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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  37 reviews
“Where shall I start?” asked Minotaur.

Ovid made an expansive gesture with both hands. “Where else but the beginning of course.”

Minotaur nodded his huge head. “Yes,” he said. “Yes,” his eyes already glazing over with the weight of thousand year old memories. And then he began.

So begins the story of Asterion, later known as Minotaur, the supposed half bull creature of Greek
Paperback, 278 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Month9books
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  117 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Lauren Wilkerson
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the true story of the minotaur. Ovid, a scholar who has written a huge volume of myths/legends, travels to the site of the minotaur's labyrinth. His tour guide Asterion, who is known as the minotaur, leads Ovid up the mountain and to the crumbling labyrinth.

Eventually Asterion decides to tell Ovid that he is the infamous minotaur, still alive and living close to the labyrinth. At first Ovid is just humoring Asterion, allowing Asterion to tell his story... this is when the book really sta
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love Greek mythology and I came to this retelling of the Minotaur with eager expectation. I wasn't disappointed.

Using restrained 1st person narration, Asterion tells the story of his life to the poet Ovid. Simpson cleverly captures a sense of distance/detachment/perspective in Ast's voice. He's looking back 1000 years and while he suffered terribly, he has moved on. The telling is a ritual of putting the past to rest.

We are given key events that establish Asterion's true nature, the contrast i
Laura Chisnall
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Month9books sent me a review copy of these amongst others and I knew I had to read it straight away. As a lover of Greek Mythology and having spent my adolescent reading the Percy Jackson series, I knew that I needed my fix and boy did this do it! If you know, not only your Greek Mythology but also your Roman philosophers then it'll be perfect for you.

Minotaur adds a new layer to the story that we learn when we study the ancient world and creates empathy to the once feared creature.

The charact
*Suzy (ereaderuser)*
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
I was very fortunate to have the author ask me to be a beta reader for this book.


I've never been a big fan of anything that has to do with mythology. But having read the author's Rapture Trilogy, (which was fantastic), I was really looking forward to it. I can honestly say I enjoyed it so much!! The book had everything you could wish for:

Interesting characters
A great story line
Easy readability / quick pace

This book just had
This book was all sorts of awesomeness!! I was immediately hooked from the first page and wasn't let go till I turned the last one, and even then it stayed in my thoughts for days.

I love everything mythology based so was very eager to start this, and let me tell you, this was a fascinating take on the Minotaur myth. There isn't much I can say about the plot that isn't covered in the synopsis so I'll get straight to my thoughts.

Asterion is an amazing character. He is born after King Minos kills
Natalie (Never trust a duck)
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Thank you Andye from for the chance to review this!

I'm a Greek mythology nerd. A lot of people in this generation are Greek mythology dweebs because of the Percy Jackson (Shoutout to Rick Riordan!). This book was definitely enjoyable and the author does a good job of making the story interesting while weaving the history of the tale and Ovid into the story.

It starts with Ovid arriving Crete, and quickly becoming introduced to his tour guide, Asterion, otherwise known as the Minot
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This epic re-telling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur is told by Asterion the Minotaur himself. When he is visited by Ovid the playwright/poet Ast tells him the story of his life.

Asterion tells Ovid about his childhood, living in the palace with his evil step father King Minos, his mother and his many brothers and sisters. You get to find out all about his adventures before and during the labyrinth.

It was awesome to read what it was like in the labyrinth from the Minotaur's perspective. A
Greek myths aren’t just for scholars, and Phillip Simpson’s Minotaur isn’t just for kids. But this is a cool reimagining and vivid retelling of a young man’s coming of age in the time of legend. Heroes are human (but strong), and monsters… well, this monster at least is mostly human as well. Gods might make better fathers than some men. And relationships, like friendship, carry the bad as well as the good, because they’re real.

Most readers will know the legend where Greeks youths are given in tr
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is my first read in the recent genre-trend of alternate mythology fiction, which exploded after the success of Wicked. It has the Minotaur of Crete legend tell his story to Ovid about what really happened. It had some interesting concepts and a nice twist ending. Recommended for fans of Greek mythology. Shoutout to the author Phillip Simpson who I met at NYC Bookcon a couple years ago and was personally introduced to this upcoming book. I anxiously awaited its release but then dragged my fe ...more
Jim Rodgers
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read!

