, nestled among its streets, hides another city, filled with magic.

Magic is the first sin. It must be bound.

Ever since Anna can remember, her aunt has warned her of the dangers of magic. She has taught her to fear how it twists and knots and turns into something dark and deadly.

It was, after all, magic that killed her parents and left her in her aunt’s care. It’s why she has been protected from the magical world and, in one year’s time, what little magic she has will be bound. She will join her aunt alongside the other Binders who believe magic is a sin not to be used, but denied. Only one more year and she will be free of the curse of magic, her aunt’s teachings and the disappointment of the little she is capable of.

Nothing – and no one – could change her mind before then. Could it?

Review

Threadneedle is the first book in a new fantasy series from Cari Thomas, following Anna a young girl living with her incredibly strict aunt. Anna is warned about the dangers of magic – it killed her parents and is a sin. In one year’s time, Anna’s magic will be bound and she will join her aunt as part of the Binders. Nothing will stop her from following the plan her aunt has laid out for her – or will it?

Threadneedle is a spellbinding read. It hooks you in from the very first chapter and you become completely lost in this magical story. It definitely gave me Harry Potter vibes but the story is incredibly different. This is quite a slow-paced story, giving the reader a chance to get to know the world and the magic. I really enjoyed getting to know the magic system in this world and the story kept me turning pages long into the night. Despite it being nearly 600 pages, I read this one pretty quickly because I just could not put it down.

Thomas has a gorgeous writing style and I found it easy to dive back into the story when I picked it up again. Anna is a fascinating protagonist and it is very much a coming of age story as we see Anna progress and find her place in the world. I also thought Effie was a really interesting character and enjoyed seeing the way a friendship forms between the two girls. Threadneedle felt like such a unique and interesting take on the witchcraft story and I couldn’t get enough. I was kept guessing right till the end and I cannot wait to see where Thomas takes us in book two.

Threadneedle is a compelling and unforgettable read, full to the brim with magic. If you’re a fan of YA fantasy – this one is a must-read.

Book Review: The Wolf and the Woodsman – Ava Reid

Book Review: The Wolf and the Woodsman – Ava Reid


Release Date:
June 8th 2021
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman—he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.

Review

The Wolf and the Woodsman is the dark and captivating tale of Évike, the only woman in her pagan worshipping village without magic. When the king demands a pagan girl as a blood sacrifice, the village offers Évike up. En route to the capital with the deadly Woodsman, they are attacked, leaving only Évike and the captain left alive. She soon learns he is more than he seems and the two must reluctantly team up to stop an attempt to seize the throne that will have catastrophic repercussions for both the pagans and the Yehuli people.

I’ve been trying to find a book that will fill the hole left by Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy and this is absolutely it. With beautiful writing and a wonderful fairytale-style story, The Wolf and the Woodsman completely sucked me in and stole my heart. This book has immediately catapulted to one of my favourite books of all time. I loved everything about this book. Reid has a really lyrical writing style, the world she has created practically leaps off the page and I was completely fascinated by the magic in this story. There is lots of body horror and quite a bit of gore in the story, but it’s an incredibly well-executed story, and one I did not want to end.

One of the things I loved most about this story is the incredible characters Reid has created. Évike is a really compelling protagonist, attempting to understand where she fits in the world being half pagan and half Yehuli. Gáspár is similarly a really fascinating character and I loved watching the relationship between the two develop as the story unfolds. The story is steeped in Jewish folklore and mythology, which I found completely fascinating. The story also very much focuses on the horrors of religious persecution and ethnic cleansing, inspired by events in Hungarian history.

The Wolf and the Woodsman is the sort of book that I was completely torn between racing through to see how it ended and taking my time to savour every moment. This is an incredible debut, and I cannot wait to read more from Ava Reid. It’s definitely the kind of book that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading. This book has already been getting quite a bit of hype and it is absolutely well deserved. If you’re a fan of books by Katherine Arden and Naomi Novik, this is a must-read.

 

Blog Tour: The Blacktongue Thief – Christopher Buehlman

Blog Tour: The Blacktongue Thief – Christopher Buehlman


Series:
Blacktongue #1
Release Date: May 27th 2021
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 416
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review

Synopsis

Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.

But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.

Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.

Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva’s. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.

