Happy Release Day to
Minotaur by Phillip W. Simpson!!
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Happy Book Birthday, Phillip!
“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 legend. Recorded by the famous Roman poet, Ovid, Asterion tells of his boyhood in Crete under the cruel hand of his stepfather Minos, his adventures with his friend, Theseus, and his growing love for the beautiful Phaedra.And of course what really happened in the labyrinth.
This is the true story of the Minotaur.
King Minos was flanked on either side by his son and daughter. Ariadne and Glaucus. If they were here, I knew something was very wrong. I was brought to the front of the temple, just before the altar, and made to kneel. The altar, I knew, was used to appease the gods in the form of sacrifices.. Sacrifices that often took place after events like earthquakes.
At first, I thought Minos was planning to sacrifice me, and I was filled with sudden terror. Suddenly, I caught Ariadne’s eye and knew that her revenge was altogether more subtle. Glaucus was smirking. I would’ve spat at him if the spittle had any chance of reaching him. As it was, he was well out of harm’s way.
Kyon was carried up to the altar, growling and yelping piteously. My heart went out to him. If I could’ve switched places with him, I would’ve. I said nothing, my mouth dry. I knew it wouldn’t make the slightest difference if I protested.
They released him from the pole but kept all four paws bound. Even so, he struggled mightily and tried to bite. I only wished he had succeeded. Two acolytes held him down.
I could do nothing, bound as I was with two guards standing over me. A cowled priest approached the altar and loomed above the squirming dog.
He went through the normal rituals and formalities. I tried to rise to my feet but was held down by the guards. The priest, having finished the preliminaries, produced a long knife. He held it high in the air and I, unable to watch, lowered my eyes.
Minos was having none of it. He barked a command, and the guards raised my head, forcing me to watch the horrible scene unfolding before me. The knife thrust down in a glittering arc. Kyon yelped once, a high-pitched bark of pain, and then there was silence. Just like that, my friend Kyon was dead.
Minos nodded once, stood, and left the temple accompanied by his children. Ariadne and Glaucus looked back once and were rewarded by seeing the tears streaming down my face.
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 both his undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Archaeology and his Masters (Hons) degree in Archaeology from the University of Auckland.
Before embarking on his writing career, he joined the army as an officer cadet, owned a comic shop and worked in recruitment in both the UK and Australia.
His first young adult novel, Rapture (Rapture Trilogy #1), was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for best Youth novel in 2012.
He is represented by Vicki Marsdon at Wordlink literary agency.
When not writing, he works as a school teacher.
Phillip lives and writes in Auckland, New Zealand with his wife Rose, their son, Jack and their two border terriers, Whiskey and Raffles. He loves fishing, reading, movies, football (soccer) and single malt Whiskeys.
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