Review: Dark of the Moon

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Dark of the MoonDark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett
Published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children on September 20, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Mythology, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 310
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, filled with hours of rigorous training by stern priestesses. Her former friends no longer dare to look at her, much less speak to her. All that she has left are her mother and her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.

So when a ship arrives one spring day, bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, Ariadne sneaks out to meet it. These newcomers don’t know the ways of Krete; perhaps they won’t be afraid of a girl who will someday be a powerful goddess. And indeed she meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship—one that could perhaps become something more.

Yet Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the Minotaur, that monster beneath the palace—unless he can kill the beast first. And that "monster" is Ariadne’s brother . . .

Greek myths ftw! I have always loved Greek mythology, so you’re going to have to let me squee like a fangirl about the awesome job Tracy Barrett has done playing with an old familiar story. While she kept some of the basics about the myth, she changed other things, but she did so with flair and authenticity. She draws on the way that history alters truth and creates a really interesting variation on the original tale.

This myth was never my favorite (hello, where are the horses?), so I think I may actually like this variation better. At any rate, I love the postmodern re-evaluation of who was good and who was bad. Like Elpheba in Wicked, you get to see a different view of the Minotaur and an explanation for why he did some of the things he did. He totally reminds me of Lennie in Of Mice and Men.

Although I did not really grow close to any of the characters, the story held me fascinated, because I could not wait to find out what Barrett would do with the myth. Theseus, though I sympathized with him as a youth, lost my support when he took up with completely obnoxious Prokris. Ariadne was too far into her belief system for me to really want her to get things her way, which would involve blood sacrifice and all sorts of unpleasantness.

Anyone who finds Greek mythology should definitely try this awesome revisionist view of the story of the Minotaur! This song, which is totally not supposed to be about this but whatever, is about Ariadne’s relationship with her brother, as well as the story of his origins.

One response to “Review: Dark of the Moon”

  1. rachchan2006 says:

    Wow, this sounds really interesting. I love Greek mythology and this seems like an interesting twist on the myths I know and love!

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