“‘Are we safe anywhere?’ I asked dully. ‘We are only women, after all.”
Phaedra is the youngest daughter of Minos and Pasiphae which makes her the granddaughter of Zeus and Helios. She is the sister of Ariadne and the infamous Minotaur. When Ariadne disappears and the Minotaur is killed, she is left to marry Theseus, the prince of Athens. She is just a girl and he a much older man. He has little interest in her other than using her as a piece of revenge against her parents. While he is off warring, his son (a proper prick if I do say so myself) rapes her. In this age, women are not seen, not believed and mostly seen as temptresses and pieces of property. Phaedra does the unthinkable and accuses him, demanding a trial. It goes just as you can imagine it will.
I’m a sucker for Greek myth retellings and after reading last year’s Ariadne, I was intrigued by continuing on with this family through young Phaedra’s eyes. Most of the recent retellings have been deep, emotional modern looks at women’s role in these famous stories. This attempts at that, but fell a bit short for me. First, it uses several POVs, but they all sound the same, man or woman, Athenian or Cretan… it’s really just a bland storytelling. It is missing the emotion and connection you’d hope for in a story like this. If you don’t know this particular myths and you just want a readable version that tells you the facts, this will give you that.
Thanks to Alcove Press for gifted access via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own.
If you were on trial for a crime would you testify or leave it to the evidence?