Monday, March 10, 2014

The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain (ARC)

The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark #1)
Bree Despain
Exp. Pub.: March 11, 2014 (TOMORROW!)

The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark, #1)Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.
 

Being a twin in the Underworld isn't easy. Ever since the tragedy of Light and Dark, one is automatically assumed to the greater, the other the lesser. Knowing she was caring twins, Haden's mom gave birth in secrecy, refusing to ever admit which child was born first, making her husband swear to never shun one child. But as they grew older, Haden began to take on more human-like qualities like his mother, and when she died, his emotions led him to attack his own father. Bound by his promise to his late wife, he was unable to completely dismiss Haden, and he was allowed to remain where he was, though publicly demoted because they all knew of these horrible emotions he wasn't meant to feel.
 
Flash forward ten years and it's time for a Champion to be chosen to exit through Persephone's gate and bring back a boon like no other. Daphne Raines holds the key to ending a stalemate between the occupants of the Underworld and the Skygods. And when the Oracle chooses Haden as the best choice to fulfill the mission, he sees his one chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his people. But earning her trust and convincing her to step willingly back through the gates is no easy feat, especially since he has no idea what it means to be human or how to react around them. Especially girls, because it had been forever since a female child was born to their world - hence the need for human women to be led through the gates.
 
But Daphne would be giving up more than her family, a singing career and a decent life span. She is the descendent of the one person who came into the Underworld  and stole Hade's totem, which led to his vulnerability and his death by the Skygods. Only she can retrieve the totem from its secret hiding spot. And it's no longer just the Underworld that wants her...the Skygods are looking to claim her too.
 
This was a cute retelling of Hades and Persephone in a way. Normally the Champion would go through the gate to claim a boon, or a wife, for himself, but in Haden's case, Daphne is far too important. Her heart and soul are a required sacrifice in reinstating the Underworld with a new God. Which of course, Haden learns his father plans to claim. So it all comes down to how desperately Haden wants to fulfill his quest and redeem himself in the eyes of his people, taking his spot alongside his father. But a tiny part of him has to admit that he's falling for the rambunctious singer...
 
 
ARC provided by Egmont for honest review.
 
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