Title: Daughter of Sparta
Author: Claire M. Andrews
Pub. Date: June 8, 2021
Pub: Jimmy Patterson Books
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy Retellings
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.
This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 – and funnily enough, I don’t think I ever actually read the synopsis. I saw the title and the cover and was sold.
So I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I also have like zero knowledge about the myth of Daphne and Apollo, so I went in pretty blind.
I should also preface this review with – I think I’m in a bit of a reading slump. It seems to be ebbing and flowing – sometimes I feel no desire to read, and then other times I want to do nothing but. So, it took me like 3 weeks to read this book.
I definitely thought the second half of the book was better – more engaging. I actually read the last 40% without feeling the urge to put it down. Which is something I struggled with, with this book. While reading I was invested and would knock out 15-20% at a time. But if I had to put it down for any reason, there was very little desire to pick it back up. I was feeling a bit bummed, because this was one of my most anticipated reads, and it really wasn’t living up to my expectations. A book featuring Greek Gods and Mythology is rarely bad, and this one wasn’t, but I was confused as to why I wasn’t really clicking with it.
Even now that I’ve finished it, I’m feeling a bit “meh” about it. It was good, and I did enjoy it, but I’m not desperately dying for the next one. Will I read the next one? Fuck yes. Give me more. I’m kind of sunk for Apollo and Daphne – not gonna lie.
Which brings me to the characters.
Loved the relationship between Apollo and Daphne. Thought the banter was good, kind of wish the chemistry had been a little more intense.
Lykou and Daphne was weird, but only in the context of what happens with him and having Apollo in the mix. Idk, it just felt weird.
Loved Theseus – but I don’t know how you couldn’t.
Lyta was great and honestly, I should have seen that reveal coming. I’m disappointed in myself.
I liked the appearances of the Gods and how the world – despite the conflict plaguing the book – accepts that they are real and will walk among them.
I know the whole point of Daphne is to be “The Chosen One” but I kind of grew bored with how easy it was for her. Okay, she suffers a lot, but still. I did like her character, but nothing is explained. She just this badass, who yeah, trained as a Spartan, so she has skills. But with the sheer number of times, she gets seriously hurt – there’s like no detriment to her health. The number of times she’s whacked in the head…I also had a hard time visualizing some of the fights, and there were scenes where she’d been cut, and then seconds later nearly passing out from blood loss…
Maybe I don’t understand how much a palm can bleed, but a slice across it wouldn’t result in lightheadedness and blood pouring out so fast to cause someone to nearly faint after a few seconds. I mean, if that were the case, then every character who has ever done that to use blood in some sort of ritual would be down and out for the count for a bit. It just seemed like some of the more “medical” side of things weren’t researched properly? I don’t know. I just had a hard time accepting the scope of injuries acquired by the characters – despite their otherworldliness.
Really that’s my biggest complaint. Overall, I enjoyed up enjoying this. It started off rocky, but really picked up and I’m looking forward to book 2. I want to see what adventures Claire takes Daphne, Lykou and Apollo on next. I think Daphne is going to take Greece by storm and it’s going to be satisfying as fuck.