The King Must Die, by Mary Renault

Those of us who are versed in Greek mythology know the story of Theseus and his captivity on the island of Crete. There with the help of King Minos’ daughter, Ariadne and her thread, he kills the human-eating Minotaur–a beast with the body of a man and the head and strength of a bull. Mary Renault’s The King Must Die, expands and enhances Theseus’ story. His journey to meet his father, Aegius, in Athens (and perhaps his ‘moira’ or destiny) forces him into multiple situations in which a king dies or Theseus, as king, seems destined to die; but he survives all sorts of impossible situations, by luck, by wit, and through the support of his mystical progenitor, Poseidon.
Renault’s language is lush. She has created a world of daring and well-drawn characters, the world of ancient myths that comes alive through her pen.

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