My opinion of this book was highly unfavorable until the main character ended up as a bull dancer on the isle of Crete. That was when the author really hit her stride. Or perhaps I just became interested enough to overlook the overly-affected dialogue and constant emphasis on Theseus's maleness. There are plenty of female writers out there who can write convincing male characters without having them metaphorically cupping their junk on every other page. (I'm sorry, but that's the impression I got from the first part of the book.) The move to the action of the Bull Court shifts the emphasis from "My main character got them man-parts" to "Holy Zeus! How's he going to get out of this!" Thank the gods for that, because this book went directly from an F grade to a solid B and I decided I'd be willing to try other books by Renault. After all, she seems capable of some truly stellar moments of poetic description. Worth a look for those who enjoy re-imagined mythology, lush depictions of ancient Greece, and lots of machismo.