Promise of Shadows

384p. ebook available. S. & S. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442444645. LC 2013002959.
Gr 7 Up—After murdering her sister's killer, Zephyr Mourning lands herself in Tartarus—a section of Hell—serving an eternal sentence. Feces rains from the sky and the Centaurs on guard have a tendency to kill unruly prisoners, but Zephyr has a few things going for her: she's a Harpy, which is a half-human, half-god warrior vættir, and she only recently discovered she can unwittingly control and use dark magic. The teen used this forbidden power to avenge her sister Whisper's death, and it is this same ability which identified Zephyr as the much-revered and prophesied Nyx. Legend has it that the Nyx will protect and save all vættir from the Æthereals—gods who subject the vættir and other lesser mythical creatures to indiscriminate terror. With the help of her handsome childhood friend Tallon and his brother, Zephyr escapes Tartarus, along with fellow inmate Cass. This motley crew goes on a quest to discover if the reluctantly heroicized Zephyr really is the Nyx, and how she can stop the megalomaniac goddess Hera from wreaking havoc on the mortal and immortal realms. Though Ireland relies on preexisting knowledge of Greek mythology and doesn't spend enough time explaining complicated terminology, the fast pacing and dynamic plot will engage readers. An underdeveloped romance between Tallon and Zephyr is just enough to tantalize them. The snappy, hilarious dialogue between the protagonist and her friends balances the ominous apocalyptic story line, which will also attract fans of "The Hunger Games" (Scholastic), "Divergent" (HarperCollins), and underdog heroines.—Amy M. Laughlin, Darien Library, CT
Zephyr Mourning, a teenage Harpy (half-human, half-god warrior), is rescued from Tartarus (Pit of the Underworld) by a childhood friend, only to discover that she is the subject of a prophecy that could irrevocably change the relationship between the demi-gods and the Olympian Ætherals. Although some aspects of the storytelling are unnecessarily convoluted, fans of mythology will enjoy this epic love story.

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