(From the publisher):
Blending historical fact and classical myth, the reader is transported three thousand years into the past, to a pivotal point in history: the final days before the ancient kingdom of Minoan Crete is to be conquered and supplanted by the emerging city-state of Athens. The familiar figures who peopled that ancient world—King Minos, Theseus and Ariadne, the Minotaur, Diadalos and Ikaros—fill the pages of this novel with lifelike immediacy.
Fundamentally, it is a gripping and vivid adventure story, recounted by one of this century's greatest storytellers, and peopled with freshly interpreted figures of classical Greek Mythology. We see a new vision of the Minotaur, portrayed here as a bloated and sickly green monster, as much to be pitied as dreaded. And we see a grief-sticken Diadaloa, stomping on the homemade wax wings which have caused the drowning of his son Ikaros.
At another level, it is an allegory of history, showing the supplanting of a primitive culture by a more modern civilization. Protected by bronze swords, by ancient magic and ritual, and by ferocious but no longer invincible monsters, the kingdom of Crete represents the world that must perish if classical Greek civilization is to emerge into its golden age of reason and science. In the cataclysmic final scene in which the Minotaur is killed and King Minos's sumptuous palace burned, Kazantzakis dramatizes the death of the Bronze Age, with its monsters and totems, and the birth of the Age if Iron.
Original title: Στα παλάτια της Κνωσού [Sta palatia tes Knosou]
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ Ancient World (Greece, Rome, etc)
Mythology→ Retellings→ Greek & Roman
Fiction→ Children & Young Adult