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The Deathless Girls

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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 unwelcomi 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...


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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 unwelcomi 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...

30 review for The Deathless Girls

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    3.5 stars. The Deathless Girls is part of a series from Bellatrix focussing on the girls forgotten to literature. Those female characters that have been sidelined in epic stories to allow others to shine, and have been lost in the background. But more than that, this is a story about female love and relationships. It’s full of sisterly love, a sapphic romance, the brutality of life and to top it all off - vampires. Kizzy and Lil are 17 year old traveller twins who are captured and sold into slav 3.5 stars. The Deathless Girls is part of a series from Bellatrix focussing on the girls forgotten to literature. Those female characters that have been sidelined in epic stories to allow others to shine, and have been lost in the background. But more than that, this is a story about female love and relationships. It’s full of sisterly love, a sapphic romance, the brutality of life and to top it all off - vampires. Kizzy and Lil are 17 year old traveller twins who are captured and sold into slavery. Kizzy is the beautiful twin, who soon attracts the attention of the local Lord. Full of fire and light, she refuses to succumb to her fate. Lil sees herself as the more dowdy twin. Always in her sister’s shadow. But when Kizzy catches the eye of the wrong man, it’s left to Lil to fight for her. It’s Kizzy and Lil’s relationship that pulls the story along, and holds everything together. Their love feels genuine, all consuming and entirely reliant upon the other. Kizzy isn’t whole without Lil, despite their obvious differences. All the other characters pale into insignificance compared to them, including the various love interests- which both feel rather sudden and slightly underdeveloped. That said, the sapphic relationship is sweet and delicately portrayed. The villains are also very one dimensional, although I came to deeply loathe them, without any ambiguity to them. The overall plot is good, and is well written and fast paced. This is a relatively short book, sitting at just over 300 pages, and the story is quick to read. Because of this however, the plot feels like it’s missing any real depth to it - as though we’re really jut skirting around the edges of what could have been a more epic adventure. I wanted more substance to really get to grips with the sister’s story. The ending is also rather rushed, with our main antagonist only really showing his face for the final act. A good story of female love, but I wanted (pardon the pun), more bite.

  2. 5 out of 5

    anna grace

    this sounds gay and dark and amazing and if it isn’t actually gay I will be very upset

  3. 4 out of 5

    julie

    2019/2020 are officially the vampires comeback and i'm loving the hell out of this

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    That cover though...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    "They came to call us the three sisters - two dark, one fair - and worse. The beautiful damned, the brides of Dracul, the deathless girls." I didn't realise the requirement for a feminist retelling of a classic was to make it boring (I'd like to apologise in advance as it's about to get real frosty in here). A story focusing on the vampire brides of Dracula. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?! ... how about the fact that it was boring, boring; my brain has shut down and gone into hibernation mode; boring. The whole time I "They came to call us the three sisters - two dark, one fair - and worse. The beautiful damned, the brides of Dracul, the deathless girls." I didn't realise the requirement for a feminist retelling of a classic was to make it boring (I'd like to apologise in advance as it's about to get real frosty in here). A story focusing on the vampire brides of Dracula. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?! ... how about the fact that it was boring, boring; my brain has shut down and gone into hibernation mode; boring. The whole time I was reading I couldn't stop thinking about how bored I was. On one of my lunch breaks I got so bored with it I contemplated putting the book down and just going back to work early. Side note: I didn't actually do this, that would be ridiculous - I just played around on my phone instead #sorrynotsorry Bram Stoker's Dracula is a creepy gothic thriller and a must-read - taking the premise of his brides (who basically get a one line mention in the original tale) and telling readers their story should have been amazing. There's so much freedom to explore their backgrounds and what it was like for them becoming creatures of the night. Kiran Millwood Hargrave has a nice writing style and I suspect she prefers to focus on slow-burn narrative as opposed to action, which is fine for backstory but not so good for keeping readers engaged. But The Deathless Girls gets so caught up in said backstory that by the time the story moves past it it's all over, and those of us who came to see 'Brides of Dracula' are left feeling severely underwhelmed. Vampires aren't even mentioned until page 189 (the ARC I have is 274 pages long) - that's over 50% of the book done before we even get a glimpse of fangs! I mean COME ON. Don't promise me Dracula's brides and then give me nothing to do with Dracula for 70% of the book. The f/f romance was fine - it didn't feel shoe-horned in which was nice. I liked Mira; she was strong in that silent-but-smart kind of way. Lil our protagonist though, I found her to be completely (yep, you guessed it) boring. On the other hand we have Kizzy, Lil's twin. Kizzy is perfect. So perfect that even when she refuses to do something which could potentially endanger the life of someone she considers family, aaaaall the characters smile and nod their heads in agreement because perfect Kizzy is perfect, and beautiful, and strong, and she is always right (because she's perfect), so we mustn't go against perfect Kizzy's wishes and will just go and nearly get ourselves killed because poor Kizzy has morals that must be upheld no matter the cost. *takes deep breathes* This book wasn't for me. I don't really recommend it either (though the majority on goodreads seem to love it, so what do I know? *shrugs*). If you've come here for epic Brides of Dracula shenanigans then you've come to the wrong place. The Deathless Girls is as lifeless as all those bodies Dracula keeps impaled on his castle gates. --->To be released mid September, 2019. I received an ARC through work. <---

