Following Daphne, a Spartan-trained warrior, as she embarks on an epic quest to find nine mysterious items that have been stolen from Mount Olympus, this is a fast-paced, action-packed reimagining of the Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo.
Daphne is a Mothakes, or outsider, to the Spartan people. Though she has been raised and taught to fight in Sparta, she and her brothers are not accepted and Daphne is determined to prove that she belongs. While running in a race to renew the blessings from the gods, Daphne comes across the goddess Artemis and learns that the gods are losing their power. Artemis threatens Daphne’s brother and binds her with the Midas Curse, forcing her to embark on a dangerous quest to find nine stolen items and return them to Mount Olympus in order to restore the god’s power and save herself and her family.
Once again, I have read a retelling of a Greek myth that I do not know. Myth reimaginings are becoming extremely popular and I honestly tend to like them, even without the background knowledge. I found the quest for the stolen items to be super compelling and the trials Daphne has to face in her search made for an action-packed storyline and a fun romp through familiar figures in Greek mythology, including Theseus, Hippolyta, and the Sphinx of Thebes. I did think that the plot moved almost too quickly. I did not anticipate that she would find all nine items in this story, since it is the start of a series, and I think that made the quest go unrealistically fast. Still, it made for a really quick read.
The book has love triangle between Daphne, the god Apollo who is helping her on her quest, and a boy-turned-wolf from Sparta named Lykou. Personally, I did not feel any connection to the romance. I did not like Apollo. I thought he wasn’t well developed in the book, and I know him from Lore Olympus (if you’re not reading it, you’re missing out), and we hate him. It was hard not to bring that hate into this book. We also had a very brief glimpse of Lykou before he is turned into a wolf by Apollo, so I really had no stake in his story. The romantic aspect of this book was a miss for me, and truthfully I did not think it was necessary in the story. I think many authors feel pressure to include a romantic aspect to YA novels, but sometimes it is nice to just have the adventure!
Overall, I thought this was a fun, fast-paced story and I loved to see such a strong, determined warrior like Daphne leading the book. She definitely held her own and saved her companions on multiple occasions. We love to see it. Despite a couple issues, I enjoyed the book and will definitely be picking up the next one to see where the story goes.
Have you read Daughter of Sparta? What did you think?
CW: violence, graphic injuries, death