Hades' Daughter

Hades' Daughter

4.4 27
by Sara Douglass

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From one of the world's greatest storytellers comes the first stunning instalment of The Troy Game, an epic spanning 3000 years and the history of one of the world's greatest cities - London. After the Trojan wars, Brutus and his people wandered homeless for many years. So when the goddess Artemis offers him a future, he does not hesitate to take it. Brutus is the… See more details below


From one of the world's greatest storytellers comes the first stunning instalment of The Troy Game, an epic spanning 3000 years and the history of one of the world's greatest cities - London. After the Trojan wars, Brutus and his people wandered homeless for many years. So when the goddess Artemis offers him a future, he does not hesitate to take it. Brutus is the last of the Kingmen, one of the few who, with the Mistress of the Labyrinth, can play the Troy Game. His arrival with his fellow Trojans in Llangarlia (south-east Britain) is part of a larger plan that Genvissa, the Llangarlian High Priestess, and Asterion the Minotaur (though barely alive) are manipulating -and all of them have their own agenda. As a new city is founded, the Troy Game comes into its own. Evil is locked in the heart of the labyrinth, and once the Game is restarted, it will be hard to control.the future will be a battleground born of legend and myth, and the dark heart of the labyrinth may be more than anyone, even Brutus, has bargained for.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this dazzling start to a new trilogy, Australian author Douglass (StarMan) once again combines mythology, fantasy, magic and romance to produce a consistent, well-rounded story full of seriously flawed characters both abhorrently evil and enthrallingly empathetic. Ariadne, daughter of the Minoan king of Crete and Mistress of the Labyrinth, has betrayed her family for the sake of her lover, Theseus. When Theseus deserts her after she gives birth to a girl, Ariadne spits out a curse ("No one abandons the Mistress of the Labyrinth!... Not you, nor any part of your world!") that sets in motion a twisting, turning plot that centers a century later on Troy and the efforts of Brutus, the leader of that fallen city, to regain his kingdom. Brutus has already murdered his father to clear his path to the throne, and when an opportunity to seize another kingdom presents itself, he grabs it with no thought to the consequences. Ariadne, now in the form of Genvissa of Llangarlia, uses Brutus's greed and self-confidence to take another step forward in her revenge-a revenge that involves renewing "the Game" and the Labyrinth at its heart. The deliciously despicable main characters all play their part in the Game and in the making or breaking of the Labyrinth, leading to many unintended results. Douglass continually surprises, and readers will eagerly await the next two books, which promise to carry the action up to modern-day London. (Jan. 27) FYI: The author has won two Aurealis Awards. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The hero Theseus's defeat of the Minotaur, with the help of Ariadne, daughter of the Minoan king, heralded a series of events that resulted in the fall of the ancient world and the destruction of the sacred labyrinths that laid at the heart of each city-state. A century after Troy's downfall, Ariadne's descendant, Genvissa, joins forces with Brutus, the last Kingman of Troy, to create a new city in the far reaches of the barbarian world and rebuild the labyrinth that once brought power and prosperity to their ancestors through the enactment of a mystical "Game." Only a few individuals, including Brutus's hostage-wife, Cornelia, realize the darkness hidden within the Game and pledge themselves to wage an eternal war against it. The new series by the Australian author of The Wayfarer Redemption creates an epic saga of good vs. evil that begins in the ruins of the ancient world but creates ripples that echo down the centuries to the modern era. An intriguing premise and compelling characters make Douglas's latest a strong choice for most fantasy collections. Highly recommended. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Those old Greek myths covered a lot of territory, but there was just so much space left to fill that it's surprising more authors haven't taken the chance to do so. Diving right in, though, is Australian fantasist Douglass (The Wayfarer Redemption series), who starts off her new multivolume saga in the aftermath of the destruction of the Labyrinth. Theseus, sailing triumphant back to Greece, abandons Ariadne, his pregnant bride who had helped him defeat the Minotaur-Asterion-in favor of her younger sister. Ariadne, Mistress of the Labyrinth, then makes a pact with the half-alive Asterion, as well as Death herself, to enact her revenge for the betrayal she suffered. She sets about unraveling the Game, the loose web of divine magic that held the ancient world together: the result brings death and destruction everywhere. Jump forward a century and we find Brutus, leader of a band of Trojans who've been wandering the earth since the fall of their city. Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt and one of the only deities who was not destroyed in the conflagration unleashed by Ariadne, comes to Brutus with a deal: Do whatever I ask and we'll rebuild Troy. Next, Brutus' men, aided by Artemis' magic, have conquered the Greek kingdom of Mesopotamia, which holds many Trojans enslaved, and Brutus has taken the virgin princess Cornelia as his bride. All this is only setup for the ancient world-spanning epic that Douglass sets into play, which ultimately involves the reunification of the male and female divine essence (or something of the sort) and occasionally jumps forward to London 1939, a plot strand that will hopefully be explained in later volumes. This initial installment has a breathless tone to it, withits copious bloodletting and the characters' ravenous sexual appetites, but all the carrying-on becomes tiresome.

