by Claire M. Andrews
Series: Daughter of Sparta #1
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Genres: Mythology, YA
Format Read: ARC, eBook
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.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Where this past winter was all about Russian folklore (with new reads like The Bright & the Pale by Jessica Rubinowski, old favorites like The Winternight Triology by Katharine Arden, and books that are getting well deserved attention like Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha-verse), then I’m proclaiming this summer all about Greek mythology!
For me, great Greek mythologies are defined by sunny scenes of lush waters and gilded temples. They include action-packed fight scenes, gods who will disrupt and parlay well-honed plans, and always an element of romance. If Russian reimaginings gave us the right vibe for cozy, comfy winter nights, then retellings of great Greek epics should always be read outside, preferably by the beach, with sunshine and lemonade on standby.
If you loved Alexandra Bracken’s Lore (and who didn’t? It was filled with action, romance, and testy gods), then you will enjoy Claire Andrews first book in her new series, Daughter of Sparta. While Andrews doesn’t dive as deeply into the nuances or world-building as other recent Greek tales, she certainly creates a story that is filled within action from the onset. The first scene opens with 17-year-old Daphne fighting for her place among the ancient Spartan army, when she is unwilling set upon a task by goddess Artemis to recover nine stolen items from Mount Olympus. Accompanying Daphne on the journey is Artemis’ twin brother, Apollo, god of prophecy, healing, and dance.
Now, if you’re familiar with the myth of Daphne, you’ll know that Apollo and Daphne are fated lovers of sorts. In legend, Daphne was a water nymph and daughter of the river god Peneus, who unwillingly became the object of Apollo’s infatuation after Apollo was cursed by Cupid, the god of love. Daphne seeking to escape Apollo, pleads with her father who transforms her into a laurel tree. Suffice to say, Andrews’ retelling significantly departs from this story, but you are in store for some series enemies-to-lovers, will-they-won’t-they vibes.
While Daughter of Sparta certainly kicks off immediate, I occasionally found it hard to keep focused on the story. Without a wealth of description, it was sometimes hard to feel a connection to the characters or their mission. I needed a stronger incentive for Daphne’s undertaking; I needed to feel her pain and conflict. However, despite some of its faults, Daughter of Sparta sets the scene for what I’m positive will be a series to which I am eager to return. I am excited to see where Daphne’s journey takes her in the ensuing editions!
Hi, I’m Caitlyn! During the day I’m a graduate student, so you can usually find me hiding in the corner of a coffee shop (iced coffee always in hand) reading, writing, or lesson planning. But, come nighttime, I’m always trying to squeeze in a few extra pages of whatever I’m reading for fun. I love to decorate with books and antique trinkets, light a musky woodsy candle, and curl up with my cat, Mercutio, to devour fantasy, historical fiction, literary fiction, or, really, whatever I’m feeling in the moment!