Book Review

ARC Book Review: Daughter of Sparta (Daughter of Sparta #1) by Claire M. Andrews

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy / Mythology
Length: 400 pages
Author: Claire M. Andrews
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
Release Date: June 8th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sparta forged her into a deadly weapon. Now the Gods need her to save the world!

Seventeen-year-old Daphne has spent her entire life honing her body and mind into that of a warrior, hoping to be accepted by the unyielding people of ancient Sparta. But an unexpected encounter with the goddess Artemis—who holds Daphne’s brother’s fate in her hands—upends the life she’s worked so hard to build. Nine mysterious items have been stolen from Mount Olympus and if Daphne cannot find them, the gods’ waning powers will fade away, the mortal world will descend into chaos, and her brother’s life will be forfeit.

Guided by Artemis’s twin-the handsome and entirely-too-self-assured god Apollo-Daphne’s journey will take her from the labyrinth of the Minotaur to the riddle-spinning Sphinx of Thebes, team her up with mythological legends such as Theseus and Hippolyta of the Amazons, and pit her against the gods themselves.

A reinterpretation of the classic Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo, Daughter of Sparta by debut author Claire Andrews turns the traditionally male-dominated mythology we know into a heart-pounding and empowering female-led adventure.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

MANY THOUGHTS.

Well, one of my highly anticipated reads has let me down a bit.

Side note: I read a handful of reviews and it looks like if you Google what’s Daphne’s mythology, it can spoil part of the book. I went and Googled myself (after reading) and would say, YES IT DOES SPOIL. So please don’t search anything until after reading if you’re curious what her history is! I didn’t know before this book there was a story involving Daphne.

I loved the inital set-up and story. I liked that Daphne was trying to find a place for herself. To feel like she has a home. Add in some brothers and I was loving this little family plotline. First goddess into the ring was Athena and thus one of my least favorite tropes arrived: the travelling trope.

Most of this book is indeed spent with Daphne going from location A, B, C, etc. trying to first, figure out what is missing from Olympus and secondly, how to retrieve and fix the situation. What bothered me a lot about this was that a handful of times she ran into someone new (or saw the main villian) they would say you can’t know my name yet. And just WHY? Leaving it as a “mystery” wasn’t really a mystery. It was more annoying than anything not to say who’s who.

I didn’t know there would be a romance, mainly because it took a VERY long time for it to arise and I was suprised by it. There wasn’t anything to them. Honestly, could’ve done without and I might have enjoyed it more. The small scenes didn’t add to the whole story. I would have liked to have just seen more of Daphne being a warrior.

What I did love was the interpretation of mythology. I love books about mythology because I like seeing how each author depicts the gods and whatever story they’re using. It was great seeing many many secondary characters and remembering their general storylines as I went. I love these kind of scenarios brought to life.

By the end I was left with more forced questions than answers, trying to dangle me into reading the next book rather than the entire book convincing me I should want to read the sequel, so we’ll see. It did keep my interest for a very long time. It was towards the end where I started to slip and wanted finish the book quickly. The writing and story is there, I think I had the hype in my mind for a bit different of a tale.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy / Mythology
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: battles, skirmishes, friends being turned into creatures, animal attacks, physical altercations, murder

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Book Review

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fiction + Fantasy + Mythology
Length: 393 pages
Author: Madeline Miller
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Expected Release Date: April 10th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

LOVED THIS STORY.

I have always been a huge fan of Greek Mythology. It’s fascinating and I am enamored by the stories. This was no different. I didn’t know much about Circe prior and I was swept away with how Miller created her story. Props to the audiobook too because that was STELLAR. Great narration and easy to follow.

The writing was beautiful and lyrical. Completely entrancing seeing Circe live her life. It was amazing seeing all of the characters that were in this book. I couldn’t get enough of knowing and learning about the titans and gods and all of the humans Circe loved. It is a bit of a slower paced book that is still able to hold your attention. I wanted to keep reading and following Circe on her journey.

Odysseus played a huge role in this story. From reading (and all together loving, because let’s face it, I was in high school and could care less at the time) the Odyssey and only barely grasping what happened there to feeling like I got a whole new side of him. I know this is all mythology, but everything FELT real. I was deeply in love with all of these characters, especially Circe and Odysseus. Circe was strong, brave, and cunning. A goddess in her own right.

There was a magical world built around the myths of Circe and the titans. I loved exploring the land and even though this book is mostly set on an island, you would never know it. A lot continually happens and I am wholly impressed by this book. I’m definitely interested in reading The Song of Achilles now!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fiction + Fantasy + Greek mythology
  • Language: a little strong language
  • Romance: kisses, mentions of lying with each other and spending the night together, so you definitely know what happened, but nothing is descriptive
  • Violence: torture, poison, physical, shipwrecks, monster attacks, magic
  • Trigger warnings: rape (end of Chapter 14, a little detailed; happens to Circe from a group of sailors that come to her island); two descriptive birth scenes

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