I re-read this book and it's sequel, The Bull from the Sea, every few years because I love the way Renault brings this lusty, flawed character from the Greek myths to life. Her narrative follows the minotaur slayer, Theseus, from his childhood in the Peleponnese to his escape from Crete, and gives a thoroughly absorbing and plausible account of his time as a tribute and 'bull-dancer' in the palace of Knossos, the seduction and abandonment of Ariadne, and his bittersweet return to his father's kingdom. Vivid descriptive passages bring the Greek and Minoan cultures to life and entrench the story firmly in the reader's memory.
This is one of the best books of its genre - the author manages to take th elegend and meld it with scholarship to provide a story that makes you fee, at every turn, "yes, this must have been what it was like!".
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