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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 unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil 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 unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil 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

    Hannah Greendale

    Gorgeous cover, but The Deathless Girls doesn’t deliver until it’s final pages.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    OK, here's the thing: I like traditional vampires. I like them dark and sinister, charming their way from meal to meal while being true and unapologetic monsters. Not the "vegetarian" variety full of existential angst and bullshit like that. Nevertheless, since I usually can't resist anything vampiristic, I thought a take on the brides could be interesting (plus: look at that cover!). We open with a quote from Catherynne Valente so we were off to a very good start indeed. What followed was the de OK, here's the thing: I like traditional vampires. I like them dark and sinister, charming their way from meal to meal while being true and unapologetic monsters. Not the "vegetarian" variety full of existential angst and bullshit like that. Nevertheless, since I usually can't resist anything vampiristic, I thought a take on the brides could be interesting (plus: look at that cover!). We open with a quote from Catherynne Valente so we were off to a very good start indeed. What followed was the detailed account of sisters Lil and Kizzy, two gypsy girls growing up at the outskirts of Eastern European society until they are one day kidnapped and enslaved with no hope of rescue or justice. With no power at all, constantly being at the mercy of others and suffering their cruelties, they come to crave power of their own as well as revenge. And, in a way, we know they'll get just that. Because the Dragon they hear about in the kitchens isn't just a local legend - he's very real indeed and he'll make them (along with a third girl that we also meeet here) his brides. I really don't mind a look at people talked about in literary works that never got a whole lot of spotlight before. On the contrary, if I like a certain fictional world, I appreciate that greatly. However, I might be a little sick and tired of people (especially women) always wanting girls to be in the victim role. What if they weren't poor and powerless but spoilt daughters of rich noblemen who just wanted more power? Sure, that would have been a much shorter book but still. Moreover, since this is a tale directly involving THE vampire, I was hoping for / expecting to at least see more of his great influence. After all, we're not just talking about a rich and cruel man but a very persuasive supernatural predator. But I got disappointed there, too, mostly. There was almost no seduction , neither the sexual nor any other kind. It was ... too easy and too quick. After the detailed look at the girls' lives, I wanted an equally detailed look at the decision. You know, since that meant the end of one life and the beginning of another and was equally part of these girls' tales. However, the book's culmination was almost as brief as an afterthought. In fact, I checked if there weren't pages missing in my edition, that's how cut short it felt. Then I read the afterword and thus learned that this book was commissioned as part of a series to "give women more visibility". Hm. I'm not sure women need more visibility in literature, to be honest (and yes, I'm saying that as a woman). Certainly there are books with no or only few women in them and some are represented in a maddening way but there are SO MANY books where there is representation and a good one so I'm not sure what triggered this. It also ties back into what I said earlier about the victim-role for females ... not sure we want to always be seen as victims (I know I don't)? The writing style, equally, was good - and yet nothing excitingly special. The worldbuilding worked for me, just like the characters did come to life in a nice way. And yet, it felt as if the landscape stayed pale(r than the girls); maybe because it was meant to not steal their show so to speak?! And the other characters weren't always fully fleshed out but rather some elaborate background decoration (ironic, considering that that is what the author saw in the brides which is why she wrote this book in the first place since she didn't like it). Anyway, not a bad book at all and I enjoyed this look at a familiar tale from a different angle, but sadly not as thrilling and/or beautiful as I had hoped. 3.5 stars rounded down because I wanted more vampire fun and less victimhood.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emer (A Little Haze)

