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Hades' Daughter (The Troy Game #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  3,098 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
Created by gods. Destroyed by revenge. Reborn in the darkest magic of all. THE TROY GAME. The ancient Aegean sorcery lives on.

Theseus bested the Minotaur with the aid of Ariadne, Mistress of the Labyrinth. So when Theseus betrays her, Ariadne turns her wrath upon him and all his world, the catastrophe strikes the Mediterranean. Thera explodes, Atlantis sinks below the wave
Paperback, 637 pages
Published September 15th 2003 by Tor Books (first published 2002)
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Loosely based on mythology & ancient history, 'Hades' Daughter' reimagines the migration of Trojans to Albion (ie, pre-Roman Britain) as the result of a curse laid by Ariadne, who was spurned by Theseus after he used her to slay the Minotaur of the Labyrinth. Her fifth daughter-heir, Genvissa, sinks her claws into Albion & boots out the old forest gods, Mag & Og, to make room for a new version of the Labyrinth magic -- & for that she needs an asshole named Brutus, who is the last ...more
Jul 16, 2007 Marion rated it did not like it
This book was so laughably awful that I could not stop reading it. The two main characters, Cornelia and Brutus, wallow in guilt and stupidity that was obviously contrived to drive the story. It is saturated with sex...if you can call rape and trickery "sex." The villain spends most of the story doing nothing but gloating over a mystic knife and chuckling venomously. I will concede that the scenes of violence are well-written, and those aren't always the easiest things to write. This is supposed ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Hamish rated it really liked it
I read reviews written by others on this site and cannot seem to fathom how anyone could give this book less than 4 stars.
A fantastic premise for a book calling on the beliefs of many religons, but built in such a way that you are kept guessing not only through this book but into the final books in the series.
Rich characters, well developed plots (and sub plots) and a refreshing take on the events that defined the world which we live in today.
A thoroughly enjoyable read!
Helen Petrovic
Jan 02, 2014 Helen Petrovic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m going to come right out and say it; I loved this book.

I’m not quite sure why – I’ve always considered myself a very character-driven reader, and I found every single one of the characters in this book utterly unappealing, to the point where about half way through I remember remarking that I had no idea who I was supposed to be cheering for. Yet still, this story gripped me, and I had to read on.

Hades’ Daughter combines elements of ancient roman mythology and pagan ritual into a compelling fa
Oct 25, 2016 Sable rated it did not like it
Read for the Women of Genre Fiction Challenge, the Second Best Challenge, and the High Fantasy Challenge.

This was my first acquaintance with the work of Sara Douglass. She has a lot of other published books (which is more than I can say) and so obviously a lot of people like her work.

But I'm sorry; I just couldn't do it.

I made it about halfway through this book before I gave up in disgust.

It's not for bad writing; although I must admit, I found the frequent cackling and hand-rubbing soliloquys o
Dec 01, 2012 Jasmyn rated it really liked it
This was the second attempt at this book - the first being when I was a teenager and I just couldn't get through it. This time was totally different. A very complex and compelling story taking us back to the days of the ancient Greek gods. With the fall of the ancient Labyrinth, evil is unleashed on the Greek world and civilization quickly crumbles. Far away on the coast of what will one day be England, one small outpost thrives with the Mistress of the Labyrinth as it's leader. Calling out to h ...more
Christina CK
Mar 20, 2009 Christina CK rated it it was ok
I tried to like this book, but ultimately, I just didn't think it was very good. It had a lot of the elements that I look for in an entertaining "get lost in the saga" kind of read. But it fell short of my expectations.

I will admit to only reading the first about 200 pages, the "London" pages at the beginning of each section, and the last 100 or so pages. But my friend Meegan, who read the book in its entirety, assures me that I didn't miss anything. Honestly, I would not have even read as much
Apr 23, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. (I've never met a Sara Douglass book I didn't like) It combines elements of ancient Roman mythology and Celtic mythology in a compelling fantasy world. It has power plays, sorcery, gods and goddesses, as well as evil personified in the Minotaur. There is quite a bit of unrequited love, sensuousness, and lust. The story line has a parallel story that takes place in the future running throughout the book. Chapters are told in different voices, which helps to give insight ...more
May 14, 2016 Caitlin rated it it was ok
To be honest, this book is absolute shit.
It really doesn't deserve more than one star, but for some inexplicable reason I enjoyed reading it.
The characters have no depth and somehow undergo no development over the course of 740 pages. Additionally, the main plot points are either predictable or make no sense (in a bad way). Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this book is that it is built on the premise of Greek mythology, and yet essentially explores none of it.
I'll probably continue reading th
Feb 23, 2012 Fireant rated it really liked it
While this starter to the series is packed full of passion and promise, I feel like it was the best book in the series. Without spoilers, by the time I was reading the fourth book, I was so disgusted with the main character that I found her unlikable. When terrible things would happen to her, I didn't care anymore. So I quit reading the book at that point.

