Kikeru, the child of a priestess at the sacred temple of Knossos in ancient Crete, believes that the goddesses are laughing at him. They expect him to choose whether he is a man or a woman, when he’s both. They expect him to choose whether to be a husband to a wife, or a celibate priestess in the temple, when all he wants to do is invent things and be with the person he loves.
Unfortunately, that person is Rusa, the handsome ship owner who is most decidedly a man and therefore off-limits no matter what he chooses. And did he mention that the goddesses also expect him to avert war with the Greeks?
The Greeks have an army. Kikeru has his mother, Maja, who is pressuring him to give her grandchildren; Jadikira, Rusa’s pregnant daughter; and superstitious Rusa, who is terrified of what the goddesses will think of him being in love with one of their chosen ones.
I almost didn’t finish this story. In the first couple of chapters, being in Kikeru’s head was confusing and hard to follow. I kept putting the book down for days every other paragraph. But when I finally pushed through, and the POV changed to Rusa, the flow of the story evened out.
This is a fantasy retelling of the famous city of Knossos and their Minotaur, or more specifically how the legend/myth of the Minotaur began with Kikeru and Rusa at the heart of it. With as much problems as I had getting through the first few chapters, the story picked up and became interesting with the adventure of saving Knossos from the Greeks and the forbidden love of Kikeru and Rusa. The conflict with the Greeks and the adventure was a plus for me, but I did find the romance was a little light compared to everything else that went on. There was a great depiction of the era and the beliefs that added spice. Kikeru’s decision, whether they were partly divine and therefore a woman and belonging solely to the goddess , or a man who would marry a woman was a part of the two pronged plot. I truly felt for them and how even though the temple was open to them being a woman there wasn’t a choice for being gender fluid. I liked the solution that benefited everybody at the end. All in all it turned out to be an enjoyable story with a different historical plot.