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    really enjoyed this one, and it was a quick read - perfect for a halloween book in october :) ✅ strong sister dynamic ✅ positive f/f relationship ✅ historical fiction about gypsies travellers ✅ dark dracula retelling ✅ twist ending

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lunabookaddict

    I loved it omg but THE ENDING SERIOUSLY? I HOPE WE GOT A SECOND BOOKS BECAUSE I’M CURRENTLY DYING. I'M IN SHOCK. WHERE IS THE MISSING PAGES? THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE What I love the most about this book : The atmosphere gothic and dark without being to hard or bloody. Love the mix with Dracula's bride story. I think I’m so in a mood for vampire. And the things that made me happy f/f made me melt like a marsh I loved it omg but THE ENDING SERIOUSLY? I HOPE WE GOT A SECOND BOOKS BECAUSE I’M CURRENTLY DYING. I'M IN SHOCK. WHERE IS THE MISSING PAGES? THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE What I love the most about this book : The atmosphere gothic and dark without being to hard or bloody. Love the mix with Dracula's bride story. I think I’m so in a mood for vampire. And the things that made me happy f/f made me melt like a marshmallow. I love my girls so badly and I want to protect them.  Even if sometimes I felt that was to fast for me, gosh I loved it. DID I BECAME A TRASH??? YOU NEED TO READ THIS ONE: A F/F FANTASY GHOTIC SET UP. WHAT ARE U WAITING FOR? also where is the second book lol

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Loves Books and tea

    I was really excited to read this especially as it is an origin story of the three vampire brides in Dracula - so I was pleased to receive a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It started off really well and I really began to care for the two sisters who were the main characters - however as I read more I became a little bit bored with the storyline and it was quite slow in terms of plot and action and not as scary as I was hoping. The villains were also one-dimensional ca I was really excited to read this especially as it is an origin story of the three vampire brides in Dracula - so I was pleased to receive a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It started off really well and I really began to care for the two sisters who were the main characters - however as I read more I became a little bit bored with the storyline and it was quite slow in terms of plot and action and not as scary as I was hoping. The villains were also one-dimensional caricatures and I could not take the book seriously because of this. The writing was good in parts but the plot and characterisation could have been much better in my opinion. It was however a quick and easy read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Janet Brown

    The Deathless Girls is billed as the untold story of the Brides of Dracula, who feature briefly in Bram Stoker's book. Following twins Kizzy and Lil, Romani travellers, who on their 17th birthday are kidnapped and enslaved by the feared local lord, the Boyar Valcar. Taken to his castle and put into service, the girls face adversity together until, on the orders of the Boyar, Kizzy is taken as a gift for Dracul. Although beautifully and evocatively written, I found it puzzling that the focus was The Deathless Girls is billed as the untold story of the Brides of Dracula, who feature briefly in Bram Stoker's book. Following twins Kizzy and Lil, Romani travellers, who on their 17th birthday are kidnapped and enslaved by the feared local lord, the Boyar Valcar. Taken to his castle and put into service, the girls face adversity together until, on the orders of the Boyar, Kizzy is taken as a gift for Dracul. Although beautifully and evocatively written, I found it puzzling that the focus was on their back story (which, yes it's useful to have some back story but so much?). Given the opportunity of telling the story of a pair of vampire sisters endowned with incredible powers and talents, the choice to devote two pages to their life as vampires and the rest of the book to the minutia of kitchen work was unusual to say the least. While the last section, when Lil travels to Dracul's castle to find Kizzy, was pacy and tense, it barely made up for the first 60%. However, judging from other reviews I am very much in the minority here, so it's most likely a question of personal taste.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗

