Cover image for Hades' daughter
Hades' daughter
Douglass, Sara.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Tor, [2003]

Physical Description:
592 pages : maps ; 25 cm.
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



Ancient Greece: A place where the gods hold mortal life cheap, mere playthings to amuse, delight, and abuse at their will.But those puny mortals are not wholly devoid of power and at the core of their fabulous city-states lies the Labyrinth, where they can shape the powers of the heavens to their own design. When Theseus entered the Labyrinth and came away with the prize of freedom and his beloved Adrianne, Mistress of the Labyrinth, his future seemed assured... Until he abandoned her for the unforgivable sin of bearing him only a daughter, and the world seemed to change. From that day forward, all the Labyrinths in the ancient world started to decay. It slowly became clear that power was fading from the city-states.Was it the natural decline that comes to all cultures or was it because the power of the Labyrinth had been corrupted by a woman spurned?A hundred years pass - Troy has fallen and the Trojans are a scattered and humbled people. The warrior Brutus is of the line of kings and gods. He wears the golden kingship bands of Troy proudly - but they are his only mementos of a former glory, for he is a man without a country and is left little else but pride and a memory of the latent power that he could wield if but given a chance. When he receives a god-sent vision of a distant shore where he can rebuild the ancient kingdom, he will move heaven and earth to reach his destiny.Ever eastward he is drawn, to a lovely and mystical green land that offers him a haven - and a dream of power and conquest. Nothing will deter him... not even the entreaties of the young princess whom he took as his wife and bedded against her will. First her hatred - and now her love - torment and bind him. She is the only one who realizes the danger he is stepping into, and she will do anything to save him... and his son, whom she carries in her womb.For in the mists of Albion there lies a woman of power - a woman who has used her siren call to cloud Brutus's mind and has her own reasons for luring the warrior to these lush shores... .She is the long-descended granddaughter of Adrianne, and she has in her heart a hatred that has been passed down for generations. Her plans for Brutus will enact a revenge that could destroy the gods themselves.s20If Brutus makes the journey successfully, it will be the next step in the Game of the Labyrinth and might start a complicated contest of wills that could span centuries... .

Author Notes

Sara Douglass was born in Penola, a small farming settlement in the south of Australia, in 1957. She spent her early years chasing (and being chased by) sheep and collecting snakes before her parents transported her to the city of Adelaideand the more genteel surroundings of Methodist Ladies College. Having graduated, Sara then became a nurse on her parents' urging (it was both feminine and genteel) and spent seventeen years planning and then effecting her escape.That escape came in the form of a Ph.D. in early modern English history. Sara and nursing finally parted company after a lengthy time of bare tolerance, and she took up a position as senior lecturer in medieval European history at the Bendigo campus of the Victorian University of La Trobe. Finding the departmental politics of academic life as intolerable as the emotional rigours of nursing, Sara needed to find another escape.This took the form of one of Sara's childhood loves - books and writing. Spending some years practising writing novels, HarperCollins Australia picked up one of Sara's novels, BattleAxe (published in North America as The Wayfarer Redemption ), the first in the Tencendor series, and chose it as the lead book in their new fantasy line with immediate success. Since 1995 Sara has become Australia's leading fantasy author and one of its top novelists. Her books are now sold around the world.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Douglass' new saga, The Troy Game, is spun out of two skeins of legendry. One is the tradition that Britain was originally settled by Trojan survivors of the Trojan War. The other, an original concept, is that the labyrinth of Crete was the chief one of a number of mazes created to keep even the gods within bounds, and that its destruction by Ariadne (in revenge for her abandonment by Theseus) was the first of a series of cataclysms extending through the ages. The viewpoint character here is Britain's traditional founder, Aeneas great-grandson Brutus, who doesn't know why so much bloodshed and hatred stains the foundation of his new city. Vignettes of later British history, including World War II, hint at the later development of The Troy Game and proffer more of Douglass' excellent writing. There are sex and violence aplenty, however, and few of this book's characters are all that sympathetic. Perhaps the taste for this mythic fantasy saga must be acquired, but acquirers will relish it keenly. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this dazzling start to a new trilogy, Australian author Douglass (StarMan) once again combines mythology, fantasy, magic and romance to produce a consistent, well-rounded story full of seriously flawed characters both abhorrently evil and enthrallingly empathetic. Ariadne, daughter of the Minoan king of Crete and Mistress of the Labyrinth, has betrayed her family for the sake of her lover, Theseus. When Theseus deserts her after she gives birth to a girl, Ariadne spits out a curse ("No one abandons the Mistress of the Labyrinth!... Not you, nor any part of your world!") that sets in motion a twisting, turning plot that centers a century later on Troy and the efforts of Brutus, the leader of that fallen city, to regain his kingdom. Brutus has already murdered his father to clear his path to the throne, and when an opportunity to seize another kingdom presents itself, he grabs it with no thought to the consequences. Ariadne, now in the form of Genvissa of Llangarlia, uses Brutus's greed and self-confidence to take another step forward in her revenge-a revenge that involves renewing "the Game" and the Labyrinth at its heart. The deliciously despicable main characters all play their part in the Game and in the making or breaking of the Labyrinth, leading to many unintended results. Douglass continually surprises, and readers will eagerly await the next two books, which promise to carry the action up to modern-day London. (Jan. 27) FYI: The author has won two Aurealis Awards. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The hero Theseus's defeat of the Minotaur, with the help of Ariadne, daughter of the Minoan king, heralded a series of events that resulted in the fall of the ancient world and the destruction of the sacred labyrinths that laid at the heart of each city-state. A century after Troy's downfall, Ariadne's descendant, Genvissa, joins forces with Brutus, the last Kingman of Troy, to create a new city in the far reaches of the barbarian world and rebuild the labyrinth that once brought power and prosperity to their ancestors through the enactment of a mystical "Game." Only a few individuals, including Brutus's hostage-wife, Cornelia, realize the darkness hidden within the Game and pledge themselves to wage an eternal war against it. The new series by the Australian author of The Wayfarer Redemption creates an epic saga of good vs. evil that begins in the ruins of the ancient world but creates ripples that echo down the centuries to the modern era. An intriguing premise and compelling characters make Douglas's latest a strong choice for most fantasy collections. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



