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Reviewed by JC Minnaar for Readers' Favorite
Daughter Darkness by Alyssa Charpentier, the first book of the Myrk Maiden trilogy is a captivating story that consistently teeters on the edges of light and darkness. Twilight, a fifteen-year-old girl and glorified laborer for her hateful mother and uncaring father, leads a mostly normal life. Some strange events happen occasionally like lights flickering when Twilight loses her patience and a voice urging Twilight to follow her darker feelings whenever she sleeps. Her life changes forever when her father drives her away from their home with a startling revelation: Twilight is the Aaquaena, queen of the Sharavak – shadow humans gifted with sinister powers by Aadyalbaine, the god they worship. So begins Twilight’s struggle of keeping her humanity or succumbing to her beastly desires of devouring humans and their souls.
Daughter Darkness was an easy pick for me the moment I read the synopsis. Charpentier perfectly writes a believable inner war for Twilight between staying with the light, giving into the dark, and how different characters react and approach Twilight after these changes. Reading Twilight’s slow descent into becoming a true Aaquaena of her people kept me engrossed throughout, enjoying her development. Daughter Darkness wastes no time in expanding the world beyond simple religion and gifts from a god to full-blown massacres and bloodline hierarchies that breathe life and authenticity to the Shavarak way of life. Daughter Darkness is a perfect first entry into Alyssa’s Charpentier’s Myrk Maiden trilogy that excited and invested me in Twilight’s story going forward. I fully recommend it to anyone craving a beautiful, dark epic fantasy.