Review

The Blacktongue Thief is the first in an all-new fantasy series from acclaimed horror author Christopher Buehlman. I have long been intrigued by Buehlman’s horror books, but when I heard about this epic fantasy tale I knew this was going to be a must-read. The story follows Kinch Na Shannack, a man trained by the Taker’s Guild to lock-pick, steal and a whole host of other useful skills. Kinch owes the Taker’s Guild a great deal of money for his education and has no choice but to steal from those travelling through the old forest road. When Kinch chooses the wrong mark, he ends up tangled up with Galva, a knight and warrior from the goblin wars, who is on an epic quest to find her missing Queen in a far off city that has been ravaged by giants – what could possibly go wrong?

The Blacktongue Thief is one of those books that sit down to read a few chapters of, it sucks you in and before you know it it’s 3am and you’ve finished the book. This is a fast-paced story, full to the brim with magic, action and adventure. Buehlman has created an absolutely fascinating world with a detailed history and intricate world-building. I loved learning about the goblin wars and I was completely fascinated by the magic in this story. Kinch’s magic centres on luck and this felt like a really unique idea.

The Blacktongue Thief has some of my new all-time favourite characters and if you love stories that are equal parts dark and hilarious, this is definitely a book for you. There are tons of funny moments, particularly as Kinch and his crew get further in their quest to find the Queen. I definitely found myself laughing out loud at some of the situations they end up in. There are plenty of complex characters and while Kinch was my favourite I really liked Galva and Norrigal too. I definitely found myself rooting for these characters and I can’t wait to see where Buhelman takes them in the next instalment.

This story is full of detailed action scenes and features so many things fantasy fans will love. If you want a shadowy, scheming guild, flesh-eating goblins, krakens, giants, witches and a whole lot more, you’re going to love what The Blacktongue Thief has in store. This will absolutely be one of my favourite books of 2021, and I can’t wait to read more from Christopher Buhelman.

Blog Tour: We Are Satellites – Sarah Pinsker

Blog Tour: We Are Satellites – Sarah Pinsker


Release Date:
May 6th 2021
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pages: 373
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

Everybody’s getting one.

Val and Julie just want what’s best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when teenage son David comes home one day asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant to help with school, they reluctantly agree. This is the future, after all.

Soon, Julie feels mounting pressure at work to get a Pilot to keep pace with her colleagues, leaving Val and Sophie part of the shrinking minority of people without the device.

Before long, the implications are clear, for the family and society: get a Pilot or get left behind. With government subsidies and no downside, why would anyone refuse? And how do you stop a technology once it’s everywhere? Those are the questions Sophie and her anti-Pilot movement rise up to answer, even if it puts them up against the Pilot’s powerful manufacturer and pits Sophie against the people she loves most.

Review

I read Sarah Pinsker’s A Song For A New Day earlier this year and absolutely fell in love with the story so I was incredibly intrigued to pick up We Are Satellites. The story follows Julie and Val who just want their kids to be happy and live well. When their son David asks to get a Pilot – the new brain implant – they end up agreeing. When Julie ends up getting one because she feels left behind at work it leaves Val and Sophie as part of a minority of people who don’t have one. This soon causes tensions in the family and when Sophie begins an anti-Pilot movement, it could cost her more than she thought.

Just like A Song For A New Day, this story completely captivated me with its intriguing and slightly terrifying premise. The thing I love about both books is how believable they are. The possibility of a new technology coming out, something that sweeps the world and everyone becomes obsessed with is absolutely possible, so when the story takes a darker turn it feels all that more grounded in reality.

I really like Pinsker’s writing style in this story and the book is really well-paced. This unique plot kept me hooked from the very beginning and while the story isn’t particularly action-based, I was completely engrossed because of the complex and compelling characters that Pinsker creates. I loved that we see the family as things develop over years, showing the longer-term ramifications of the technology. This felt like such an original story, with a cleverly executed plot. If you’re looking for some character-driven sci-fi that you’ll still be thinking about long after you’ve finished reading, I definitely recommend We Are Satellites.

Blog Tour: You Had It Coming – B. M. Carroll

Blog Tour: You Had It Coming – B. M. Carroll


Release Date:
May 13th 2021
Publisher: Viper Books
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

WOULD YOU SAVE THE MAN
WHO DESTROYED YOUR LIFE?

When paramedic Megan Lowe is called to the scene of an attempted murder, all she can do is try to save the victim. But as the man is lifted onto a stretcher, she realises she knows him. She despises him. Why should she save his life when he destroyed hers?