As a setup for a series, it does it's job in spades. The four rating will be the highest this series will get from me.
Apr 24, 2008 Ainsley rated it did not like it
The Characters aren't interesting, the plot is boring (ancient evil was released 2500 years ago! - yawn) and the author seems to be casting about for inspiration from fairly obvious sources without success.The use of sex and gore to cover up the stalling plot is a bit pathetic. A bit sad as the Author is Australian, and I had high hopes.
Alex at Raiding Bookshelves
Original Language: English
Publisher: Voyager Books
Country: Australia
Publication Date: December 2002
ISBN: 0732271649
Page Count: 596

Hade's Daughter is the first of Sara Douglass' (Sara Warneke) Troy Games Quartet. Narrated by the adolescent Dorian Princess Cornelia, Hades Daughter is a fantastic historical adventure in an alternate universe. Set in the Ancient World, a hundred years after the fall of the legendary city of Troy, Hade's Daughter is about the greatest Game ever played. At the heart o
Faith Elisabeth
Jun 08, 2013 Faith Elisabeth rated it did not like it
Its been a number of years since I first read this book. Initially I bought it because it looked really interesting. It was set in Ancient Greece and seemed to be set heavily in mythology, things that I was, and still am, interested in.
The book is beyond tedious. Sitting at around 600 pages, the story could have easily been told in 300. It is painfully boring; the characters seem to do little more than ponder things for more than half of the book. Rape scenes seem to be randomly inserted every
Adam Nelson
Nov 17, 2013 Adam Nelson rated it did not like it
I was determined to finish this book, as I usually finish anything I read (outside of bad theology). However, like other readers that have reviewed this book, I couldn't in good conscience continue past page 150 or so. Every page on average talks about breasts, their components, and their varying attributes at least twice. Even the first-person perspective from Cornelia is not immune to this, and she speaks in the same voice of the author, discussing her ample bosom, supple whatsits, firm and ro ...more
Robert Beveridge
Oct 03, 2008 Robert Beveridge rated it did not like it
Sara Douglass, Hades' Daughter (Tor, 2003)

It's rare that I completely abandon a book these days. And when I do, it almost always happens on page fifty, once I've had more than enough of whatever piece of the structure I can't take any more. That didn't happen with Hades' Daughter, in part because when I reached page fifty I was locked out of the house and had no other reading material. In any case, over the past nine months, I have struggled my way through one hundred eighty-eight pages of this
Sep 20, 2012 Shannon rated it really liked it
It's interesting rereading this book again several years after the first read. I kept wanting to get to the points that I remembered from the first read. Things I picked up on this go round included excessive rape and brutality of women in contrast with their connection with how the Trojans also are coming into a land to take it over and trap evil within it. I also missed the stone room = St. Paul's Cathedral connection. As far as plot goes, I felt like the traveling between Greece and Llangarli ...more
Nov 18, 2012 Nievie rated it it was ok
OMG I read an Adult Sci-fi / fantasy novel! .... and I remembered why I stopped reading them. All the weird sex. Not trying to judge, just sayin' it got a little too freaky in there. I was also uncomfortable with the exposition surrounding gender roles, seemed to present male and female social hierarchies as polarized and antagonistic. Really, this novel is a fancier version of flowers in the attic, with magic, a Trojan horse and a free trip to Camelot. However the main protagonist is strangely ...more
I got as far as page 206 before throwing it against the wall. There was not a single sympathetic character, and the endless cycle of sex, rape, betrayal, clunky convenient details dropped into the almost stream-of-consciousness plot, and non-sensenical scene changes with the reborn Minotaur had me quickly not caring what happened next. I'm not a big fan of fantasy anyway, but I'd hoped that the ancient setting would be a saving grace in the way that David Gemmell's trilogy failed. This one was e ...more
Mar 26, 2009 Shannon rated it did not like it
A one-way ticket to a bummer.
This book is written by Sara Douglass, and I expected a fantasy series like the Wayfarer Redemption. She continues with her weak female characters (disappointingly), and all the characters in this book - male or female - are questionable. Sometimes that's a good thing but in this book everyone seemed so despicable or just stupid that I couldn't relate to anyone. I read about 1/3 of the book and I wasn't rooting for anyone yet. I actively hoped that one of the main ch
Tellulah Darling
Apr 02, 2014 Tellulah Darling rated it really liked it
You know those books that are recommended to you but you don't pick up because you're totally judging it by the cover? That was this series. But I finally did and I was glad. I know there are a lot of people who couldn't stand this book, but I had a lot of fun with it.

Are the characters arch? Sure. But in this epic world of good and evil, for me at least, it all worked just fine. Sex and violence, both on the slightly campy side but I enjoyed myself enough that I'm curious to see how the series
Jun 20, 2016 Madbethcash rated it really liked it
This book suffers from the unfortunate fact that all of the main characters are terrible people; however, it still manages to drag you (well, at least, me) in. Thus, it is somewhat of a masterpiece. I'm long overdue on my review for this series, but will do in bits and probably have the most to say about Druid's Sword.