ONE Prologue: Catastrophe The Island of Naxos, Eastern Mediterranean Confused, numbed, her mind refusing to accept what Theseus demanded, Ariadne stumbled in the sand, sinking to her knees with a sound that was half sigh, half sob. "It is best this way," Theseus said as he had already said a score of times this morning, bending to offer Ariadne his arm. "It is clear to me that you cannot continue with the fleet." Ariadne managed to gain her feet. She placed one hand on her bulging belly, and stared at her lover with eyes stripped of all the romantic delusion that had consumed her for this past year. "This is your child! How can you abandon it? And me ?" Yet even as she asked that question, Ariadne knew the answer. Beyond Theseus lay a stretch of beach, blindingly white in the late morning sun. Where sand met water waited a small boat and its oarsmen. Beyond that small boat, bobbing lazily at anchor in the bay, lay Theseus' flagship, a great oared war vessel. And in the prow of that ship, her vermilion robes fluttering and pressing against her sweet, lithe body, stood Ariadne's younger sister, Phaedre. Waiting for her lover to return to the ship, and sail her in triumph to Athens. Theseus carefully masked his face with bland reason. "Your child is due in but a few days. You cannot give birth at sea--" "I can! I can!" "--and thus it is best I leave you here, where the villagers have mid wives to assist. It is my decision, Ariadne." "It is her decision!" Ariadne flung a hand toward the moored ship. "When the baby is born, and you and she recovered, then I will return, and bring you home to Athens." "You will not," Ariadne whispered. "This is as close to Athens as ever I will achieve. I am the Mistress of the Labyrinth, and we only ever bear daughters--what use have we for sons? But you have no use for daughters. So Phaedre shall be your queen, not I. She will give you sons, not I." He did not reply, lowering his gaze to the sand, and in his discomfort she could read the truth of her words. "What have I done to deserve this, Theseus?" she asked. Still he did not reply. She drew herself up as straight as her pregnancy would allow, squared her shoulders, and tossed her head with some of her old easy arrogance. "What has the Mistress of the Labyrinth done to deserve this, my love?" He lifted his head, and looked her full in the face, and in that movement Ariadne had all the answer she needed. "Ah," she said softly. "To the betrayer comes the betrayal, eh?" A shadow fell over her face as clouds blew across the sun. "I betrayed my father so you could have your victory. I whispered to you the secrets which allowed you to best the labyrinth and to murder my brother. I betrayed everything I stand for as the Mistress. All this I did for you. All this betrayal worked for the blind folly of love." The clouds suddenly thickened, blanketing the sun, and the beach at Theseus' back turned gray and old. "The gods told me to abandon you," Theseus said, and Ariadne blanched at the blatant lie. This had nothing to do with the gods, and everything to do with his lusts. "They came to me in a vision, and demanded that I set you here on this island. It is their decision, Ariadne. Not mine." Ariadne gave a short, bitter laugh. Lie or not, it made no difference to her. "Then I curse the gods along with you, Theseus. If you abandon me at their behest, and that of your new and prettier lover, then they shall share their fate, Theseus. Irrelevance. Decay. Death." Her mouth twisted in hate. " Catastrophe ." Above them the clouds roiled, thick and black, and lightning arced down to strike in the low hills of the island. "What think you, Theseus?" she suddenly yelled, making him flinch. "What think you? No one can afford to betray the Mistress of the Labyrinth !" "No?" he said, meeting her furious eyes evenly. "Are you that sure of your power?" "Leave me here and you doom your entire world. Throw me aside for my sluttish sister and what you think her womb can give you and you and your kind will--" He hit her cheek, not hard, but enough to snap off the flow of her words. "And who was it showed Phaedre the art of sluttishness, Ariadne?" Stricken with such cruelty, Ariadne could find no words to answer. Theseus nodded. "You have served your purpose," he said. He focused on something behind her, and Ariadne turned her head very slightly. Villagers were walking slowly down the path to the beach, their eyes cast anxiously at the goddamned skies above them. "They will care for you and your daughter," Theseus said, and turned to go. "I have served my purpose, Theseus?" Ariadne said. "You have no idea what my purpose is, and whether it is served out…or only just beginning. Here. In this sand. In this betrayal." His shoulders stiffened, and his step hesitated, but then Theseus was gone, striding down the beach to the waiting boat. The sky roared, and the clouds opened, drenching Ariadne as she watched her lover desert her. She turned her face upward, and shook a fist at the sky and the gods laughing merrily behind it. " No one abandons the Mistress of the Labyrinth!" she hissed. "Not you, nor any part of your world!" She dropped her face. Theseus was in the boat now, standing in its stem, his gaze set toward the ship where awaited Ariadne's sister. "And not you, nor any part of your world, either," she whispered through clenched teeth. "No one abandons me, and thinks that in so doing they can ignore the Game. You think that the Game will protect you." She hissed, demented with love and betrayal. "But you forget that it is I who controls the Game." Copyright © 2003 by Sara Douglass Enterprises Pty. Ltd. Excerpted from Hades' Daughter by Sara Douglass All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.