Book One, Child of the Erinyes series: Crete: A place of magic, of mystery, where violence and sacrifice meet courage and hope. Aridela: Wrapped in legend, beloved of the people. An extraordinary woman who dances with bulls. The north wind brings a swift ship and two brothers who plot...
Princess Aridela: Aridela, ten at the beginning of the book, is destined to be a mere priestess, though she is the Queen of Crete's royal daughter. But her dreams and the ancient prophecies predict something far greater.
Young Menoetius: Menoetius is the king of Mycenae’s bastard son (and Chrysaleon's half brother). He is elevated above his natural station by his father, who still carries a torch for the youth’s mother, though she disappeared after she gave birth and has never been seen since. Rumors have named her an accomplished priestess from Ys, a mysterious island far in the west off the coast of a land known as Albion (England.) The slave Alexiare claims he saw her once create lightning in the night sky. Consequently, secrets, mystery, and a hint of fear surround this young man. Menoetius, seventeen at the beginning of The Year-god’s Daughter, sails to Crete at his father’s command. He is charged with ferreting out weaknesses in this rich, powerful society, but his fate, or Athene, has other plans for him. Four words that describe Menoetius are: grave, sad, devout, intense. His hair is “dark as oak-wood,” his eyes a singular blue, like the heavens at the summit of Mount Ida. The first time Aridela sees this man who will play such an important part in her life, she is very near death, delirious. His eyes make her believe he is no mortal but the Goddess herself, come to fetch her daughter home. Menoetius’s purpose as one point of Athene’s sacred triad is to protect Aridela. He has other obligations, however, which will be revealed as the series progresses.
Prince Chrysaleon: The shallow, spoiled heir to Mycenae’s throne is determined to crush Crete, for his own glory and to impress his father; he also desires nothing more than to see the bastard half-brother he hates (Menoetius) humiliated and thrown out of favor–maybe even killed. Four words perfectly describe Chrysaleon: angry, arrogant, entitled, selfish. His blond hair and green eyes come from his ancestors, tribes from the Northern Steppes. This will become important in the story and influence the success and/or failure of his plots on Crete, where almost everyone is dark skinned and dark haired.
Queen Helice: Aridela's mother: the Queen of Crete (Kaphtor, in the 1600s BCE.)
Princess Iphiboë: Aridela's older sister: heir to the throne of Crete. She will play a much larger role than is initially suggested.
Minos Themiste: Seer of Kaphtor. Oracle and visionary. Keeper of theProphecies. Her titles are Most Holy Minos—Moon-being. The moon incarnate. She was but fifteen when chosen to don the mask of the bull, seventeen when Aridela was born.
Lady Selene: Selene, creamy-haired daughter to a queen in the faraway land of Phrygia, is given to the queen of Crete as a mentor and teacher for Iphiboë. She initially dismisses Aridela as “too small and fragile” to be trained; besides, Aridela is destined to live out her life with the priestesses, and will have little need of military skills. Aridela’s tenacity soon changes her mind, however, and she ends up taking both girls under her wing. The three become inseparable, which is a very good thing, as Goddess Athene has a far more important role in mind for the Amazon warrior from Phrygia.
Prince Harpalycus: Heir to the throne of Tiryns, on the Greek mainland. Harpalycus is jealous of Chrysaleon, and would love to find a way to overthrow Mycenae.
“He discerned no hint of softness or mercy on her face. She gazed at him, perfectly still. Her cold shrewd eyes sent shivers into his belly. She would put him to death without hesitation or remorse if she believed he’d tried to harm her daughter; his relationship to the king wouldn’t matter. He’d ignited the chilling wrath of a mother.”
““Barbarian love,” she whispered. “His is the corrupted horse-seed of Poseidon. They enslave women. They keep their goddesses weak. Their worship of the Venerable Mother is a sham. This I know. His people and mine have a long history.””
Mycenae, Greece: This powerful city state on mainland Greece rules over all the other city states, including Sparta. Athens at this time is nothing important, a mere village. The story takes place long before Athens comes to power.
Thera, Callisti, Santorini: This island, lying 70 miles north of Crete, is the doomed setting where one of the largest, most destructive volcanic eruptions in human history took place.
Crete: The main setting of the book. An advanced, sophisticated, luxurious island, wealthy from trading, self-sufficient. Known as "Kaphtor," by the natives.
Hesperia: "The Hesperides who guard the rich, golden apples and the trees bearing fruit beyond glorious Okeanos." Hesiod, Theogony 270 ff : "The beautiful island of the gods, where the Hesperides have their homes of solid gold."Euripides, Hippotyus 742 ff (trans. Vellacott) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) (The land the dead went to)
Tiryns: One of the powerful city-states on the Greek mainland.
Knossos: The great city surrounding the palace/temple of Labyrinthos on Crete
Mount Ida: A revered mountain on Crete, holding an important shrine
Amnisos: Famed harbor and port town on the north coast of Crete
Mount Juktas: Another important and revered mountain to the south of Knossos (LATER rumored to display the profile of Zeus.)
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