    4.5/5 stars I am going through so many emotions right now, oh my god. this book is so beautiful and sad and quiet and soft. I don’t even know how to put into words how much I enjoyed it. this book is a look into kizzy & lil’s journey together through horrors, heartbreak, and love. it’s not for everyone at all. the plot really doesn’t pick up until 100 pages in and we don’t see actual vampires until 200. so this is not necessarily a vampire book but it is a beautiful historical fan 4.5/5 stars I am going through so many emotions right now, oh my god. this book is so beautiful and sad and quiet and soft. I don’t even know how to put into words how much I enjoyed it. this book is a look into kizzy & lil’s journey together through horrors, heartbreak, and love. it’s not for everyone at all. the plot really doesn’t pick up until 100 pages in and we don’t see actual vampires until 200. so this is not necessarily a vampire book but it is a beautiful historical fantasy with themes of sisterhood and power. AND ITS SAPPHIC WHICH MADE MY HEART HAPPY AND SO SO SO SO SAD BY THE END. if you love an atmospheric read that isn’t too plot heavy but really has you invested in the characters than this is for you.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Hephzibah

    Major disappointment. Lacking plot, poor characterisation, flat and uninspiring "romance". I was led to believe this is a sapphic vampire book; it is not - vampires are only a part of the final ~10%, and barely at that, and while there is a F/F relationship, it is so blandly written with such one-dimensional characters that I wanted to throw the book across the room.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

    CW: Threats of sexual assault, some animal cruelty/death. I received this book form the author/publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. What.a.letdown. It's October, it' spookytime, what's better than picking up a beautiful book about the brides of Dracula - especially when Dracula is one of your favourite classics?! Yet, this book was honestly a little bit boring considering it had elements which should have been fun and exciting, and I'm going CW: Threats of sexual assault, some animal cruelty/death. I received this book form the author/publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. What.a.letdown. It's October, it' spookytime, what's better than picking up a beautiful book about the brides of Dracula - especially when Dracula is one of your favourite classics?! Yet, this book was honestly a little bit boring considering it had elements which should have been fun and exciting, and I'm going to say it - it wasn't scary at all. Not in the sense I wanted it to be anyways. I was very excited to go into this and see Kiran Millwood Hargrave's take on the brides of Dracula because I think done right, that's a topic that could be truly epic. I did appreciate the ethnic Romani lore in this novel and the fact that Kizzy and Lilai were of a Romani family and culture. Knowing about their background, their beliefs and culture, was really interesting - from their divining day to the talents they wanted to turn into careers. I definitely cringed a bit due to the parts about bear dancing, and stealing bear cubs away from their mothers but the bears were loved and seemed to have a good life so there's that at least. The book did pack some heartwrenching moments too (or tbh, just one when the caravans were burning and family slaughtered), and some of the descriptions were very nice though maybe not 100% my preferred style. One of my main problems with this book is it's suppose to be tied in with the story of Dracula, yet he doesn't get really mentioned until halfway through and he doesn't even appear until almost 80% into the story and that's only for ONE, measly, underwhelming scene. If you're giving me a story about the BRIDES OF DRACULA, I ALSO WANT DRACULA. The strigoi as well only appear again 70% or so into the book. The majority of the book took place in the castle the girls were captured in before they made their way to Dracula, which was fine but it was all just so drawn out and became a bit boring. This book was too short (less than 300 pages) for such a slowly drawn-out story. The scariest parts in this book weren't the strigoi or vampires but the mild threats of sexual assault aimed at the serving girls from the soldiers and the one attempted rape. While I appreciate the true fear in those scenes that are not just fantastical in nature but an everyday horror, I wanted actual supernatural horror and gore and I didn't get any of that. I appreciated the attempt at an f/f romance as well. I liked Mira but I felt the relationship kind of appeared out of nowhere in a way and all of a sudden they were in love. I would have wanted more scenes between the girls before they undertook their journey and things became super intense for them. The end of this book was a massive let down. The epilogue style of 'then we did this and this and this' is just SO lazy. We didn't learn anything about the brides of Dracula - we learned about three girls who through terrible means ended up at his castle. That's it. The story ended when they became the 'brides'. Pfft.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Can you hear the sound of crushing disappointment coming from me? I was looking so forward to this book as soon as I saw it on Goodreads. Dracula is one of my favorite books ever (seriously, I named my cat Mina). This is a book about the vampire brides of Dracula and I could already picture myself devouring this feminist and deliciously gothic retelling. This book should have been amazing, the story of the brides of Dracula should have been amazing. Well, it's not so much a retelling since they're ment Can you hear the sound of crushing disappointment coming from me? I was looking so forward to this book as soon as I saw it on Goodreads. Dracula is one of my favorite books ever (seriously, I named my cat Mina). This is a book about the vampire brides of Dracula and I could already picture myself devouring this feminist and deliciously gothic retelling. This book should have been amazing, the story of the brides of Dracula should have been amazing. Well, it's not so much a retelling since they're mentioned... once I think, in Dracula, which gives so many possibilities to write a creepy, gothic tale about them. This isn't even a bad book. I almost wanted to give it 3 stars, because I didn't find it bad, poorly written or anything else: just boring. Which is, in fact, maybe just as bad. How could I possibly be bored by the freakin story of Dracula's brides? How? Well, for one thing, vampires and Dracula aren't even mentioned for a long while (maybe halfway through the book) and Dracula himself makes one poor appearance I already forgot about. How's that even possible, I have no idea. Mira, Lilai and Kizzy are the three future brides of Dracula and they're boring (all right, maybe Mira is not boring, but at this point, not even the one I liked could save it). The f/f romance is not bad, just not very interesting. Its' there (kind of suddenly), it's nice, I just didn't care enough because it didn't really bring anything. It was just there when once again the opportunity was here to make it intense. This book is just a missed opportunity in itself, when it comes to the actual story (although there was some good things, just too little), when it comes to the atmosphere, when it comes to the characters. This take on the story of Dracula's brides could (should) have had a creepy and gothic atmosphere with interesting female characters and it just didn't deliver that at all. If you're looking for this, this book isn't the one. I'm the first one to be truly disappointed to tell you this. Maybe I would have rounded up my rating to 3 stars if I didn't have such high expectations, but you can't promise me brides of Dracula and then have me bored for 80% of the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Smith

