By Author / Illustrator
Katharine & Elizabeth Corr
Myths & Legends
Hot Key Books
Paperback / softback
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 TALONS comes 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.
Deina is a thief. She is also a soul severer, one of Hades' representatives on earth, guiding the dead to the threshold of the Underworld. Contracted to serve Hades she can only reduce her tenure through successful severing, gradually diminishing the length of her service. But when the all-powerful tyrant Orpheus pays a visit he has a proposition that could earn the most accomplished severers their freedom.
Deina and her fellow adepts clutch at this desperate and dangerous errand as their only chance of escape. Tasked with returning the king's wife from the Underworld to be used in his murderous quest for eternal life, Deina and her uneasy companions are thrust into an almost impossible and suicidal mission. Forced to work together, they gradually realise the true horror of the King's desires and that many of them will not survive the trap they have been lured into.
Daughter of Darkness is a dark and deadly foray into the Underworld is one of high adventure and slow burning romance. They might exist in the world of Gods and ancient kingdoms but Deina and her accomplices are still teenagers wrestling with the complexities of growing up and finding their place in the world. The characters are at turns likeable and dislikeable and the reader is never quite sure who to trust. The first in the House of Shadows duology, this complexly woven adventure is a must for Greek Mythology fans.
448 Pages / Reviewed by Clare Wilkins, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 14+
Deina is a Severer; one of many taken from their families as children once marked by the Gods with a Sigil. Under the Order of Hades, she is tasked with assisting the dying into the Underworld and trapped by a Torc placed around her neck, only to be removed after she has served for 40 years, unless death or madness claim her first. Destined with a life of servitude, Deina and her associates long for freedom. When the ruthless Lord Orpheus arrives in their city, she is faced with an opportunity. Volunteers are tasked with entering the Underworld to bring back the soul of Eurydice, Orpheus's wife, so that they can live together again. Anyone who completes the task will be handed their freedom and gold to start a new life. Faced with almost certain death, Deina and some of her fellow Severers volunteer to work together, only to find that the truth, once they find Eurydice, is actually more frightening than the Underworld. Will they be able to complete their quest and find their freedom?
Daughter of Darkness is an interesting read. Set in ancient Greece, it describes a world of servitude and sacrifice, polluted by the Gods and a tyrant ruler. Describing the comfort of friendship and the antagonistic side to lost loves, the book is full of competition and rivalry between the Severers. As the story unfolds and they learn to work together, the relationships change again into ones of trust and respect. Without any spoilers, it is hard to explain fully my thoughts on the characters, but I felt that perhaps allowances were made so that the narrative could flow in the direction of the authors' choice rather than how the characters would have truly acted, given their journey and revelations on the quest.
Although quite descriptive, I found the book engaging and fast moving, which made me want to read on and encourage the group to a fortuitous ending. There are many revelations throughout the book and a lot of information and names to absorb. In some books this can be overwhelming, but here it seemed to match the world and atmosphere created by the narrative. The writing is clear and if I had one criticism it is that the chapters are rather long, something I know that can put readers off and which is easily resolved.
Overall, a gripping, fast paced read, with twists and turns at every corner. Definitely for teens; there is certainly some harsh, violent content so be warned, it reminded me in places of The Enemy series by Charlie Higson, purely for the descriptive deaths or torture. Left wide open for a sequel (sorry for the spoiler!)
448 pages / Reviewed by Lorraine Ansell, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 14+