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Promise of Shadows by [Ireland, Justina]
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Promise of Shadows Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Length: 385 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—After murdering her sister's killer, Zephyr Mourning lands herself in Tartarus—a section of Hell—serving an eternal sentence. Feces rains from the sky and the Centaurs on guard have a tendency to kill unruly prisoners, but Zephyr has a few things going for her: she's a Harpy, which is a half-human, half-god warrior vættir, and she only recently discovered she can unwittingly control and use dark magic. The teen used this forbidden power to avenge her sister Whisper's death, and it is this same ability which identified Zephyr as the much-revered and prophesied Nyx. Legend has it that the Nyx will protect and save all vættir from the Æthereals—gods who subject the vættir and other lesser mythical creatures to indiscriminate terror. With the help of her handsome childhood friend Tallon and his brother, Zephyr escapes Tartarus, along with fellow inmate Cass. This motley crew goes on a quest to discover if the reluctantly heroicized Zephyr really is the Nyx, and how she can stop the megalomaniac goddess Hera from wreaking havoc on the mortal and immortal realms. Though Ireland relies on preexisting knowledge of Greek mythology and doesn't spend enough time explaining complicated terminology, the fast pacing and dynamic plot will engage readers. An underdeveloped romance between Tallon and Zephyr is just enough to tantalize them. The snappy, hilarious dialogue between the protagonist and her friends balances the ominous apocalyptic story line, which will also attract fans of "The Hunger Games" (Scholastic), "Divergent" (HarperCollins), and underdog heroines.—Amy M. Laughlin, Darien Library, CT

Review

5Q 5P J S

Ireland, Justina. Promise of Shadows. Simon & Schuster, 2014. 384p. $17.99. 978-1-442-44464-5.

As Promise of Shadows opens, Zephyr is in hell. Literally. She is a “godslayer” who has been sent to the underworld as punishment for killing an Aethereal. When she and her friend escape to the mortal realm, she learns that she might be the Nix, a hero sent to protect humanity and the vaettir (not quite humans, not quite gods) from enslavement or annihilation.

Ireland does a wonderful job of creating characters described in myths and bringing them to our world. Zephyr is a harpy, trained for destruction, but she is also a teenage girl who is mortified by her awkwardness when she is around the boy—okay, vaettir—upon whom she is crushing. While the sense of place is strong from the very beginning, it might take a while for readers not familiar with mythology to sort out the settings. The juxtaposition of the Underworld and the Elysian Fields with “the mortal realm” of modern-day Virginia is captivating. Ireland also does a masterful job with throwaway comments that reveal the diversity in her characters with regard to race, sexuality, and of course, immortality without being heavy handed. There is some graphic violence in the book, but it is in no way gratuitous, and the circumstances of Zephyr’s “powers” show more depth than you might expect from a book that also contains a healthy dose of action, a strong thread of humor, and just a touch of romance.—Barb Fecteau. (STAR REVIEW: VOYA APRIL ISSUE)

* "Ireland does a wonderful job of creating characters described in myths and bringing them to our world… Ireland also does a masterful job with throwaway comments that reveal the diversity in her characters with regard to race, sexuality, and of course, immortality without being heavy handed…a healthy dose of action, a strong thread of humor, and just a touch of romance. (VOYA, STARRED REVIEW)

As in Ireland’s first novel, Vengeance Bound, her sophomore offering brings creatures from Greek mythology into the modern world. After failing her Harpy trials, Zephyr Mourning was looking forward to a low-key life in the Mortal Realm. Unfortunately, she accidentally killed a god, which landed her in Tartarus with an emotionless but oddly protective girl named Cass. The book moves along at a brisk clip once Zephyr’s childhood friend Tallon frees her and Cass from Tartarus, sweeping Zephyr toward confrontations with both the goddess Hera and her own reluctant destiny. Ireland’s foreshadowing is sometimes so heavy that the information feels stale by the time Zephyr realizes it, as when the truth of her parentage comes to light, but that’s a minor quibble in an otherwise solid book. Zephyr’s emotions, whether rage at a seer who holds back the whole truth or squirmy adolescent insecurity when she starts falling for Tallon, feel all the more real for her tendency to overreact, and the mythos Ireland creates strikes the right mix of familiarity and invention, and is well worth exploring. Ages 14–up. Agent: Elana Roth, Red Tree Literary. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly)

