Jun 28, 2013

Review--Destined by Jessie Harrell

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

I dug this one out of the bottom of my TBR pile, Jessie Harrell's Destined is a re-telling of the Eros and Psyche myth. I remembered reading that myth, but if memory recalls, it didn't have a happy ending. That is where Destined differs from the myth!

The novel pretty much plays out the myth in a longer telling. Psyche is a favorite of Aphrodite's for some reason and she has decided to make Psyche her daughter--the gods and goddesses can do that you know--and her first gift to Psyche is marriage to her son Eros. But Eros is a pretty arrogant jerk and was rude even to his mother, Psyche is not pleased and says she wouldn't want to marry him anyway and basically causes the mother of all arguments between her and Aphrodite.

When trying to enact a little revenge on Psyche on his mother's part, Eros hesitates with magical arrows, the ones that make people fall in love, he's about to make her fall in love with some hideous dolt, but he stops and ends up scraping himself with the arrow and lo and behold he falls in love with her instead.

I started thinking then that there's a case of insta-love, albeit one-sided, but the story really takes you by surprise. Much like in the myth, Psyche goes to face uncertain doom, only to find herself in a castle with invisible servants and visited nightly by a shadowy mass, where she can only see his eyes, but he proclaims to love her. The story definitely rang true of some of the original Beauty and the Beast fairy tale elements, since the latter is based off the former slightly.

But when Psyche takes the ill advice of her sister who was petty and downright ornery, Psyche screws everything up and Eros leaves her. Now she will have to track him down and find him to tell him she was wrong and profess her love for him. As she was falling in love with him prior to her sister's comments. Along the way she learns something about herself that was kept secret that is totally mind-blowing. She also has some tasks to complete if she ever wants a chance to explain herself to Eros.

I generally liked this one. It read like a Greek myth and a fairy tale in some ways. One thing that bugged me though was some of the language. A lot of it was way too modern, like it was taking place in the now instead of ancient Greece, since Psyche and others are all toga-clad, and there were other signs that the time was not present day. It got just a touch annoying because it's like, why would you say that? 

Another tidbit that annoyed me was the mentioning of a past love of Eros. Not sure if this was a creation of the author's or if there is a myth somewhere that I haven't read--both completely possible! It just gets mentioned a few times, but there's never an explanation to how Eros had been hurt by love before.

I really did like this one despite those few annoyances. Psyche didn't fall in love with Eros right away, so yay for no insta-love. It's very much like Beauty and the Beast where Belle--yes, referring to Disney's version!--didn't care for the Beast's attitude at first but then grew to like him and then love him. I think in part that's why I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I haven't read the original myth in forever, but I don't think its ending was so happy. So I much enjoyed a happy ending here.

For fans of Greek mythology and fairy tales this is definitely one read you simply must look into!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars


  1. Oooh, I have this one sitting on my desk - on the bottom of the pile. Now I'm gonna pull it up higher. I love mythology. Thanks for a great review, Jessica!

  2. Eeeps! I cannot WAIT to read this(: Great review!!!

  3. I've only read the myth about Eros and Psyche once, but I'm pretty sure another love was never mentioned. I bought this a while back, but haven' read it yet. Another retelling of this myth is Painted Blind. I enjoyed this one a lot. It is set in a modern time though.

  4. I have this one on my kindle and I have been debating about reading for a while...I definitely will have to check it out this summer :)

    Great review!

  5. I like retellings of Mythological characters. This one sounds great. So happy you liked it.


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