When I was last at the library, the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section was luring me in. There were so many books in my favorite genre, and I was a little overwhelmed. Finally, I found a book that I was sure I would enjoy. It’s called “Hades’ Daughter“. I’ve always loved Mythology, and this whole series (“The Troy Game“) is about mythology, and old history.
The following is the prologue:
During the late Bronze Ago, well over a millennium before the birth of Christ, the Minoan king on Crete held the Athenian king to ransom. Every nine years the Athenian king sent as tribute seven male youths and a like number of female virgins, the cream of Athenian society, to Knossos on Crete. One on Crete the Athenian youths were fed into the dark heart of the gigantic labyrinth, there to die at the hands of the dreaded Minotaur Asterion, unnatural son of the Minoan king’s wife and a bull.
One year the Athenian king sent his own son Theseus as part of the sacrifice. Theseus was determined finally to stop the slaughter, and to this end he was aided by Ariadne, daughter of the Minoan king, half sister to Asterion, and Mistress (or High Priestess) of the Labyrinth. Ariadne shared with Theseus the secrets and mysteries of the labyrinth, and taught him the means by which Asterion might be killed. This she did because she loved Theseus.
Theseus entered the labyrinth and, aided by Ariadne’s secret magic, bested the tricks of the labyrinth and killed Asterion in combat. Then, accompanied by Ariadne and her younger sister Phaedre, Theseus departed Crete and its shattered labyrinth for his home city of Athens.
This was a terrible idea on Ariadne’s part, because in the page after this happens, Theseus leaves a heavily pregnant Ariadne on the island on Naxos, and leaves to Athens with Ariadne’s sister.
Ariadne managed to gain her feet. She placed one hand on her bulging belly, and stared at her lover with eyes stripped of all the romantic delusion that had consumed her for this past year. “This is your child! How can you abandon it? And me?”
Yet even as she asked that question, Ariadne knew the answer. Beyond Theseus lay a stretch of beach, blindingly white in the late afternoon sun. Where sand met water waited a small boat and its oarsmen. Beyond that small boat, bobbing lazily at anchor in the bay, lay Theseus’ flagship, a great oared war vessel.
And in the prow of that ship, her vermilion robes fluttering and pressing against her sweet, lithe body, stood Ariadne’s younger sister, Phaedre.
Waiting for her lover to return to the ship, and sail her in triumph to Athens.
Because she is so consumed with hatred for what he did to her, Ariadne is forced to call her half-brother, the minotaur Asterion, back from Hades to make a deal with him. And after that meeting, she sets out to destroy everything in the world; starting with her old lover.
“Very well.” he said. “I accept. The bargain is concluded.” His hand tightened once more in the waistband of her skirt, but this time far more cruelly. “You shall have the darkcraft, but I shall take my pleasure in it. Pain, for the pain you inflicted on me. Pain, to seal the bargain made between us.”
He buried his other hand in her elaborately braided hair, and with all the strength of the bull that was his, he lifted her up and hurled her down to the bed.
Can you see why I’m addicted to this book? There’s so many twists and turns, and brothers and sisters having sex, and cousins wanting to get married. There’s even sex with parents. It was a strange world back then. I’m glad today there are laws against that kind of marriage.