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Review: Promise of Shadows – Justina Ireland

March 24, 2014

Promise of Shadows – Justina Ireland

Promise of Shadows
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: March 11th, 2014
Links: Goodreads   Amazon

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 changes when her sister is murdered—and she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend (a surprisingly HOT friend) changes everything. Because it seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess made flesh that is prophesied to change 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 when she can’t even save herself?

Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland is an enjoyable if rather light modern take on greek mythology.

Zephyr Mouring is a harpy, a female warrior who has landed in the wretched underworld prison Tartarus after taking revenge on a minor god who murdered her sister. See harpies aren’t supposed to be able to kill gods and the other deities want to know how she did it. But Zephyr isn’t talking, she knows if the gods discover the truth, her life is forfeit. Fortuitously Zephyr and her sole friend Cass escape Tartarus and head to the mortal realm, hoping to disappear.

Promise of Shadows was a strange book. I really enjoyed the story, in fact I zipped through it pretty quickly but I couldn’t help but notice its failings – primarily the characters. They were shallow; in fact, there were little or no depth to any of them bar Zephyr herself. They had no personality, no motivation. They were a cliché, the disappointed mother, the moody hot guy, the bitchy girl and the gay best friend. There was potential there but it wasn’t realised and hence I found it difficult to connect with them. Some details were desperately needed. For example, the hero Tallon, his personality was moody. I couldn’t tell you a single other thing about him. He worried and consequently he was moody aka an ass. As a romantic hero he was lacking – I never found him lovable and couldn’t see how Zephyr did.  A shared childhood will only get you so far.

I did however like and appreciate the main character Zephyr. It was refreshing that she wasn’t a beautiful delicate little flower, indeed by her own admission, harpies aren’t known of their beauty. She was flawed but interesting. The story is populated with known figures from greek mythology such as Hades, Persephone, and Hermes. I really liked reading about the tricky arrogant gods and their world.

The story raced along. In spite of the shallow characters, I really liked the Promise of Shadows. Recommended when you need a quick light read.


My Rating: 6.5/10


“I won’t let him know how his presence fills me with a burning rage that blurs my vision and makes me want to scream.”

“Godslayers don’t get parole.”

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