An absorbing, beautifully complex retelling of the “Cupid and Psyche” myth.
Nyx Triskelion has been raised to marry and defeat the Gentle Lord, the tyrant held responsible for sundering her land from the rest of the world and controlling the demons that haunt it. Nyx is distressed to find herself attracted to her beautiful new husband, Ignifex, whom she has been taught to loathe, while simultaneously developing feelings for his servant, Shade. But this is no fairy-tale romance, and Nyx remains true to her promise, making several attempts on Ignifex’s life that only succeed in entertaining him and eliciting flirtatious responses. As Nyx unravels the truth behind the isolation of her land, as well as the very existence of both Ignifex and Shade, it becomes clear that only when she accepts her feelings can she face the truth: She must choose between following her heart and fulfilling her duty. A rather dramatic first encounter between Nyx and Ignifex belies what comes after—an intricate and arresting tale well worth readers’ time. Twining themes of self-awareness and the duality of human nature, Hodge succeeds in creating a refreshingly human and real protagonist and love interest. They are both strong and flawed, and they—even more strikingly—embrace those qualities in themselves and each other.
Engrossing. (Fantasy. 14 & up)