Daughter of Sparta

Little, Brown. Jun. 2021. 400p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316540070.
Gr 7 Up–Nonstop action, drama, and an unforgettable female warrior will keep readers turning pages in this reimagining of the Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo. Seventeen-year-old Daphne Diodorus has been considered an outsider her whole life. Born outside of Sparta but adopted by a senior magistrate family along with her two brothers, Daphne is trained to be an extraordinary warrior. Despite her skill, she must constantly fight for the recognition and respect of her adopted people. An encounter in the forest with the goddess Artemis changes her life when she learns that the Gods of Olympus are weak and losing their power due to the theft of important items belonging to Zeus. Artemis tasks Daphne with recovering what was stolen to save Olympus and the mortal world, which will collapse into chaos if Olympus falls. Artemis binds her with the Midas Curse, a painful golden seal around her body that will kill her if she fails. Daphne also learns that she will be accompanied on this quest by Artemis’s brother, the god Apollo, and her love interest and fellow Spartan, Lykou, who has been turned into a wolf. Daphne is an awesome protagonist: fearless, tough, and unforgiving in battle. Her banter and growing feelings for Apollo don’t quite make for a swoony romance, and mostly pale in comparison to the never-ending danger, excitement, and ferocious fights. Readers will thrill at appearances from the well-known denizens of Greek mythology, including gods and goddesses, centaurs, the Minotaur, gryphons, and the Sphinx of Thebes, as well as awe-inspiring landscapes like the underworld and Mount Olympus. A glossary proves helpful in deciphering the many terms and objects used throughout. Apollo and Daphne are white and other characters have various skin tones.
VERDICT Recommended for all YA collections, particularly where action and adventure stories are in demand.

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