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Thrall: A Daughters Of Lilith Novel (Volume 1) Paperback – May 16, 2012
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The mix between action and descriptions of Braedyn's struggle and feelings is perfectly balanced and I loved how I was always in her head. If you like fantasy of the Joss Whedon "Buffy" kind with a forbidden love angle and a whole new and exciting lore around succubae, demon hunters and angels, this is the book for you. I loved this and can't wait for the next one!
So, Thrall has us following Braedyn, a young woman who after her 16th birthday, discovers that she is a Lilitu, a demon that feeds off the soul or life force of others (in other words, a succubus). Now, as I said before, I haven’t read many stories revolving around a character that is a succubus, but I did enjoy Quintenz’s take on the supernatural creatures. Whenever dealing with supernatural creatures such as demons and angels, there is a risk that the story will become bogged down by the religious background of these creatures. Thankfully, that’s not the case for Thrall. Quintenz focuses on characters, rather than the religious hogwash a lot of supernatural stories have. Though, that’s not to say it isn’t there, because it is; it’s just plays second fiddle to character drama and the threat of the coming war.
Speaking of character drama, there’s a lot of it in this book. Braedyn learns she’s a demon, which puts her at odds with members of the team of hunters that, well hunt and kill Lilitu, most of whom have lost a loved one to Lilitu. You can guess how having one on your team would go over with them. Not only that, but since our mc is in high school, we get a healthy dose of realistic high school drama, including jealousy, backstabbing and love. All of this was believable and took me back a few years to when I was in high school and every little thing seemed like the end of the world. Though, I’ll admit I never had to worry about an ancient war between the Daughter of Lilith and the Sons of Adam.
Thrall manages to skirt the line between cliché and unpredictable. It kept me interested with its clever approach to demons and the angel-backed hunters that are up against them, as well as the turmoil our mc faces when she tries to come to terms with what she is, and what that means to those she loves and the world as a whole. I think that one of the areas Thrall falls flat, however, is the romance between our mc and her love interest, Lucas. I just couldn’t get behind it; it felt a bit rushed and unearned. All in all though, this was a quick and enjoyable read. I’ll be picking the next one in the series to see where things go from here, because things are set in motion near the tail end of the book that piqued my interest. Plus, I’m hoping the side characters get some time to shine since they weren’t really that memorable.
Braedyn was a likable main character, and didn't make any of the illogical or silly decisions other protags sometimes do in the current YA fantasy fare. I liked her two besties, and only wish they weren't shunted to the periphery of the story so much when Braedyn learns about who she is and the part she must play with the Guard. Perhaps they feature more in the following installments of the series? I liked Lucas, too, although he sort of fizzled out after a while in the story. You still like him, but it's hard to remember why we're supposed to be in love with him.
The story was fun, exciting, and fairly original. The enemy are succubae (is that the plural of succubus??), descendants of Lilith. They seek to regain their rightful place in the world, as Lilith was shunned for not being satisfied to stay Adam's biddable doormat of a partner in the Garden of Eden. This includes revenge on the sons of Adam. The archangels attempt to keep things in order, but they also have other business they must attend to, and so much of the work is left in the hands of the humans who know of the demons' existence and seek to stop them. But are the Lilitu truly evil, or just jilted and jaded? I suspect we'll delve into this question some more in the next books.
I definitely plan on picking up the sequel some time!
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I want to read the next one.