Saturday, June 1, 2013

Review: Hades' Daughter by Sara Douglass

Title: Hades' Daughter (The Troy Game #1)
Author: Sara Douglass
Genre: Fantasy - Historical
Media Type: Hard Cover
Published: November 15, 2003
Length: Epic
Reviewer: Jasmyn

Ancient Greece: A place where the gods hold mortal lives cheap, mere playthings to amuse, delight, and abuse at their will.

But those puny mortals are not wholly devoid of power, for at the cores of their fabulous city-states lie the Labyrinths, where they can shape the powers of the heavens to their own design. When Theseus entered the Labyrinth and came away with the prize of freedom and his beloved Ariadne, Mistress of the Labyrinth, his future seemed assured...until he abandoned her for the unforgivable sin of bearing him only a daughter, and the world changed. From that day forward, all the Labyrinths in the ancient world started to decay. It slowly became clear that power was fading from the city-states.

Was it the natural decline that comes to all cultures or was it because the power of the Labyrinth had been corrupted by a woman spurned?

A hundred years pass - Troy has fallen and the Trojans are a scattered and humbled people. The warrior Brutus is of the line of kings and gods. He wears the golden kingship bands of Troy proudly - but they are his only mementos of a former glory, for he is a man without a country and is left little else but pride and a memory of the latent power that he could wield if but given a chance. When he receives a godsent vision of a distant shore where he can rebuild the ancient kingdom, he will move heaven and earth to reach his destiny.

Ever westward he is drawn, to a lovely and mystical green land that offers him a haven - and a dream of power and conquest. Nothing will deter...not even the entreaties of the young princess whom he took as his wife and bedded against her will. First her hatred - and later her love - torment and bind him. She is the only one who realizes the danger he is stepping into, and she will do anything to save him...and his son, whom she carries in her womb.

For in the mists of Albion there lies a woman of power - a woman who has used her siren call to cloud Brutus's mind and has her own reasons.

This was the second attempt at this book - the first being when I was a teenager and I just couldn't get through it. This time was totally different. A very complex and compelling story taking us back to the days of the ancient Greek gods. With the fall of the ancient Labyrinth, evil is unleashed on the Greek world and civilization quickly crumbles. Far away on the coast of what will one day be England, one small outpost thrives with the Mistress of the Labyrinth as it's leader. Calling out to her partner, the Kingman, she sets in motion a devastating series of events that will either lead the world into the light, or destroy it forever.

While at times the complex storyline made the book drag a little - every sentence had a reason for being there, you just might not realize it yet. Definitely not a book for those wanting a quick run through a fantasy land, this book requires a bit of concentration - but it's well worth the effort. About half way through things just started falling into place and I had a hard time putting it down.

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