Agape and Ares

A romantic story in verse

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
36 Pages
Reviewed on 12/20/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite

Agape and Ares: A romantic story in verse by Ksenia Sein is written in freestyle with a nod to “short story” in as much as every poem, none of them long, is designated as one of nine chapters. Each of them is illustrated with an appropriate sketch, but all of them are entitled Agape and Ares. Ares appears first, mourning his start in life and very angry that his mother left him in an orphanage, thus denying him her love and suckling at her breast. “Ares was angry with the world — Healing his hidden pain with love affairs and fun.” He meets Agape and is enchanted by her, and Agape sees Ares has unhealed wounds she may cure with trust, sincerity, faith, love, kindness, and patience; Agape believes people are basically worthy.

Agape and Ares is a captivating romantic fantasy, and the reality of the setting, the Greek island of Santorini, is built gradually and only named close to the end, almost like a musical pause before the final crescendo. The motives behind Ares’ undesirable traits are revealed early, but the actions he takes multiply more slowly, exposing him as a strikingly handsome but dangerous anti-hero. Agape has no doubt as to her ability to change him, but beliefs rooted deep in early childhood present themselves. Ksenia Sein’s telling of the culmination of this ill-fated romance, the tragedy, and eternal loss, moved me to tears. Agape and Ares: A romantic story in verse is accurately titled and not a book that will easily be forgotten by its readers.