Barrett's story, like her King of Ithaka, is a reimagining drawn from antiquity, this time the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. The beast, however, is not a monster but 18-year-old Asterion, born deformed and mentally incapacitated; he's capable of gentleness but more often tends to accidentally kill his playmates. The narrative largely centers on 15-year-old Ariadne, Asterion's sister and the future priestess of Krete, the most important position on the island, which is currently held by her mother. Ariadne believes in the traditions of her home, but secrets that her mother has kept, including doubts of Ariadne's validity as her successor, cause big problems when her mother dies. The balance of power is further threatened when a ship containing tributes from Athens arrives, including the scheming Prokris, seeking to take over Krete with 16-year-old Theseus, who narrates portions of the book as well. Barrett offers clever commentary on the spread of gossip and an intriguing matriarchal version of the story. Fans of Greek mythology should appreciate this edgier twist on one of its most familiar tales.