This book was a diamond in the rough. I’d put it right up there with Song of Achilles and Circe for new treatments of traditional Greek myths. You’ll love the character of Asterion and his relationship with Theseus. This is a wonderful book and an original take on an old story that you’ll really enjoy.
Michael Becker
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A really great take on a classic Greek myth.
Phoebe Prince
Apr 16, 2016 rated it liked it
The summary of this story is obvious: it’s a retelling of the infamous Creteian Minotaur’s life. The minotaur, Ast, meets Ovid, the famous Roman poet, and recounts the details of his life over a thousand years after the events of the labyrinth occurred. I love mythology and ancient history, and that's what drew me to this book initially. This novel was a quintessential For Want of A Nail story for me, and if you love stories from the monster's POV (think the classic Grendel), then Minotaur is go ...more
K.L. Hallam
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“But people didn’t want the truth. They wanted to believe in heroes and monsters.”

I wasn’t expecting to be swept away, but I was, into the port of Iraklion, Knossos, the once glorious capital of Crete.

We meet the Roman poet Ovid, known for his epic poem: The Metamorphosis, on a research trip for his work-in-progress. A poet, not a historian, he visits Crete to see the fabled home of the Minotaur for himself.

In the port of Iraklion, Ovid meets the largest man he’d ever seen, unshaven, hair that l
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
The story starts off with Ovid arriving to take a tour of the Labyrinth and surrounding area. A scholar who has written about the Minotaur and interested in learning more. Upon his arrival he is introduced to his tour guide, Ast. Ast soon reveals that he is the Minotaur in the legends and wants to tell his real story.

From there we are swept away into a adventurous and at times heart breaking life of the Minotaur, his family and culture. What I enjoyed most about this book was it never ceased to
AK Mama Reads
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-for-review
Full review:

..I can honestly say without shame I am a huge myth buff; not in the sense that I’m an expert but in that I am completely obsessed with mythology and the myriad ways many authors use different myths within their stories. In this case, we essentially get an origin story for one of fantasy’s most misunderstood creatures- the minotaur. .....
read more at blog link
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the voice and tone of this story, it reminded me of an ancient orator sharing his story. I found the characters believable and real. I liked how the author used famous characters from historical myths but stayed true to their characters (for the most part) and gave them depth. Of course, the author spun some of the relationships in his own way and the Minotaur is not the monster everyone thinks he is, but I enjoyed the way the author played it out.

The pacing isn't bad, but if you're im
This is a very believable retelling of the myth of the Minotaur. It reads like a classic Greek epic, with several trials and tragedies for poor Asterion, the one who would become the mythic Minotaur. The writing is fairly simple but the story itself is easy to engage in. I think I like this version of Minotaur more than the original. It certainly has more heart, and I can easily believe that legend often stems from an embellished truth. I wasn’t sure at first how I felt about the Minotaur tellin ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
A neat retelling of the myth involving the legendary king of Crete and son of Zeus and Europa and the demigod he monikered Minotaur. Beauty and the beast minus that gnarly mean phase. Judging by his odd and freakish appearance, ignorant people’s expectations were of him to be beastly, but he’s gentle with a kind soul.

“Once people started obsessing over the stories, facts became almost obsolete. Oddly enough, the truth was actually stranger than fiction. The people didn’t want the truth. They wa
Desirae Murray
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Myth has a way of reveling the truth about ourselves in ways we can only imagine, Ovid's quest to uncover the mysteries of the labyrinth is meet by the Minotaur himself. The beast of legend, is a demigod misunderstood by those who fear him; an outcast, that is shunned due his "horned" stature.
We learn that: great heroes are flawed, kings can be cruel, and that love can blossom within a whirlwind of chaos. If a monster can speak his tale, then redemption is solidified by the quill strokes of Ovi
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting take on the Greek Minotaur myth.
Nice break in my reading schedule.
Katy Lovejoy
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Weird. Of course I only know like elementary school level Greek mythology so...
Ashley Ferguson
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review and more can be found at The A P Book Club!

