- Gabby Womack
This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Representation: Black American, Lesbian, Adoption
Content Warnings: Grief, Deaths
This Wicked Fate picks up right where This Poison Heart ended so if you haven't read that book, you probably shouldn't read this review yet!
"Briseis has one chance to save her mother, but she'll need to do the impossible: find the last fragment of the deadly Absyrtus Heart. If she is to locate the missing piece, she must turn to the blood relatives she's never known, learn about their secret powers, and take her place in their ancient lineage. Briseis is not the only one who wants the Heart, and her enemies will stop at nothing to fulfill their own ruthless plans. The fates tell of a truly dangerous journey, one that could end in more heartache, more death. Bolstered by the sisterhood of ancient magic, can Briseis harness her power to save the people she loves most?"- Goodreads
To prepare for this highly anticipated book, I reread This Poison Heart for a refresher and I'm so glad I did. There were some minor characters I wouldn't have remembered if I hadn't. We get to see a bit more of the characters' personalities in this book, especially Marie's. She's uses her wit, sarcasm, and jokes to cope with the circumstances, which brought some comic relief to the story, I think.
"I don't get it. All these gods do is sit around and be angry and jealous. Like damn. You could do something useful. Cure cancer or something."
Thanks to Persephone and Circe, they have two more fragments of the heart so they only need to find the location of the fifth and get to it. This ends up being extremely difficult as they spend most of this book just trying to figure out where it could be and how to get there. Despite this, I didn't feel bored. It gave Bri time to connect with her biological aunt and learn more about her family. This also made space for even more Greek mythology!
Bayron keeps the majority of these stories close to the originals. The only real difference is that they are Black. She poetically describes their varying shades and features with ease. Some folx may be confused by this but it's Fantasy! If y'all can believe in immortals, mermaids, and plants that fight at will, then y'all can believe in Black Greek gods. I really enjoyed the deep dive and started looking up those mentioned in the story. We also get a little U.S. History in there!
The one person I wish we got more of was Nyx. I really liked her and felt like there were a few loose threads there. This is the last book in a duology, I think, so that makes me a little sad. Regardless, I'm so happy books like this exist! I was talking with some folx the other day about queer books and they mentioned how relieved they are to be in an era where queer joy can be found in books. It hasn't always been this way, but I'm glad it is now.