Welcome to my stop on the Daughter of Chaos blog tour! I cannot tell you how excited I was to read this book, and overall, I really liked it!
I remember when I first heard about this book I thought, "this was made just for me!" I mean, it has a ton of my favorite things! Witches and magic AND Greek mythology, specifically focusing on the Queen of the Witches and goddess of magic, Hecate?? YES PLEASE! I was beyond excited! I adore witches and mythology and Hecate actually happens to be my favorite goddess! How perfect is that? However, I think this is also why I had very high expectations for this book.
First of all, as I mentioned numerous times in my intro paragraph, I loved the witchy magical component to it as well as the addition of the various mythologies. Although Greek is my favorite, I am just a huge mythology junkie in general and I learned about a couple new deities I had never heard about! Another concept I liked was that the magic that the witches wield are broken up into three main paths: White magic, Black magic, and Green magic (that's focusing on the earth and nature). And then there's Red magic... Chaos magic. This, I thought, was very unique and I really liked it.
One of my main problems, though, was that I had a hard time sympathizing and connecting with the main character. This is probably due to the fact that we don't really get to know her before she makes the big decision of becoming a Red witch. "Okay, so Red magic is dangerous and Darlena may have bitten off more than she could chew, but I should care because...?" We obviously get to know her more as the story goes on, but those were my initial thoughts. However, I also thought she was a bit immature and selfish and some of her actions made me go "What?! Why? Don't do that!" But of course, she went ahead with her very bad idea even though it was, well, bad. What I'm talking about here is, without giving too much away, when she cast a "harmless" spell on someone that would basically take away their freewill to feel! Darlena herself talks about wanting to make decisions for herself and her freewill to use her magic as she wishes, but then she goes and casts a spell like this? Umm, what? And then she expected it to NOT backfire? Girl, I've read a lot of witchy magical books and seen (admittedly) way too many re-runs of Charmed, and generally speaking, the victim of such spell no, will NOT be "okay" with having their emotions messed with. It will only ruin that relationship much further, as was proven in this book.
Which brings me to my next point: this book was predictable. I love being surprised with plot twists, but this book just didn't do it for me. Not only did I see her spell backfire, but the traitor that wanted her dead was just too obvious! Of course, Darlena pretty much suspected everyone because she was unsure who she could and could not trust, which is understandable... Those gods can be some tricky beings to deal with. But still! It was right in front of her face!
Speaking of the gods, as I said, Hecate is my favorite Greek goddess (in fact, the purple avatar I use everywhere? Yeah, that's her :)), so you *know* I've done my research on her. And from what I've read about her in the few myths, she seems to me like a very benevolent goddess overall (she does have that offspring that are succubus-like who kill and drink the blood of young men... But I did say overall ;)). So her obsession with Darlena and her Chaos magic is very confusing to me. What is it that she really wants from her? Well, it's not really explained, unfortunately. I need to know her motives!
Besides Hecate, my other favorite god is Apollo! He has nothing to with this, but just thought you should know ;) Anyway, my list really only consists of three gods, and he and Hecate are tied for first. But right behind them my next favorite god is Hades! Surprised? You shouldn't be! He is just a misunderstood god who is actually a really nice guy even though his realm is more than a bit creepy and morbid. I definitely loved how the god was portrayed in this book! A strong imposing ruler who, underneath it all, is just a nice guy with a soft spot for his wife. While most versions and interpretations of the myth make him out as the bad guy for kidnapping Persephone, I absolutely love when they portray Persephone reciprocating his love. I guess I'm just a sucker for happy endings ;)
Anyway, back to the book at hand... because this book incorporated so many of my favorite things, I had really high hopes for it. Hopes that, unfortunately, were not met all the way. Although there were some aspects of the book that I had troubles with, overall, I can honestly say that I really enjoyed the book! It was action packed and full of some amazing magic! The author did such a fantastic job of weaving different mythologies together, and I really loved that. I cannot wait to read more about this world and see how Darlena fairs in her fight against the goddess of magic. I recommend this one to anyone looking for an action packed book filled with lots of magic!
Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).
She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and a proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.
A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. She's a graduate of Western Michigan University, and she also earned her MS in Library Science at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.
Follow Jen on Twitter @Jen_McConnel, and visit www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.
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Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it? If not, what do you think? Does it sound like something you might want to read? Leave me a comment! :) And make sure you follow the rest of the tour for more great content on the "Daughter of Chaos!"