Published by Simon and Schuster on March 11th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Greek & Roman, Love & Romance, Fantasy & Magic, Social Issues, Dating & Sex, Social Themes, Dating & Relationships, Paranormal
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A teen who is half-god, half-human must own her power whether she likes it or not in this snappy, snarky novel with a serving of smoldering romance.
Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changed when her sister was murdered—and Zephyr used a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.
On the run from a punishment worse than death, an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend upends Zephyr’s world—and not only because her old friend has grown surprisingly, extremely hot. It seems that Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess that is prophesied to shift the power balance: for hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.
But how is she supposed to save everyone else when she can barely take care of herself?
Promise Of Shadows by Justina Ireland is SUCH a cool book. I mean, seriously there’s blood, there’s identity/soul searching, there’s romance. There is even a twist on the Greek mythology that makes this feel like Percy Jackson for the older set. I put this book on hold at the library after spending a little bit of time on twitter reading threads about diverse authors and how it’s imperative that allies promote the books of people who are own voices. So, I am glad I saw those threads because it lead me to this book, and like I said Promise Of Shadows is a very good read.
Promise Of Shadows opens up with the main character, Zephyr, in Tartaras. We don’t immediately know why she’s in Tartaras, until it is revealed that she’s a godslayer. Zephyr is a harpy. This means that she’s half vaettir and half Exalted one — her parents are a harpy and a God. Only, she doesn’t know which God. So, Zephyr and her friend Cass decide to bust out of the Underworld and go back up to the Mortal world. It seems trouble is brewing with the Exalted Ones and the vaettir. Zephyr reunites with childhood friend Tallon and his brother, Blue. She also reunites with childhood enemy Alora who is a Fate. Oh yeah and by the way Zephyr might just be the reincarnation of this God named Nyx who is prophesized to help save the vaettir from extinction.
As you may have gathered, there is A LOT going on in Justina Ireland’s Promise Of Shadows. However, I promise you (see what I did there) that it is actually really easy to follow along. It may sound all complicated, but it is not. Actually, you’re really going to gel with Zephyr. Despite being a harpy slash god, she goes through a lot that we can all relate to. Zephyr questions her bravery and if she’s strong enough to handle all that will be thrown her way. She comes across as incredibly vulnerable. She doesn’t immediately come out fighting. In fact, she’s really bad at all the Harpy fighting requirements until she accepts who she really is. Friends, I really genuinely connected with a Harpy. Oh and I should also mention that Zephyr is Black which is awesome, because you know, black girl magic and all that.
If you read for romance, I think you’ll be pleased with Promise Of Shadows. There’s definitely a thing between Zephyr and Tallon. They were great childhood friends until he stops coming around. When they reunite, it’s not all easy at first. In fact, there’s a space between them. How they bridge that gap though is where it’s really at. You will love this if you like books where it builds to romance and where there’s longing and some jealousy. I am definitely here for both Zephyr and Tallon.
I really liked how Promise Of Shadows takes a world of Greek myths and legends and adapts it to today. There’s even mention of the internet. We also have these legends manifesting through diverse people. I mean there are people who are of color and people who are gay. I like that it did not exclude anyone. The way the characters are written and the world is drawn makes sense given that this is set in a modern world. Plus, no joke there’s some great battle sequences. I just want to throw that in there for people who are really into battles.
I absolutely would recommend Promise Of Shadows. It’s helmed by such a fantastic main character who really does come into her own. The world building and incorporation of Greek gods and creatures is on point. The pacing is super fast too. I would have read this in like a single day had I not ended up absorbed into reading some local facebook controversy before bed.
Other reviews of Promise Of Shadows by Justina Ireland:
- Rich In Color – “definitely a must-read“
- Pinkindle – “jam packed with interesting mythology!“
- Lose Time Reading – “the story was fascinating and fun“