    I feel this book had so much more potential. What it ultimately delivered was a very lacklustre piece of gothic style fiction. The Deathless Girls is a book that aims to give agency to the story of the brides of Dracula from the original Dracula novel. And while I have never read Dracula so ultimately can’t truly compare the two I feel that this didn’t quite fulfil its brief. CONTENT WARNINGS: I wish to mention that this book has some very graphic descriptions of animal abuse (Bite wine) and there I feel this book had so much more potential. What it ultimately delivered was a very lacklustre piece of gothic style fiction. The Deathless Girls is a book that aims to give agency to the story of the brides of Dracula from the original Dracula novel. And while I have never read Dracula so ultimately can’t truly compare the two I feel that this didn’t quite fulfil its brief. CONTENT WARNINGS: I wish to mention that this book has some very graphic descriptions of animal abuse (Bite wine) and there is a very uncomfortable scene where the girls are forcibly examined in an attempt to determine their virginity status. Some plot spoilers so read at your discretion The story follows sisters Lil and Kizzy and from the outset we get the inkling that these will become deathless girls due to prophecies about their fates. So the book is an exploration into how faced with the darkest of choices these loving sisters became brides of Dracula. And okay, technically the book delivered on showing how their fates ultimately unfolded but what was missing from the narrative was real emotion. I didn’t once empathise with any of the characters. To me I felt the characters were little more than pastiches. Outside of knowing that Kizzy was argumentative and stubborn we never fully felt what it was that made her tick. And Lil, whose PoV the book is from… yes we understood how she had strong familial ties to Kizzy especially but it felt like a whole lot of telling rather than showing. And in amongst the angst and anguish a love story was shoehorned in… and wow was it under developed. The first time I as a reader got the sense these two characters were supposed to be together I didn’t understand it. I felt like I had missed a chapter or two building up this connection. Suddenly Mira was referred to as Lil’s Mira and I was like where did that come from? For a book that was supposed to give voice to the brides of Dracula it really didn’t deliver. The book was all about getting from A to B plotwise but with absolutely no nuance in the journey. And what was truly irksome is that ultimately the book felt pointless. As a reader you know from the beginning that these girls are not going to have happy endings because they are to be The Deathless Girls but there should have been so much more colour to their story along the way. The book felt defeatist from the start…. which of itself you could say is an interesting idea as you let your fate take over… but this book resorted to cliched tropes and eye roll worthy martyrdom that felt pointless. Lil going on a hopeless journey to save Kizzy from the dragon was just written so poorly that I just wanted the book over already and both girls turned so I could put back this book on my shelf and let it gather dust for eternity as I can guarantee you I will not be rereading it. I fully appreciate that Hargrave was trying to create the idea that these girls had some agency in their destiny and that their options were definitely “between a rock and a hard place” but the ending fell beyond flat for me. And squeezing a cursory mention of the third bride of Dracula in the epilogue was extremely frustrating. A book that is about forgotten women and it itself conveniently forgets one of the women until the very end??? Lol no. I felt apathy rather than empathy towards all the characters in this book. I didn’t care that Lil and Mira would never be together. I didn’t feel sad that they were torn from each other because their love story was just so under developed. I didn’t feel for Kizzy and how she sacrificed herself to save others because I was simply told this happened. I think in that regard definitely too much action occurred off-page. And I genuinely didn’t understand Lil’s choices to be with her sister again (i.e. live as a vampire) because the emotion was lacking. Basically I felt the prose throughout the novel was rather sterile and ultimately reading to the end of the novel was rather perfunctory rather than enjoyable. I simply just kept reading to see how Hargrave would wrap up everything but could just have easily abandoned the book around the 2/3 mark so bored and utterly uninvested emotionally was I. This is my third novel I’ve read by Kiran Milwood Hargrave and I’ve found her to be extremely hit and miss. I didn’t enjoy her middle grade (The Island at the End of Everything) as like this book it lacks that emotional connection. I’m less than ambivalent about this her YA debut and yet I’m obsessed with her adult debut The Mercies. To me when she writes for a younger audience I get a sense that she is shackled as a writer. If you read her adult book The Mercies it is so much more vibrant. The characters have so much more depth. More heart. She writes with a freedom of spirit and has so many interesting points to raise about the feminine and how it’s viewed. I can truly see her talent as a writer but she definitely has a tendency to get caught up in focusing on her settings and being overly descriptive in that regard (too much simile and metaphor), rather than properly giving focus and feeling to characters. Disappointing For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog

  6. 5 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; "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. <---

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    ‘A vampyre cannot love, only thirst. And that, above all else, is what truly damns us.’ This was an excellent re-imagining of the brides of Dracula, very evocative. 4.5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    That cover though...

