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Roberta Gellis
book cover

Book 4

Who recommends: Lynn, Isabel, Preeti, Lori, Robin, Julie
Who discommends:

I loved it. Dionysus is the hero. I loved it. I felt the ending was a little rushed.--Lynn (26 Apr 00)

There are no spoilers below if you've already read the other Gellis myth reworkings and know the original Minotaur story.

*SPOILERS*-Maybe I didn't love it quite as much as Lynn but I did enjoy it thoroughly. This version has Ariadne as a priestess consecrated to Dionysus when she's barely out of childhood and takes us through her adolescence as she cares for and pities her half-brother, the Minotaur, as well as slowly getting to know Dionysus and learning that he and the other Olympians are not gods. No surprise if one has read the previous three books.

I enjoyed it very much as a twist on the Greek myths but the whole romantic relationship seems a little lacking and didn't cause me to sigh with satisfaction at the end. I really wanted more intense interactions between Dionysus and Ariadne (been reading too many romances again, I'm afraid) but I think it worked as Ariadne's story. At least Theseus is packed of efficiently - I've never liked him!--Isabel (27 Apr 00)

I really enjoyed this story about Ariadne, the Minotaur, Dionysus, and Theseus. Gellis' interpretation of the Greek myth was different enough to be intriguing while staying true to the original story. She has such a prosaic way of telling a tale that even a story of Gods and monsters doesn't seem too far-fetched.

The story is about the tragic chain of events in Crete resulting from the greed, ambition, pride, and hubris of Ariadne's royal parents. But there is a great romantic thread too! This love story between a a God, Dionysus, and Ariadne, a princess consecrated as his priestess in Knossos, is strong for a fantasy novel. Of course this is no huge surprise given that the majority of Gellis writing has been in the romance genre.

Having deeply felt rejection and fear from practically all he's ever known, Dionysus moved from wildness and almost-madness to control and peace over time. While this youngest Olympian God grew emotionally, the only change I could detect in Ariadne over the eight year span of this story was physical. She grew from girl-priestess into a woman. I liked this character. She was compassionate and clever and loyal. And all these qualities were tested as Ariadne dealt with a sometimes difficult God and an even more difficult half-brother, the horrific yet pitiable Minotaur.

Thinking back, I believe I like BULL GOD better than all of her previous books set in this world: DAZZLING BRIGHTNESS, SHIMMERING SPLENDOR, and ENCHANTED FIRE. You don't need to have read any of those books to enjoy BULL GOD, in my opinion.--Preeti (06 May 00)

In my opinion, too. And I just finished BULL GOD today, and haven't read the others. Definitely recommended.--Lori (06 May 00)

Recommend on this one. I think I've read it more than 3 times so far.--Robin (15 Oct 00)

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