Book review Her Dark Wings by Melinda Salisbury

Published July 7th 2022 by David Fickling Books


The great love of Corey’s life has always been her best friend, Bree: closer than sisters, their bond is unbreakable.

Or so Corey believes, until Bree betrays her, and Corey’s world is shattered.

Corey finds herself heartbroken, furious and alone…

Only to discover that the Underworld – and Hades, Lord of the Dead – is closer than she thinks…

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

*Warning, mild spoilers ahead*

Tell me of the flower-touched girl hidden at the ends of the earth; of betrayal and vengeance, of blossoming and blame. Tell me of heartbreak and healing, tell me what it means to forgive, to plant a seed, to watch it grow.
Tell me what happens next, Muse.

Her Dark Wings is a retelling of Hades and Persephone. But that is not what makes the story stand out. It’s a theme of friendship and betrayal. I found this particular part fascinating! I liked that the story wasn’t revolving around the romance between two prototypes of the aforementioned figures but centered on resentment, hurt, and finally acceptance.

Corey, the heroine of the story had a closest friend Bree – they were like sisters. Until one day Bree betrays her with Corey’s boyfriend. After that Corey’s world is turned upside down. She becomes an angry vicious person. The worst part is that Bree didn’t even want to explain why she did what she did. So Corey had to watch her and her ex holding hands and kissing in front of her. And in a small town like Corey’s there’s no many places you can escape to not see. So Corey becomes so hurt and angry she wishes that Bree would die. And than Bree dies.

I will make a step aside from the friendship topic and why I liked it so much to add a couple of words on why I didn’t give this story more than three starts. First of all, the world-building was quite underdeveloped? I mean, we get that the events take place in our world and our time. But as I gathered from the characters and their conversations, people in this version of the world believe in the Underworld and Gods like Hades, Zeus, Poseidon and so on. The famous Greek Pantheon. But the explanation on how’s and why’s was so vague I couldn’t get a clear picture of how actually things are. The next thing is the Underworld itself. It was described with classic terms but I didn’t really feel the vibe it should have in the story. It just felt like a stage where events were taking place at one point.
Then there’s Hades and the romance which I think was anticlimactic. A lot. I wouldn’t mind a good Hades and Persephone story; it’s quite angst-y, but in this book we got a watered down romantic interest and Corey’s conflict with Bree stood out way more than anything else. And then the charters themselves weren’t fleshed out properly. We get why Corey is angry, but we do not get why and how she has her powers. It just plays as a background. And the whole line with Furies was just weird.

Now, getting back to the friendship and betrayal. That part soaked out all live from any other part of the book. It was poignant and tearful at moments. We, along with Corey, trying to understand why Bree did what she did, meanwhile we hate her along with Corey and do not feel sorry for her death. Those emotions were strong and potent. And at the end, when Corey and Bree finally meet in the Underworld and none of them is sorry for what they did but they kind of still love and miss each other, there’s this little hope that maybe some day Bree would feel remorse and Corey would find it in herself to forgive her. I liked that this was a kind of an open ending because in real life when we are betrayed or betray someone we do not always get closure.

All in all, a decent story about friendship and betrayal with Greek Mythology woven in between. Melinda Salisbury has a unique voice and became one of my favorite authors after her Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy, which I highly recommend as well if you haven’t read it yet. I will definitely wait for more stories from her.

See you on the other side, in the Underworld!


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