by Sara Douglass
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
560 pages; ISBN: 0765305402
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Approximately in 1000 BC, Athens annually sends tributes to Crete to include sacrifices to Asterion the Minotaur. This year’s tribute includes Thesus, the son of the Athenian King, but he plans to beat the Labyrinth’s monster. He gains the love of Ariadne, daughter of the Crete monarch and the Mistress of the Labyrinth. She betrays her heritage to abet her lover who defeats Asterion. Later, he deserts his pregnant wife leaving her abandoned on an island to birth a daughter while Thesus takes up with Ariadne’s sister. Outraged, a proud Ariadne seeks revenge by destroying the fabric of the Game, the divine magic that holds the world together.
One hundred years later, Brutus, former ruler of fallen Troy, seeks a different throne. He seemingly triumphs aided by the Goddess Artemis, a survivor of Ariadne’s opening gamut of a century ago. However, Ariadne, calling herself Genvissa, sees Brutus as a useful lackey because the avaricious brute is too cocky to see beyond his own superego. Through him, she sets in motion act two of her Troy Game vengeance.
Though at times wordy and one subplot (occurs in 1939) does not tie back to the ancient theme (clarity in future novels?), readers will appreciate the scope and characterization of the opening saga in Sara Douglass’ vast historical fantasy. The key two elements to this delightful epic tale are the flawed and contemptible lead characters and the two prime ancient eras vividly alive due to rich texturing interwoven into the plot. Fans will definitely want to read HADES’ DAUGHTER and the sequels as Ms. Douglass clearly has game.
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