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by Phillip W. Simpson

MINOTAUR by Phillip W. Simpson

“Where shall I start?” asked Minotaur.

Ovid made an expansive gesture with both hands. “Where else but the beginning of course.”

Minotaur nodded his huge head. “Yes,” he said. “Yes,” his eyes already glazing over with the weight of thousand year old memories. And then he began.

So begins the story of Asterion, later known as Minotaur, the supposed half bull creature of Greek legend. Recorded by the famous Roman poet, Ovid, Asterion tells of his boyhood in Crete under the cruel hand of his stepfather Minos, his adventures with his friend, Theseus, and his growing love for the beautiful Phaedra. And of course what really happened in the labyrinth.

This is the true story of the Minotaur.

Month9Books (September 2015)

278 pages

"In this retelling of the Minotaur story, readers journey through Greek and Roman mythology. Ovid, having recently completed his Metamorphoses, decides to set sail and see some of the places he's written about. He begins in Crete at the palace at Knossos where he meets Asterian. As Ast guides the writer through the palace ruins, standing over the infamous Labyrinth, Ovid questions some of the facts Ast is claiming. Thus begins the story of Ast: his questionable birth, his exploits as a young boy, and his survival of King Minos, his alleged father. While the grammar and sentence structure are at a higher level than Rick Riordan's books, lovers of the "Percy Jackson" series (Disney-Hyperion) looking for meatier fare will enjoy this fast-paced story featuring gods, goddesses, and a youth faced with perilous choices at every turn. Asterian's tale will captivate readers. Teens will appreciate his candor ("I, on the other hand, was a mess, riddled with jealousy and petty insecurities. A sixteen-year-old boy in other words.") as well as the relationships he has with his many siblings. Ovid is himself a 50-year-old, wine-drinking poet, but that fact will not dissuade teens; his role diminishes after the first few chapters as the action increases with Asterian's tale. VERDICT Lovers of mythology will enjoy this coming-of-age adventure and be surprised by the believable, "true story" of the Minotaur." - School Library Journal