________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 32. . . .April 18, 2014

cover

The Door in the Mountain.

Caitlin Sweet.
Toronto, ON: ChiTeen Publications (Distributed by HarperCollins Canada), 2014.
265 pp., trade pbk. & eBook, $14.99 (pbk.), $9.99 (eBook).
ISBN 978-1-77148-191-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77148-192-2 (eBook).

Grades 8-11 / Ages 13-16.

Review by Tara Stieglitz.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.

   

excerpt:

Asterion held his arms still for a moment. When he raised them slowly up, they trailed sparks, as Minosís often did. The sparks settled, some on the ground and some on his clothing and skin--and they caught there and bloomed into flames. Ariadne blinked against the blur of light. The lines of him ran together until he had no body--he was just fire, which swirled and spiralled--and now there was a body, but it wasnít a boyís. The new thing rolled itself on the ground until the fire subsided again to sparks.

A bull heaved itself to its four cloven feet and swung its head toward Ariadne.

 

Ariadne is a princess of Crete and the daughter of King Minos. The Door in the Mountain follows Ariadne and other members of the royal household as they scheme in secret and betray in public. Ariadne is particularly conniving; she is constantly scheming to ingratiate herself into her fatherís graces and destroy her half-brother, the god-marked Asterion, who can transform into a bull. The novel also focuses on a slave girl, Chara, who befriends Asterion when they are children and who remains loyal to him even after she is forcibly separated from him. While none of the characters are particularly likable, they are intriguing, and their actions keep the novel interesting and eventful.

     The Door in the Mountain is a retelling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Much of the book takes place before the familiar events of the myth, depicting the characters growing up together as children and ending at the introduction of Theseus as a character. The story will continue in a planned sequel. The novel is an engaging retelling of a familiar Greek myth that will please fans of Greek mythology and also serve as an accessible introduction to the stories for new readers. The Door in the Mountain is a recommended purchase for school and public libraries.

Recommended.

Tara Stieglitz is a librarian at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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