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ‘Men never stopped sinning, and we never stopped feeding. But we kept to the shadows. They didn’t exactly forget about Dracul, but truth became rumour, rumour became fable, and so he passed into a legend. We joined him, eventually. They came to call us the three sisters - two dark, one fair - and worse. The beautiful damned, the brides of Dracul, the deathless girls.’ What a wonderful tale. ‘The Deathless Girls’ is an intriguing reimagining of Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ told through the fem ‘Men never stopped sinning, and we never stopped feeding. But we kept to the shadows. They didn’t exactly forget about Dracul, but truth became rumour, rumour became fable, and so he passed into a legend. We joined him, eventually. They came to call us the three sisters - two dark, one fair - and worse. The beautiful damned, the brides of Dracul, the deathless girls.’ What a wonderful tale. ‘The Deathless Girls’ is an intriguing reimagining of Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ told through the female perspective of the two Traveller twin sisters. Hargrave uses the original nineteenth century tropes of the original - female sexuality, race and class and has beautifully reworked it into an inspired piece of modern gothic literature. Five well deserved stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  15. 4 out of 5

    Danni Jervis

    The origin story to 2 of Dracula's brides, a wonderfully dark, novel that successfully achieves a gothic atmosphere without being cringe-worthy. I loved the scope of different relationships explored between the characters, it added so many layers to the plot and really fleshed it out. Finally a lesbian YA too, which is refreshing in a heavily dominated market of male homosexual relationships to have this representation. A perfect femisinist, alternative YA novel that puts a new perspe The origin story to 2 of Dracula's brides, a wonderfully dark, novel that successfully achieves a gothic atmosphere without being cringe-worthy. I loved the scope of different relationships explored between the characters, it added so many layers to the plot and really fleshed it out. Finally a lesbian YA too, which is refreshing in a heavily dominated market of male homosexual relationships to have this representation. A perfect femisinist, alternative YA novel that puts a new perspective to such a well known classic!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica {Litnoob}

    The second I read the synopsis of this book I knew I needed it and I was so happy to get my hands on it. A pair of sisters, travelers and persecuted because of that simple fact who end up as brides of Dracula? How could that not be compelling? So we open to a story of loss, of slavery and pain and death. And the resulting fight for hope is one that’s moving and sweet and painful as all hell to read. And that ending that was destined? It hurt so it was very well written. I had all the feels so I The second I read the synopsis of this book I knew I needed it and I was so happy to get my hands on it. A pair of sisters, travelers and persecuted because of that simple fact who end up as brides of Dracula? How could that not be compelling? So we open to a story of loss, of slavery and pain and death. And the resulting fight for hope is one that’s moving and sweet and painful as all hell to read. And that ending that was destined? It hurt so it was very well written. I had all the feels so I know the writing was spot on. My only gripe? The lack of page time the f/f romance was given. They get Max a week on the back of a horse where they actually can interact and speak and that’s it. Much more time should have been invested in building up that bond before the journey if it was to be such a short one. But while a crush is clear it’s never substantive until they leave and then it’s such a short trip. I’d been hoping for some epically tragic romance and that just fell short for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sian // Books & Sunflowers

