Daughter of Sparta by Claire Andrews
Out Now from Little, Brown and Company; 375 pages
Content Warnings: Violence, torture, moderately strong language
About the Author: “Claire Andrews was raised in both Alaska and Scotland, but currently lives in Vermont; when not writing, she can usually be found outside swimming, skiing or hiking across the state’s famous green mountains. Daughter of Sparta is her debut novel.” (Bio taken from publisher’s website.)
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Daphne is a seventeen-year-old warrior who has spent her life training her body and mind in order to be accepted by the people of Ancient Sparta. But a chance encounter with Artemis throws the life she has worked so hard for into chaos. Daphne is tasked with finding nine missing items stolen from Mount Olympus. If she fails? The gods will lose their power, the mortal world will be thrown into madness, and she will lose her brother. Teamed up with the handsome and arrogant god Apollo, Daphne must travel through the ancient world to save her brother and prove her strength.
I am a sucker for Greek mythology, so I was thrilled to see Daphne’s story re-written for the YA genre. Fans of Greek mythology will recognize many familiar characters throughout the novel, such as the Minotaur, Theseus, the Sphinx, King Minos, the Muses, and many other clever gods and goddesses. I found the plot entertaining, and while I enjoyed the quest Daphne was sent on, I felt that the story could have benefited from less action and more character development for Daphne and Apollo. Daughter of Sparta does a fantastic job of giving Daphne the control over her life, something missing from the original mythology. Daphne was an empowering female character because she was brave, feisty, and devoted to her country and her family. My favorite part of the novel was the side characters, especially Daphne’s best friend Lykou. He is a wolf-shifter who travels with Daphne throughout the novel. His character was wonderfully loyal and courageous; I really enjoyed their friendship.
Daughter of Sparta injects a warrior woman into the male-dominated world of Greek mythology. I loved seeing my favorite mythological world with a heroine that was worthy of attention. Claire Andrews’ debut novel will transport you to Ancient Greece where you will be introduced to cruel gods, complex romance, an arduous quest, and a feisty female heroine.
PRR Writer, Frances Drye