Thrall first came to my attention when I saw the cover entered into Joel Friedlander’s monthly cover design awards at The Book Designer, and not only did it win an award, I just loved it.
When I was ready to think about a cover for my debut novel, The Prince’s Man, I contacted Jennifer and asked who had designed her cover. Turned out she’d done it herself, so I asked if she’d be interested in doing one for me and she agreed 🙂
So I’m very grateful to Jennifer for her lovely work, and now I’ve had time to read THRALL, Book 1 of the Daughters of Lilith series, I’ve also become a fan of her writing.
Without further ado, here is my review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I started this book in the full knowledge that I am not the target reader – I am neither American or by any stretch of the imagination a young adult – but I found that none of that mattered. The writing drew me in, with really distinctive characters, all of them with their own convincing back stories, a plot that unwinds with twists and turns and keeps the pace, and a well conceived mythology.
The story starts gently, easing you into what seems like a typical teenage scenario with just a hint of something unusual. My fear at first was that this would turn out to be a re-run of Buffy; teen discovers nasty monsters exists and that she has been born with the powers to defeat them, though she doesn’t know it yet.
So the first major reveal blew me out of the water – Braedyn actually IS one of the monsters. Once I passed this point I galloped on through the book, eager to see how the brewing cataclysm would be resolved, and what part our monster-raised-as-a-human with human emotions and ties, would play in it.
Rightly, the majority of the Guard (the human commandos who fight the daughters of Lilith, known as Lilitu) don’t trust Bradeyn even though she’s been raised by one of them, and for me, one of the high spots of this novel was the way that Braedyn’s human father stuck by her and believed in her even when the situation made her look guilty.
I liked also, that Braedyn made mistakes – typical teenage mistakes that, because of what she is, have far greater consequences than she anticipates. The presence of a previous failed attempt to raise a Lilitu as Braedyn has been raised, Karayan is a minor character of note, particularly at the end where she makes a decision influenced by her human upbringing, but without coming all the way back from the ‘dark side’.
Without going into too much detail about the plot, I would recommend this to anyone who loves a YA novel without being too juvenile, a fair dose of action, gritty characters (and gory deaths), emotional repercussions and a heroine who must struggle with what she is – a succubus – and find her own path. I will be interested to see how she manages her relationship with her boyfriend, Lucas, without turning him into a thrall, so I will be reading the next one just as soon as I have a space in my monstrous TBR list.