    The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an imagining of the story of the three brides of Dracula. This immediately piqued my interest because I’d already read and enjoyed Dracula, and I certainly appreciate a good vampire story thanks to the Twilight saga. This book, although vampires are a theme here, is on a different level though. It is cleverly crafted, with storytelling that is both rich and delicate. I thought the idea of focusing on the three brides of Dracula was an The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an imagining of the story of the three brides of Dracula. This immediately piqued my interest because I’d already read and enjoyed Dracula, and I certainly appreciate a good vampire story thanks to the Twilight saga. This book, although vampires are a theme here, is on a different level though. It is cleverly crafted, with storytelling that is both rich and delicate. I thought the idea of focusing on the three brides of Dracula was an admirable premise. Characters that had not yet had their past explained, but ones you had already sensed had an equally rich story to tell. Kiran certainly stays true to the blurb and delivers us a unique gothic tale, involving a sisterly bond amidst a great tragedy and future uncertainty. The book was full of gothic atmosphere, but at the same time felt modern and fresh, whereas you could almost believe this was not a tale set many years ago. At times, the strong female characters dwarfed the male characters in this book somewhat - but not to an extent that the book is written just for the feminist story tag. I genuinely enjoyed the pace and dialogue between the two sisters and the other girls. Kiran also does an excellent job writing the romantic storyline between two female characters. At no point did this feel forced and added for effect - rather it felt like a natural sub-plot of the story and came across as both credible and beautiful. My only criticism is the ending felt slightly rushed. I expected a bit more detail surrounding the other bride before the inevitable happened. Or, is this purposely done - will a second book will be written? I hope so. I certainly think there is more to be told, and for me, Kiran has certainly earned the authority over the three brides of Dracula and their future. This book was a truly praiseworthy read and one I shall recommend. Not just to young adult readers - but adult readers such as myself, too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh | Wild Heart Reads

    The Deathless Girls tells the story of the brides of Dracula before they were known as such. On the day of their Divining Lil & Kizzy find their lives forever changed. Right from page one the writing in The Deathless Girls pulled me right in - it's lush and gorgeous and beguiling. It was very easy to fly through the pages and made for a very quick read. When I read the blurb I was excited because it sounded like we might be getting some queer rep, but I didn't want to g The Deathless Girls tells the story of the brides of Dracula before they were known as such. On the day of their Divining Lil & Kizzy find their lives forever changed. Right from page one the writing in The Deathless Girls pulled me right in - it's lush and gorgeous and beguiling. It was very easy to fly through the pages and made for a very quick read. When I read the blurb I was excited because it sounded like we might be getting some queer rep, but I didn't want to get my hopes up too much because I've been let down by queer coded blurbs before. However in the case of The Deathless Girls I was very happy to find out that was in fact queer. Lil, one half of the twins, slowly fall in love with Mira, a slave in the kitchens Lil and Kizzy find themselves working in. But whilst I enjoyed the writing and the queer rep I didn't end up loving The Deathless Girls as much as I wanted to. Don't get me wrong - it's not a bad book and was still enjoyable - but after an incredible start it didn't quite stay that way. I did find myself a little annoyed at the use of the 'perfect sister' trope. Kizzy is beautful and flawless and has breasts and all the men love her, while Lil isn't those things. I'm not really sure why but this kinda thing often rubs me the wrong way. The other element that meant I didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping was that I felt the ending was rushed. I know this was more of an origin story and so naturally it's not going to be about their time as the brides of Dracula. But we only end up seeing him at the very end and it goes from 'I'm going to save my sister from the monster to I'll join my sister with the monster and leave my brother, friend and lover behind' very quickly. And I have to say, I was disappointed we didn't get immortal lesbian vampires together forever. Despite the rushed ending and annoyance with Kizzy at times, it was still enjoyable for the most part with beautiful writing so I would recommend picking it up if you've been wanting to read The Deathless Girls. "They came to call us the three sisters - two dark, one fair - and worse. The beautiful damned, the brides of Dracul, the deathless girls." Content Warning: attempted sexual assault, g*psy slur. *I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