" [A] solid book...the mythos Ireland creates strikes the right mix of familiarity and invention, and is well worth exploring." (Publishers Weekly)

PROMISE OF SHADOWS

Author: Justina Ireland

Review Issue Date: February 1, 2014

Online Publish Date: January 15, 2014

Publisher:Simon & Schuster

Pages: 384

Price (Hardcover ): $17.99

Price (e-book ): $10.99

Publication Date: March 11, 2014

ISBN (Hardcover ): 978-1-4424-4464-5

ISBN (e-book ): 978-1-4424-5357-9

Category: Fiction

A reluctant Harpy discovers her destiny in an elaborate Greek-mythology–based fantasy.

As the book opens, readers learn that Zephyr’s sister, Whisper, was killed for her forbidden romance with Hermes; Harpies are vættir—partly human, therefore lesser—and are not permitted to intimately fraternize with full gods, called Æthereals. In retaliation, Zephyr killed Whisper’s Æthereal executioner—a supposedly impossible act—and has been sentenced to eternity in the worst part of the Underworld, Tartarus (where the weather is crappy—literally). Zephyr’s forbidden, dark power enabled the kill and, she learns, marks her as the prophesied Nyx, a champion of “shadow vættir,” who maintains balance and protects vættir from Æthereal tyranny. Knowing the Æthereals will surely kill her soon, Zephyr escapes Tartarus with the help of Cass, her enigmatic friend and protector (who everyone they meet says is a liar and betrayer), Tallon, an attractive childhood friend, and his brother, Blue. They form a ragtag team to keep her alive so she can thwart a terrible plot against the vættir. The romantic plot is the least successful element of this character-driven story. Far more compelling are Zephyr’s struggles to accept herself as a hero, considering she’s failed her Trials to become a Harpy warrior. The complicated worldbuilding piles on the jargon, but Zephyr’s narration hooks readers with snappy, hilarious one-liners.

A dark, slyly funny read. (Fantasy. 13 & up) (Kirkus Reviews)

"Zephyr’s narration hooks readers with snappy, hilarious one-liners. A dark, slyly funny read." (Kirkus Reviews)

5Q 5P J S

Ireland, Justina. Promise of Shadows. Simon & Schuster, 2014. 384p. $17.99. 978-1-442-44464-5.

As Promise of Shadows opens, Zephyr is in hell. Literally. She is a “godslayer” who has been sent to the underworld as punishment for killing an Aethereal. When she and her friend escape to the mortal realm, she learns that she might be the Nix, a hero sent to protect humanity and the vaettir (not quite humans, not quite gods) from enslavement or annihilation.

Ireland does a wonderful job of creating characters described in myths and bringing them to our world. Zephyr is a harpy, trained for destruction, but she is also a teenage girl who is mortified by her awkwardness when she is around the boy—okay, vaettir—upon whom she is crushing. While the sense of place is strong from the very beginning, it might take a while for readers not familiar with mythology to sort out the settings. The juxtaposition of the Underworld and the Elysian Fields with “the mortal realm” of modern-day Virginia is captivating. Ireland also does a masterful job with throwaway comments that reveal the diversity in her characters with regard to race, sexuality, and of course, immortality without being heavy handed. There is some graphic violence in the book, but it is in no way gratuitous, and the circumstances of Zephyr’s “powers” show more depth than you might expect from a book that also contains a healthy dose of action, a strong thread of humor, and just a touch of romance.—Barb Fecteau. (STAR REVIEW: VOYA APRIL ISSUE)

* "Ireland does a wonderful job of creating characters described in myths and bringing them to our world… Ireland also does a masterful job with throwaway comments that reveal the diversity in her characters with regard to race, sexuality, and of course, immortality without being heavy handed…a healthy dose of action, a strong thread of humor, and just a touch of romance. (VOYA, STARRED REVIEW)

"The fast pacing and dynamic plot will engage readers...The snappy, hilarious dialogue between the protagonist and her friends balances the ominous apocalyptic story line, which will also attract fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and underdog heroines. (School Library Journal)


Product details

  • File Size: 4186 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 11, 2014)
  • Publication Date: March 11, 2014
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DA7MHXI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,012 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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