Jess Foster is on her way home when she receives a text from Megan. Once best friends, the two women haven’t been close for years, not since the night when they were just the teenage girls whom no one believed; whose reputations were ruined. All Jess can think is, you had it coming.

Now Megan and Jess are at the centre of a murder investigation. But what secrets are they hiding? Can they trust one another? And who really is the victim?

Review

You Had It Coming is the newest gripping and twisty thriller from B. A. Carroll. The story follows Megan Lowe, a paramedic who is called to the scene of a shooting. As the victim is being loaded into the ambulance she realises that she knows him. He is the man who ruined her life. Why should she save him when he ruined hers? When Megan and her old friend Jess become tangled up in a murder investigation their secrets start to unravel, but who can be trusted and who is telling the truth?

You Had It Coming is one of those books that you pick up to read a few chapters of and then get immediately sucked in. Full of twists and turns, this story had such a unique premise that I absolutely could not look away. It’s a fast-paced story and I ended up reading the whole book in one day. The story has multiple perspectives – giving the reader the chance to see things from both Megan and Jess’ point of view as well as Bridget the detective investigating the murder. The fast, short chapters definitely had me turning pages faster and faster because I was desperate to know how it was all going to end. This is my first book from B. A. Carroll and I really enjoyed the writing style. There were plenty of surprise moments that I didn’t see coming and I definitely did not expect that ending.

Carroll creates some really fascinating characters and I liked all three of our main characters. The characters felt well developed and I particularly liked Bridget who is trying to solve a murder investigation and manage her family life. You Had It Coming is an utterly compelling read and if you’re looking for a story that will have you glued to the page, definitely make this your next read.

Blog Tour: The Witch’s Heart – Genevieve Gornichec

Blog Tour: The Witch’s Heart – Genevieve Gornichec


Release Date:
May 4th 2021
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent provided me with an E-ARC to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.

Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age.

Review

The Witch’s Heart is the stunning story of Angrboda. When she refuses to give Odin the knowledge he wants of the future, he has her burned alive. When she flees to the forest, determined to live a quiet existence away from Odin’s all-seeing eye. When she is found by Loki, they soon form a bond and produce three children. As her powers return she soon learns everything she knows and loves is in danger, but will she accept the future she has witnessed, or rise up against it?

This was such a gripping book and I really fell in love with Angrboda as a character. I don’t know all that much about her from the original Norse myths so I was completely fascinated by her story. Her powers were so interesting and she was such a strong and determined protagonist. Gornichec has such a beautiful writing style and it felt like I was reading one of the original stories. It fit so well with the style and feel of a myth and I got completely swept up in this well-executed story.

Gornichec creates some really complex characters and there is so much character depth in this story. The relationship between Angrboda and Loki was well created and I also really liked the relationship that develops between Angrboda and Skadi. This is a magical tale, full of love and loss. The Witch’s Heart is at times really heart wrenching and there were definitely a few moments where I teared up. This is a well-crafted tale, bringing a modern twist to these well-known stories. If you’re a fan of mythology reimaginings this is definitely one to check out.

Blog Tour: Ariadne – Jennifer Saint

Blog Tour: Ariadne – Jennifer Saint


Release Date:
April 29th 2021
Publisher: Wildfire Books
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly provided an E-ARC to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

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

Review

Ariadne first caught my eye because of that absolutely stunning cover. When I hear this was a retelling of the minotaur myth from the perspective of Ariadne I was incredibly excited to pick it up. The story follows Ariadne, daughter of King Minos. Ariadne lives with the sound of hoofbeats beneath the palace, as the minotaur roams the labyrinth below. When Theseus, Prince of Athens is brought to Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him and decides to help him destroy the minotaur. But doing so will betray her family and her country.

I absolutely adore Greek retellings and this might possibly be my favourite one ever. I completely fell in love with this story. Saint has absolutely stunning prose and I got completely lost in this beautiful, fiercely feminist story. Ariadne is a fascinating character and it was so compelling to read the story from her point of view. The story really focuses in on all the female characters that are forgotten in the original myths, in favour of the infamous heroes. Ariadne is an impressive debut and I cannot wait to read more from Jennifer Saint.

There were so many things I loved about this book and I particularly enjoyed the sense of sisterhood between Ariadne and Phaedra. Saint has the ability to write really compelling characters and I must admit I got a bit teary-eyed at the ending. This is an exceptional debut and if you’re a fan of books by Madeline Miller and Pat Barker, this should definitely be your next read.