  19. 4 out of 5

    Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    CW: slavery, death of family, attempted sexual assault, murder, kidnapping, and general scenes of violence This one was really good! It's a "retelling" of how Dracula got his brides, featuring Lil and Kizzy, Romani twins who are captured by slavers the day before their 17th birthday. They go to the castle to learn to be serving women, Lil meeting another serving girl she falls for, then get caught up in other things that lead them to the Dragon. Overall, super interesting story. I rea CW: slavery, death of family, attempted sexual assault, murder, kidnapping, and general scenes of violence This one was really good! It's a "retelling" of how Dracula got his brides, featuring Lil and Kizzy, Romani twins who are captured by slavers the day before their 17th birthday. They go to the castle to learn to be serving women, Lil meeting another serving girl she falls for, then get caught up in other things that lead them to the Dragon. Overall, super interesting story. I really loved the characters. It's at a very slow pace, though. While I loved the plot, I wished that there was a bit more going on in the story. And then when things sped up, I found it hard to follow it and suspend my disbelief for some of it. Still good, just minor things. I also want to make it clear that this book is gay. I wished that had been clearer in other reviews that it was because I would have picked it up faster! But, I really enjoyed that romance. The pacing felt realistic to me. Just a good book! I'm glad that I listened to it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    2.5 Why must I reside in this cold corner of disappointment.. Seriously one of my most disappointing 2019 reads. I wanted to love this so BAD. Not gonna lie, I'm a bit conflicted on my rating for this one. The Deathless Girls wasn't bad, I just really didn't much enjoy it. We were promised vampires and Dracula vibes, but didn't get almost any of that. We were promised a good f/f romance, and while there was a sapphic romance, I just didn't find myself connecting to it. And that says a 2.5 Why must I reside in this cold corner of disappointment.. Seriously one of my most disappointing 2019 reads. I wanted to love this so BAD. Not gonna lie, I'm a bit conflicted on my rating for this one. The Deathless Girls wasn't bad, I just really didn't much enjoy it. We were promised vampires and Dracula vibes, but didn't get almost any of that. We were promised a good f/f romance, and while there was a sapphic romance, I just didn't find myself connecting to it. And that says a whole lot for me. I feel it's because the characterization was lacking. As was, well, everything else. Overall, the pacing was messy, the development from characters to world to plot just wasn't doing it for me, and it felt frankly boring. I seem to be in the minority here, so take this all as you will, but I just didn't enjoy my time. Now, I will say I liked how it could be dark at certain points, and the ending was pretty good. The ending hurt my heart a little bit lmao. But this story just wasn't for me!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Clephiro (The Book Coven)

    The Deathless Girls is a gorgeous book inside and out. The cover is fabulous, the endpapers are brilliant, the chapter headings are neat, and the naked book is very, very attractive. Kizzy and Lil have a complicated relationship. They fight, and they make up, like any pair of sisters. When the life that they were expecting vanishes into smoke, they each deal with their new fate differently. Kizzy acts defiant, refusing to submit to the life she has found herself in. Lil is more accept The Deathless Girls is a gorgeous book inside and out. The cover is fabulous, the endpapers are brilliant, the chapter headings are neat, and the naked book is very, very attractive. Kizzy and Lil have a complicated relationship. They fight, and they make up, like any pair of sisters. When the life that they were expecting vanishes into smoke, they each deal with their new fate differently. Kizzy acts defiant, refusing to submit to the life she has found herself in. Lil is more accepting, even falling in love with a serving girl, Mira. In some ways, their roles became reversed from their childhood expectations, and it was interesting seeing how they dealt with it. The problem I had is, as beautiful as the book is, it felt very one-dimensional at times. At least, the villains did. They are EVIL and take every opportunity to be cruel and mean to those dependent upon their charity.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Literary Han Rodgman

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars This didn’t take the format that the synopsis promised but I still found it entertaining. It wasn’t a literary masterpiece by any means but I enjoyed the story of the twin sisters (even though Kizzy irritated the hell out of me). I was not a fan of insta love. Tbh insta love never works for me and this book was no exception. It was a solid read and I’m now in the mood to read Dracula or other vampire fiction. Hannah xoxo

  23. 5 out of 5

    Megan (YABookers)

