The Underworld awaits . . .
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?
Deina is a Soul Severer. Her role is to help guide the dying from the mortal world to Hades and the underworld. Essentially helping to bridge the gap between the land of the living and the land of the dead. For every soul that she helps to cross over she becomes one step closer to earning her own soul back. When Orpheus offers the Soul Severers the chance to earn gold and their freedom to whoever can bring his wife Eurydice back from the underworld, Deina knows this is an opportunity she can’t pass up. However, she has competition from her fellow Soul Severers who also want the same. Will Deina succeed in her mission and as her journey unfolds with her fellow Soul Severs what is the real reason behind Orpheus’ task.
So to say that this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year would be a little bit of an understatement. As soon as this book was on my radar I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy and get reading. I am a big fan of Greek mythology, Greek retellings and anything that includes the Greek Gods. What initially struck me when I started to read is that this is a YA Greek fantasy novel that I wish had been around when I was younger because there was nothing like this available and the only books that covered Greek mythology were reference books, but nothing with a fictional element.
From the outset I was transported to Deina’s world. The descriptions were rich, detailed and the world building was amazing. I loved the storyline. Essentially we have a main character who is trying to obtain her freedom as well as that of her friend Chryse by undertaking a task. A task which isn’t easy, her safety isn’t guaranteed and could result in her position not changing. One of the main competitors among the other Soul Severers is Theron who Deina has history with but what happened between them isn’t apparent from the beginning but is explained further on in the book. It was hard not to like Deina as a character. She is fierce, strong, determined and knows what she wants which is freedom. At the same time she wants to make sure that Chryse is not left behind showing that she is also a selfless person. I loved the dynamic between Deina and Theron because at the start they appear to be enemies and really get under each other’s skin. However, when they interact there is something else bubbling under the surface that hints that there is more to their relationship than meets the eye.
What I loved about this book is that it’s based around Greek Mythology and we get to see different Greek Gods make an appearance such as Orpheus, Eurydice and Charon. Some of my favourite scenes were when Deina met Hades and when the Soul Severers encountered Cerberus. One of my favourite aspects of the story was that having read many reference books on Greek Mythology the story perfectly portrays how the Gods were known tricksters and in some ways could be quite cruel. They would draw people or other beings into their games and then watch from a distance to see what would happen next. As for that ending wow, just wow. I couldn’t believe the way the book ended and when I read the epilogue my little heart was very sad. I knew this book was going to be a duology so I can’t wait to read the next book.
A book I would highly recommend to anyone who loves Greek fantasy stories that includes adventure and where Greek mythology comes to life with the turn of each page.
Katharine and Elizabeth Corr are sisters originally from Essex, now living in Surrey. When they both decided to write novels – on account of fictional people being much easier to deal with than real ones – it was obvious they should do it together. They can sometimes be found in one of their local coffee shops, arguing over which character to kill off next. Katharine and Elizabeth are authors of the enthralling A Throne of Swans duology and the spell-binding trilogy The Witch’s Kiss.