A soap opera of the ancient world, for good and for bad.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Troy Game , #1
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Prologue: Catastrophe

The Island of Naxos,
Eastern Mediterranean

Confused, numbed, her mind refusing to accept what Theseus demanded, Ariadne stumbled in the sand, sinking to her knees with a sound that was half sigh, half sob.
“It is best this way,” Theseus said as he had already said a score of times this morning, bending to offer Ariadne his arm. “It is clear to me that you cannot continue with the fleet.”
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 morning 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.
Theseus carefully masked his face with bland reason.
“Your child is due in but a few days. You cannot give birth at sea—”
“I can! I can!”
“—and thus it is best I leave you here, where the villagers have mid wives to assist. It is my decision, Ariadne.”
“It is her decision!” Ariadne flung a hand toward themoored ship.
“When the baby is born, and you and she recovered, then I will return, and bring you home to Athens.”
“You will not,” Ariadne whispered. “This is as close to Athens as ever I will achieve. I am the Mistress of the Labyrinth, and we only ever bear daughters—what use have we for sons? But you have no use for daughters. So Phaedre shall be your queen, not I. She will give you sons, not I.”
He did not reply, lowering his gaze to the sand, and in his discomfort she could read the truth of her words.
“What have I done to deserve this, Theseus?” she asked.
Still he did not reply.
She drew herself up as straight as her pregnancy would allow, squared her shoulders, and tossed her head with some of her old easy arrogance. “What has the Mistress of the Labyrinth done to deserve this, my love?”
He lifted his head, and looked her full in the face, and in that movement Ariadne had all the answer she needed.
“Ah,” she said softly. “To the betrayer comes the betrayal, eh?” A shadow fell over her face as clouds blew across the sun. “I betrayed my father so you could have your victory. I whispered to you the secrets which allowed you to best the labyrinth and to murder my brother. I betrayed everything I stand for as the Mistress. All this I did for you. All this betrayal worked for the blind folly of love.”
The clouds suddenly thickened, blanketing the sun, and the beach at Theseus' back turned gray and old.
“The gods told me to abandon you,” Theseus said, and Ariadne blanched at the blatant lie. This had nothing to do with the gods, and everything to do with his lusts. “They came to me in a vision, and demanded that I set you here on this island. It is their decision, Ariadne. Not mine.”
Ariadne gave a short, bitter laugh. Lie or not, it made no difference to her. “Then I curse the gods along with you, Theseus. If you abandon me at their behest, and that of your new and prettier lover, then they shall share their fate, Theseus. Irrelevance. Decay. Death.” Her mouth twisted in hate. “Catastrophe.”
Above them the clouds roiled, thick and black, and lightning arced down to strike in the low hills of the island.
“What think you, Theseus?” she suddenly yelled, making him flinch. “What think you? No one can afford to betray the Mistress of the Labyrinth!”
“No?” he said, meeting her furious eyes evenly. “Are you that sure of your power?”
“Leave me here and you doom your entire world. Throw me aside for my sluttish sister and what you think her womb can give you and you and your kind will—”
He hit her cheek, not hard, but enough to snap off the flow of her words. “And who was it showed Phaedre the art of sluttishness, Ariadne?”
Stricken with such cruelty, Ariadne could find no words to answer.
Theseus nodded. “You have served your purpose,” he said.
He focused on something behind her, and Ariadne turned her head very slightly. Villagers were walking slowly down the path to the beach, their eyes cast anxiously at the goddamned skies above them.
“They will care for you and your daughter,” Theseus said, and turned to go.
“I have served my purpose, Theseus?” Ariadne said. “You have no idea what my purpose is, and whether it is served out…or only just beginning. Here. In this sand. In this betrayal.”
His shoulders stiffened, and his step hesitated, but then Theseus was gone, striding down the beach to the waiting boat.
The sky roared, and the clouds opened, drenching Ariadne as she watched her lover desert her.
She turned her face upward, and shook a fist at the sky and the gods laughing merrily behind it.
No one abandons the Mistress of the Labyrinth!” she hissed. “Not you, nor any part of your world!”
She dropped her face. Theseus was in the boat now, standing in its stem, his gaze set toward the ship where awaited Ariadne's sister.
“And not you, nor any part of your world, either,” she whispered through clenched teeth. “No one abandons me, and thinks that in so doing they can ignore the Game. You think that the Game will protect you.”
She hissed, demented with love and betrayal.
“But you forget that it is I who controls the Game.”

Copyright © 2003 by Sara Douglass Enterprises Pty. Ltd.

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