    disclaimer: I received this free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. On the eve of her divining – the day she will discover her fate – Lil and her twin sister are captured by the evil Boyar Valcar. They are taken far away from their traveller community and into the hands of cruelty and slavery. Lil and Kizzy are forced to work in the castle kitchens where Lil learns about the Dragon, a terrifying figure of myth who takes girls as gifts. When Kizzy becomes one of th disclaimer: I received this free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. On the eve of her divining – the day she will discover her fate – Lil and her twin sister are captured by the evil Boyar Valcar. They are taken far away from their traveller community and into the hands of cruelty and slavery. Lil and Kizzy are forced to work in the castle kitchens where Lil learns about the Dragon, a terrifying figure of myth who takes girls as gifts. When Kizzy becomes one of these girls, Lil will stop at nothing to get her back. trigger warnings: threats of sexual assault, mild horror, gore, kidnapping. The Deathless Girls is a feminist retelling about the three brides of Dracula. Gothic and atmospheric, Kiran Millwood Hargrave weaves a magical story about revenge, survival, love, and sisterhood. One of my favourite things about The Deathless Girls was the sister dynamic between Lil and Kizzy. The two were in conflict with how to survive. Lil wished to be quiet and meek to not attract attention, do what they say and stay alive where as Kizzy refused to go quietly – she put up a fight, she was bold and defiant. I loved how this affected their dynamic. I loved the culture and heritage shown throughout this book. Lil and Kizzy are Romani travellers and it is shown in a very much respectful manner which I loved. The Deathless Girls is very much a slow paced novel, and while it features vampires it isn’t really about vampires as they actually play a very small role in the novel. It is the story of sisters and of their love and of their pain and suffering but also of their revenge and their power. It isn’t Dracula’s story, it is Lil and Kizzy’s story. If you go into this expecting a supernatural horror novel you will be dissapointed as it features a much more subtle but a more prevelant horror – being a woman in a violent world where the threat of sexual assault it always there. It is an everyday horror. It is a beautifully written and atmospheric novel. The Deathless Girls also features a f/f romance, which I wasn’t actually aware of until I read it so that was a pleasant suprise. The romance wasn’t as well developed or as fleshed out as it could have been, but a nice romance nonetheless. Overall, is a atmospheric novel which I highly recommend.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gemma F

    Full review on my blog: https://wp.me/p6917X-1g4 An interesting retelling about the brides of Dracula with strong female characters and an ending I enjoyed!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gabriela Pop

    DNFed halfway through, the Romanian bits were just too overwhelmingly ... not right ... for me to actually go through this book without it feeling like it's taking ten years off my life. The story itself is good enough and the characters are interesting to follow, but everything else isn't really good enough to make me want to continue on despite the inaccuracies. Full disclosure, it was the proof copy that I read so maybe these got fixed for the final copy, but this was sadly one of the most in DNFed halfway through, the Romanian bits were just too overwhelmingly ... not right ... for me to actually go through this book without it feeling like it's taking ten years off my life. The story itself is good enough and the characters are interesting to follow, but everything else isn't really good enough to make me want to continue on despite the inaccuracies. Full disclosure, it was the proof copy that I read so maybe these got fixed for the final copy, but this was sadly one of the most infuriating reading experiences I've had in ages

  26. 4 out of 5

    Octothorpe Reader Leora K

    My Rating: ####/5 Trigger warnings: • Threat of sexual assault • Animal cruelty and death • Slavery and abuse I was gifted an unproofed copy of The Deathless Girls by Pan Macmillan South Africa for an honest review. This is an unpaid review. I did a buddy read with Tams @bookwolftams. Ok, first things first, I loved this book and please, please, PLEASE can I have more Kiran Millwood Hargrave to put in my pocket and keep for rainy days. So when you (see, I said when, not if, because My Rating: ####/5 Trigger warnings: • Threat of sexual assault • Animal cruelty and death • Slavery and abuse I was gifted an unproofed copy of The Deathless Girls by Pan Macmillan South Africa for an honest review. This is an unpaid review. I did a buddy read with Tams @bookwolftams. Ok, first things first, I loved this book and please, please, PLEASE can I have more Kiran Millwood Hargrave to put in my pocket and keep for rainy days. So when you (see, I said when, not if, because you will want to) pick up this book, you need to put aside the misconception that this is a retelling of Brides of Dracula by Bram Stoker. It is not a retelling; I would classify it as the prequel to Brides of Dracula. On the eve of their divining day, twin sisters, Lil and Kizzy are enslaved by a cruel lord and brutally taken away from their traveler-family. They are forced to work in a castle, along with Mira, a fellow slave girl. Lil feels drawn to Mira in a way she is not sure she understands. But is Mira, Lil’s happy ever after? Or does fate have something else in mind? In this book, sacrifices are made, journeys are traveled, and loyalties are tested between sisters, friends, and alliances to understand how the Brides of Dracula became the “weird sisters”. It’s dark, gothic and twisty. As an only child, I do not have first-hand experience with the bond that exists between sisters, but this book is so beautifully written, I had no problem relating to the unconditional love and the fierce protective instincts sisters have for each other. The thought-provoking and dark feminist theme is captivating, I could have easily finished it one sitting. Tams and I did a buddy-read and to give ourselves time to read other books and of course; "adult", we read it over a period of 7 days. At no point, was there any frustration or any “what just happened?”, “what is going on?”, “when does the story start?”. No, both Tams and I just agreed right from the first chapter: “Oh my gosh, I love this book so much!”. A clear message throughout the book that resonated with me is that home is not a place, but that home is where your person or your people are. Home is wherever you choose it to be and you can change your fate and you are in control of your future. How far would you go to be free again?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Bridgeman

