This review is spoiler free.
“Let the knowledge of the Wise One pass to the Chosen One on this, her seventeenth birthday, that she may know how to serve Him. That she may better know how to serve her city. That she may better know how to serve herself.”
Published: 2017, by Hachette.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Magic, LGBT, Queer, Fiction
Contains: Death, Violence, Strong Language, Sexual Content, Blood/Gore
‘Ariadnis’ tells the story of two Chosen Ones, Joomia and Aula, as they prepare to enter the challenges of Ariadnis on the day they turn eighteen. As the days draw nearer, all thoughts are on the upcoming trial. However, the challenge is unheard of, meaning they know nothing of what lies ahead. All they know is that they must win, at all costs.
After attending a panel event at YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) a few years ago featuring Josh Martin, I immediately ventured off to purchase his series, having loved the way the author spoke about LGBT characters. It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to delve into his series but overall, I’m a little disappointed.
I expected so much more from a book of this description. The overall pace was incredibly slow, taking around one-hundred pages to finally get the plot going and even then it was average at best. Aula was a very frustrating character, bouncing through the struggles of her world while being as self-centred as possible, whilst Joomia was her polar opposite. She was afraid of everything, hardly approaching danger while also being as equally frustrating to read. The other characters were also admittedly boring to read about, hardly emitting any emotions to provoke some form of sympathy from the reader.
The world building itself could be a little more concise to assist in its understanding, it being quite difficult at times. After completing the novel, I still hardly grasp what was happening past the concept – and even then it’s a little misleading. I’m aware that this novel is part of a series, but I do believe it could have been compressed into one book.
Overall, this book was okay. There wasn’t anything special that stood out to me, compiled of mostly build up to something that is yet to come. I had the tendency to skim read over to the more fast-paced sections of the book more often than not, hoping to reach something more exciting. Yet, it never came.