I was so excited when I first heard about this book - the story of the labyrinth from the Minotaur's perspective? Where has this been all my life!? I expected to enjoy this book, and I was not disappointed. I was even pleasantly surprised by the background and the history of both the Minotaur and the labyrinth!

I think my favorite part of this book was how it's written. Most of it is Asterion, known to most as the Minotaur, telling Ovid abo
J Aislynn d'Merricksson
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
***This book was reviewed for Readers' Favourite.***

Legends and myths contain nuggets of truth, oft buried beneath the detritus of time, layer upon layer added until sometimes what is has become distorted reflection of what was. With Minotaur, Simpson has given us just such a story of what might have been.

Not the chimeric creature of legend, half human and half bull, he who would become known as ‘Minotaur’ is simply a young man who had the misfortune of being born with an unfortunate birth oddit
Fee Roberts
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My Review of Minotaur I won Minotaur in a giveaway on a book blog. All opinions are my own. The Minotaur by Phillip W. Simpson is a retelling of the tale of the Minotaur in Greek mythology, which has always been one of my favorite subjects. I went into this book not sure what to expect, but I surely didn't expect such a superbly written tale. Phillip's writing is exceptional, and the main character, Asterion, the Minotaur, was so full of emotions and life that I grew to care for this character i ...more
If I was to sum up this book in one word I'd use simple.

That's not to say of course I didn't enjoy the read through because my rating would be a whole lot lower if I didn't. But just about everything in this book could be described as simple for me. Whether or not that's a good or bad thing is dependent entirely on the individual.

For me, however, it was more negative than it was positive. The writing felt like it fit more into middle-grade than it did young adult with its simplistic descriptions
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it

Minotaur by Phillip W. Simpson is a classic retelling of, well, the Minotaur. Although I was a bit overwhelmed with information at the start of the book (names and roles of the characters) I did find myself enjoying the book in its entirety.

Although I've always been interested in learning about Greek mythology, I've never actually taken the plunge. I appreciate the story of Minotaur and I loved Simpson's writing. The actual story was super interesting. We learn about Asterion's (the Minotau
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This was a very interesting book with a great story line. I liked Asterion, the Minotaur. He was very good. I liked Phaedra, whom he loved and she he. I loved his mother's name: Pasiphae. It has a beautiful ring much like the person. Theseus was interesting and good for Ast. What a tragedy to have horns for Ast. Luckily Daedalus and Icarus helped out in the end.
Minos seems like a little boy who needs to grow up but has an army at his command. He was so cruel and wicked. Luckily, Poseidon comes
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For two words to describe this book it would be "Absolutley Amazing" It has the story of the famous Minotaur myth from greek mythology and shows before when he was innocent and a kid to when he is trapped in the maze and acting crazy to the escape thanks to Archimedes and his sister which whom he falls in love with and is not disturbing the least. Along the path to Athens I believe where "minotaur" is journying he meets his fabeled murderer and builds a spectacular friendship while defeating the ...more
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5(even slightly more)/5

I've always loved Greek mythology and you can only imagine my excitement when I won the book in a goodreads' giveway. And my expectations that this would be a great book were not only met but exceeded.
I have never written a review before and, honestly, I suck at this. So I will just say that Minotaur is a compelling read, written in such a manner that it will make you turn page after page until you lose track of time. Well-build characters, interesting story, mythologic
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mythology
I normally don’t read Greek & Roman Mythology books, so I gave it a try. I read the first three chapters and I really liked it and kept reading all the way to the tenth chapter. Then on the next day I read all the way through end of the chapter. I really like Ast’s character and Ovid too and also Phaedra too. It’s really easy to understand what it’s about. I really like the way Phillip writes a very smooth, fairy tales & myths.
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Phillip W. Simpson is the author of many novels, chapter books and other stories for children. His publishers include Macmillan, Penguin, Pearson, Cengage, Raintree and Oxford University Press. He received his undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Archaeology, his Masters (Hons) degree in Archaeology and his Masters (Hons) degree in Creative Writing from the University of Auckland. He is cur ...more

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