    This is a book with a huge pedigree, and massive expectations preceding it. Taking the three unknown wives of Dracula and weaving their backstory into a YA(Young Adult) narrative is always going to be a tricky proposition. Yes the three women who cause blood chilling moments in the gothic classic are legendary and well known but also they are complete blank pages. Where did they come from and how did they end up brides of the undead ruler? Here is the tale of Lillai, Kizzy This is a book with a huge pedigree, and massive expectations preceding it. Taking the three unknown wives of Dracula and weaving their backstory into a YA(Young Adult) narrative is always going to be a tricky proposition. Yes the three women who cause blood chilling moments in the gothic classic are legendary and well known but also they are complete blank pages. Where did they come from and how did they end up brides of the undead ruler? Here is the tale of Lillai, Kizzy and Mira, the first two are traveller twins whose lives are uprooted on their diving day by dark forces who kidnap Kiz. On her way to rescue Kiz, Lil makes friends with Mira, a servant girl and who becomes her companion in her attempt to be the person she has to become,in order to save her sister. Told from Lil's perspective, we are introduced to the details and rituals of Romanian traveller culture from the very first page-it is beautifully evoked with a very firm sense of time and place. I am not going to spoil any of the story because I honestly want as many people to read this as they can-the verdant and richly detailed prose beautifully reflects the gothic sensibility of the story whilst the centering of these three young women instead of making them bystanders in someone else's tale is both bold and heartwarming. You become invested in their journey, especially Lil's because she , as Kiz' twin sees Kiz as everything she wants to be. They are not identical and Lil is struggling to not only find her own identity, but who she is when she is not a twin. The divining day where Old Charani will tell them their future is set aflame, quite literally, and without anyone telling their futures, not only does it become theirs to own, it becomes a narrative they can rewrite by their own rules. It also has a lot to say with regards to travellers who are seen as disposable and less worthy than other parts of society which neatly reflects the sense of 'other' and entitlement which exists in today's patriarchal society. This book had a difficult job to do, firstly it had to match the expectations given by the stunning cover design which is honstly breathtaking-the endpapers and gold foil detail has to be seen to be believed!-it also has to establish these women within their own rights in a tale that traditional, beloved,and is male centric. I think Kiran Millwood Hargrave has delivered on both counts with a lusciously realised story that I genuinely hope continues. Thoroughly recommended for lovers of Theodora Goss, Kiersten White and Vivian Shaw, I would say read this, then go back to the original, it will give you chills.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Mara

    Lil and twin sister Kizzy are Travelers whose seventeenth birthday (and thus their diving day) is just around the corner. The diving day is the most significant event in the life of any Traveler as it is the day on which their fates are told by the clan’s Seer. But the day before their futures are to be revealed, terror and tragedy strike in the form of the Boyar’s men who invade Lil’s camp, capturing everyone under seventeen and disposing of the rest. The story (a retelling of the br Lil and twin sister Kizzy are Travelers whose seventeenth birthday (and thus their diving day) is just around the corner. The diving day is the most significant event in the life of any Traveler as it is the day on which their fates are told by the clan’s Seer. But the day before their futures are to be revealed, terror and tragedy strike in the form of the Boyar’s men who invade Lil’s camp, capturing everyone under seventeen and disposing of the rest. The story (a retelling of the brides of Dracula) is an easy one to get into, while the threat of danger looms from page one. It doesn’t take much longer for tragedy to strike, and our main character Lil loses the freedom of life amid nature (which is vividly described) and her family of Travelers. Together with her twin sister Kizzy she is captured by Settled men (men who live in villages as opposed to Travelers who move around) and sold to the Boyars castle. The story flows quickly, though the threat of the Dragon (Dracula) is found more between the lines. Dracula is a well-established figure, and so we all know how the story of his brides will eventually end. Dracula doesn’t have to be physically present to still be the scariest monster in the story. And that he is, although there are many monsters. From the soldiers who hunt (the historically much persecuted) Travelers, viciously killing and capturing those they see as cursed for their darker skin, and the Boyars (Lords) who thrive while the people of their lands live in near starvation. Trigger warnings here for animal cruelty, which is used in place of depicting torture of humans to portray the depravity of monsters (people).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bitchin' Reads

    My heart sings for this book. Love, love, love. Gothic literature always hits me in all the right places.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gemma

    Lemme tell you the look on my face when I FINALLY figured out what this book was actually about was a PICTURE

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