REVIEW : You know the best thing about this book? No tropey crap. I can’t tell you how relieved that makes me. Now that I’ve gotten that out let me do a more “professional” review.
Dark Things is a story about love and loss and betrayal. Add to that Vampires, Werewolves, sinister maidens and more sinister realms and you’ve got yourself a jam packed fantasy trip. Ardra is a Yakshi from the realm of Atala. She seduces men, steals their secrets and then surrenders whatever she has taken to her leader, Hera. Hera is an all powerful evil “witch” who controls almost everyone and everything in her realm. Add to this the fact that the gods have vanished and good has disappeared and you’re left with a world that is in terrible chaos.
The author’s knowledge of fairy tales and mythology is very evident in the way she writes certain details. As a fairy tale retelling lover (this isn’t a fairytale retelling) I loved those little signs that showed that something more is to come. From a mirror that talks to werewolves actually being evil, this book sticks to the original myths and plays with them in a fun and engrossing way. Not to mention all the inspiration drawn from Indian folklore.
If you aren’t pulled in already, let me tell you what’s really great about Dark Things. You know those YA tropes I mentioned at the beginning? They don’t exist. There’s no, Living for love. There’s no hero man saves the delicate flowery princess, there’s no evil male villain. This is all women, all the way. There are men too but they are just as normal as…..normal. They don’t have special powers because they are men and therefore must be powerful. Sukanya Venkatraghavan’s world is devoid of patriarchy and for that, I loved this even more.
My only problem with this book is that it could have been a trilogy! The story is so rich in details that it could have easily been an awesome trilogy (Tis the season for trilogies) and stopped at crucial points. Right from her banishment to the BEEP and the BEEP (spoilers) it could have given the characters more word count so I could spend more time getting to know the adorable Dwai and the kickass Ardra. As you can see, I want more of them.
Final word? It is a relief to see some Indian fantasy and not just Indian Mythology. This is perfect for someone looking for a fast paced book to read or to buy as a gift. I actually read this for the Deweys 24 hour readathon and if it hadn’t been for this book I would have failed. It’s super fast paced and impossible to put down. Give it a go.
*I received this book to read and review. Opinions are my own.