Hades' Daughter opens with the destruction of the Mediterranean World by Ariadne, she of Greek mythos. In this retelling, Ariadne is a "Mistress of the Labyrinth" and half-sister
May 04, 2015 Briny rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I tried this series because I liked the Wayfarer Redemption books so much, and I have to say I enjoy basically all of the books by Sara Douglass.
I was kind of more than a little surprised (and impressed to be honest) how much I ended up liking this novel at the end of it. For the first 100 pages I was in agony; seeking only to read my required amount (I give every book 100 pages to shape up, though there are exceptions to that rule), before I could smack it across the room and into my to-sell pile.

But somehow I ended up reading the next 100, and the 100 after that.

Hades' Daughter has an...interesting...plot. And by that I mean its craz
So relieved that's over. What was such a cool premise wound up being a disguise for a book about a cheating child rapist. Barf.

In ancient Knossos, Ariadne, Lady of the Labyrinth, betrays her duty for love of Theseus. Theseus goes on to break her heart and in revenge, she breaks the world. No kidding - she causes Vesuvius to explode. SNAP! So far so good, right?? Well don't hold your breath, because as soon as you get grabbed the author switches the genre on you.

The rest of the book is about Ari
Jan 21, 2012 Shiloh rated it liked it
Following the chronology of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History, Hades' Daughter follows Brutus and Cornelia as they travel to Albion to found a new Troy. But Ariadne has preceded them, and her granddaughter waits there to seduce Brutus in order to rebuild the labyrinth, founding Troia Nova on deceit, lust, and murder.

Douglass does a remarkable job of taking the bare-bones "history" from Geoffrey and fleshing it out, giving it life and humanity. Her version acts as a post-colonial history, revealing
Kelsie Beaudoin (The Bookworm)
Oct 30, 2013 Kelsie Beaudoin (The Bookworm) rated it really liked it
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I read this book when I was in ninth grade, so eight years ago, but decided to reread it because I remember loving it. I fervently wish I had waited to read this book until I was older. It is a dense, intricate book, and at that age I was not able to put together all the pieces as well as I was at this age.

The first bit of the book is quite slow. And by bit I mean…the first two hundred pages. But having read this book before, I knew it got
Mar 28, 2015 Elle rated it really liked it
When I read this as a teenager, I liked it, but clearly didn't understand it. Rereading it as an adult, I can appreciate it a lot more fully. If no one has told you yet, there should be a couple trigger warnings here and there, particularly for the sexual assaults you'll occasionally see. Also, it's pretty heteronormative, with an emphasis on heterosexual fertility and gods, etc. The writing isn't perfect, and it's a bit problematic (the concept that anyone could so quickly fall in love with som ...more
Conan Tigard
Nov 15, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having absolutely loved Sara Douglass' previous series, The Wayfarer Redemption, I was excited to start reading this book. Unlike her previous books which were pure fantasy, this book mixes fantasy with historical persons and occurrences. The story revolves around the volatile relationship between Brutus and his sixteen year old wife, Cornelia, and his obsession not only with rebuilding the Trojan Empire in what will become England, but with the black witch Genvissa.

Hades' Daughter has a pletho
Sandra Smiley
Nov 01, 2015 Sandra Smiley rated it liked it
I'm not sure what to say about a book I picked up when it was first printed, set it aside because I found it frustrating, and then decided to give it another chance when it was picked for BookBub. Honestly, I can see why I put it down the first time because I found the characters to be annoying, to put it mildly. It's not until you get near the end of the book where you see some of the true colors of the main cast. Genvissa is from a proud line of jilted women who are using their magical powers ...more
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Hades' Daughter 1 8 Aug 15, 2014 09:17AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions of "Hades' Daughter" 2 13 Jun 15, 2013 11:44PM  
What's The Name o...: Greek warriors travelling to England and living to present day [s] 3 52 Mar 25, 2012 01:35AM  
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Douglass was born in Penola, South Australia. She attended Annesley College, in Wayville, a suburb of Adelaide. She studied for her BA while working as a Registered Nurse, and later completed her PhD in early modern English History. She became a lecturer in medieval history at La Trobe University, Bendigo. While there she completed her first novel, BattleAxe, which launched her as a popular fantas ...more
More about Sara Douglass...

Other Books in the Series

The Troy Game (4 books)
  • Gods' Concubine (The Troy Game, #2)
  • Darkwitch Rising (The Troy Game, #3)
  • Druid's Sword (The Troy Game, #4)

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“She will be your death. She will be everyone’s death.” “She has failed most miserably at being ‘everyone’s death.’ She’s effectively harmless, Membricus.” “No woman is ever harmless!” 1 likes
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