Daughter of Darkness by Katherine & Elizabeth Corr

9781471410918Title Daughter of Darkness
Author: Katherine & Elizabeth Corr
Published: October 5 2022
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Readership: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★.5
RRP: $19.99

I received a copy of Daughter of Darkness from the publishers for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Enter the Underworld in an epic new fantasy, where the Gods of ancient Greece rule everything but fate.

Deina is trapped. As one of the Soul Severers serving the god Hades on earth, her future is tied to the task of shepherding the dying on from the mortal world – unless she can earn or steal enough to buy her way out.

Then the tyrant ruler Orpheus offers both fortune and freedom to whoever can retrieve his dead wife, Eurydice, from the Underworld. Deina jumps at the chance. But to win, she must enter an uneasy alliance with a group of fellow Severers she neither likes nor trusts.

So begins their perilous journey into the realm of Hades. . . The prize of freedom is before her – but what will it take to reach it?

From the authors of A THRONE OF SWANS and A CROWN OF TALONScomes a stunning new YA duology set in a world inspired by the mythology of ancient Greece.

Perfect for fans of Alexandra Bracken’s LORE and Jessie Burton’s MEDUSA.

This is a book that my teen self would have absolutely adored.

Deina is a young woman who’s a Soul Severer for the House of Hades – a position which she holds against her will and is desperate to escape. When Orpheus, the King, arrives and asks for volunteers willing to brave the Underworld and return his wife Eurydices to him in exchange for freedom, she jumps at the chance. Alongside several fellow Soul Severers – none of whom she has a good relationship with – Deina braves the Underworld, the monsters that lie within, and the truths she discovers about herself.

Daughter of Darkness has such an intriguing concept, and is much like many YA fantasy books in that it combines a heroine (with a bit of a chip on her shoulder) with a quest for control over her life and an adventure that forces her to test her limits. It also plays with those ideas in a way that seems fairly standard – the heroine’s on her own without allies, standing against the boys in a quest in which adults are using children as canon fodder… not my favourite things, but a common enough trend on their own. In a lot of ways reviewing this book has encouraged me to look at the things that I enjoy in a book and also to look at the what makes a ‘good book’ regardless of whether it suits my particular reading taste.

What it comes down to is that while it may not have been the book for me, it did do something interesting things with the Underworld mythology that I haven’t seen in YA, as well as being a fairly compelling book. I do think the first half of the book is dense, and the action and reveals in the second half of the book are far more page-turning, but it’s not badly written.

The reveals were honestly the biggest highlights for me – in terms of two of the characters we meet and discover how they’re related to Deina and her companions. I wish we’d spent even more time with them – and I suspect they’ll pop up in the sequel, because this book does leave off in a cliffhanger ending.

I’m glad I stepped outside my comfort zone to try this book and I’m curious to see what happens in the follow up book.

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