Rating: 4 stars
Release date: 04/08/2022
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Author: Katherine and Elizabeth Corr
CW: Death, death of a friend (on page), ritual sacrifice, ritualistic use of dead bodies, ritualistic use of blood
The Underworld awaits…
Deina is trapped. As one of the Soul Severers serving the god Hades on earth, her future is tied to the task of shepherding the dying on from the mortal world – unless she can earn or steal enough to buy her way out.
Then the tyrant ruler Orpheus offers both fortune and freedom to whoever can retrieve his dead wife, Eurydice, from the Underworld. Deina jumps at the chance. But to win, she must enter an uneasy alliance with a group of fellow Severers she neither likes nor trusts.
So begins their perilous journey into the realm of Hades… The prize of freedom is before her – but what will it take to reach it?
Orpheus and Eurydice was a Greek myth I’d not heard of until the start of last year, but was one I quickly came intrigued by. Katherine and Elizabeth Corr took this myth in a really interesting direction, interpreting the myth in a really fun and unusual way.
I loved the world building in this. The Ancient Greek world combined with a Bronze Age one made for a really interesting setting, placing the ancient Gods and Goddesses in a different context. I enjoyed traveling through Greece as well as the Underworld, seeing how the legends manifested in this story.
I liked the inclusion of different groups of kind of acolytes/kind of followers for the Gods. They were given a sliver of their power to help with their duties and represent them on Earth. It kind of made the Gods seem more detached.
Deina was a great main character. She was smart and determined and she intensely believed in what she wanted. She also really loved her friends, and grew to love – or at least be loyal – those she didn’t initially like.
There was a great found family in this. A hatred and competitiveness turned into grudging admiration and teamwork. They came to trust each other as they learnt the strengths and weaknesses of those around them.
I did not expect some of the twists and reveals towards the end, so I think it’ll make for a really interesting sequel. I look forward to seeing how Deina continues to grow and what will happen next.