Title: The Deathless Girls
Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Published by: Orion Children’s Books
Release date: 19th September 2019
Gothic, intoxicating, feminist, darkly provoking and deeply romantic – this is the breathtakingly imagined untold story of the brides of Dracula, by bestselling author Kiran Millwood Hargrave in her much-anticipated YA debut.
They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.
On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.
Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.
They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate…
Firstly, a BIG thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of The Deathless Girls to review via Netgalley!
I was immediately drawn to The Deathless Girls when I found out that it’s the origin story of the brides of Dracula. There are so many retellings and different imaginings of Dracula, but the brides have always been overlooked, and I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of this book. I was expecting something dark and gothic, but I was truly not prepared for how beautiful and heart-wrenching this story would be alongside that. My expectations were completely blown through the roof.
The Deathless Girls is Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s first Young Adult novel. I’d previously read and loved her MG novel, The Girl of Ink and Stars, so I was excited to read more of her lyrical writing style, which was so beautiful and addictive in this book — in the few days I was reading it, I barely put it down. I wanted to both fly through it, and for it to never end.
I adored the characters in this book. The story follows Lil and Kizzy, Traveller sisters who are cruelly taken and forced to be slaves. Throughout everything, Lil and Kizzy were so strong, and in differing ways, and their love for each other, their family and community was so powerful. I was expecting there to be a bigger focus on vampires in this book, and though there is towards the end, the majority of the story focuses on Kizzy and Lil’s journey, which I really appreciated. I found that, even though I knew how their story would end, I was really rooting for them to escape, and I really wanted them to be happy.
The romance between Lil and Mira warmed my heart, too. They were so sweet together, brought each other so much hope, and they worked so well. I also rooted so much for Fen and Kizzy.
This book was so atmospheric and I really enjoyed this take on vampires and how the three brides came to be. I couldn’t have imagined a better origin story for these two characters, and the ending of this book was somehow perfect. The Deathless Girls really did these characters, who are too often overlooked, justice, and I can’t wait for it to be released; if you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, I’d highly recommend it!