  9. 5 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 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

  10. 5 out of 5

    ♡ jules ♡

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

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sian (sianslibrary)

    The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an re-imagining of the story of the three brides of Dracula. This immediately piqued my interest because I’d already read Bram Stoker's masterpiece and I certainly appreciate a good vampire story (thank you Twilight!). This book, although vampires are a theme here, is on a different level though - the story easily suits a modern twist. It's a cleverly crafted tale, with storytelling that is both rich and delicate. I thought the idea of focusing on The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an re-imagining of the story of the three brides of Dracula. This immediately piqued my interest because I’d already read Bram Stoker's masterpiece and I certainly appreciate a good vampire story (thank you Twilight!). This book, although vampires are a theme here, is on a different level though - the story easily suits a modern twist. It's a cleverly crafted tale, 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 exciting story to tell. Kiran certainly stays true to the blurb - she delivers 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 too.

  12. 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 marshmallow. I love my girls so badly and I want to protect them.  Even if sometimes I felt that was 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

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aly (In Wonderland)

    I started this at 5pm and finished it at 02:45am. Needless to say, it's addicting, poetically written, dark and dangerous. If you're a fan of retellings, Dracula and the myths and legends surrounding him, then this book is for you. Full review to come! I started this at 5pm and finished it at 02:45am. Needless to say, it's addicting, poetically written, dark and dangerous. If you're a fan of retellings, Dracula and the myths and legends surrounding him, then this book is for you. Full review to come!

  14. 5 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    Rep: Romani wlw mc, Romani characters CWs: murder, violence, implied sexual harrassment, attempted sexual assault • oh god can we talk how badly the author researched Romanian - using a plural form in place of a singular, using a singular form in place of a plural, MAKING UP a singular form for a word, getting the plural form of a word wrong, using a definite noun where an indefinite one is needed, deciding randomly to show that she knows how Romanian definite articles work only to go back to usin Rep: Romani wlw mc, Romani characters CWs: murder, violence, implied sexual harrassment, attempted sexual assault • oh god can we talk how badly the author researched Romanian - using a plural form in place of a singular, using a singular form in place of a plural, MAKING UP a singular form for a word, getting the plural form of a word wrong, using a definite noun where an indefinite one is needed, deciding randomly to show that she knows how Romanian definite articles work only to go back to using "the [noun]" three pages later - and not to mention the randomness of chucking a few Romanian nouns in when they are IN ROMANIA, they are SPEAKING ROMANIAN, and then ITALICISING THEM (also side note, there are definitely typefaces that can deal with ţ and ş and ă without making them seem like monster letters) • the translations are all ever so slightly off, like they're sort of in the right ballpark, but missing the nuances that the words have (listen, if you can, wordreference >>>>> google translate, and for romanian in particular, vocabular.ro is always useful) • the author's note seems to imply that KMH decided to write Romani characters because her family was from northern India & Romani people originated from there, so yeah. okay.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    When I heard this would be a fleshing out of the so-called "brides" of Dracula written as a YA, I was worried that it would devolve into something a little less dark than what it really came to be. Thank goodness, right? There is a rather powerful trend to make vampires less... scary... these days, and building a mystique that lets us approve of these "brides" makes me feel some unease. Fortunately, the core of THIS tale is the brutality of being used and abused on the outskirts of accepted civi When I heard this would be a fleshing out of the so-called "brides" of Dracula written as a YA, I was worried that it would devolve into something a little less dark than what it really came to be. Thank goodness, right? There is a rather powerful trend to make vampires less... scary... these days, and building a mystique that lets us approve of these "brides" makes me feel some unease. Fortunately, the core of THIS tale is the brutality of being used and abused on the outskirts of accepted civilization, being a Traveler - or rather, a gypsy - and feeling truly powerless to hold on to your own fate. Rather appropriate. And the love between these two sisters feels very real, too. The tragedy and subsequent adventure and additional tragedies are not particularly YA but the darkness might have had a bit more depth in general. Bad people were everywhere and only the slaves had redeeming qualities. Maybe that's appropriate for such a short novel and it was nonetheless enjoyable all the way to the end, but I did feel that the finale was RATHER rushed. It doesn't sit all that well with me. Yes, we know that these poor kids were ill-used and I can see why they'd crave power, but all we really get is a hard life and then a fait accompli without hardly any convincing, cajoling, manipulation, or struggle. A million other vampire tales live and breathe (or die) on that premise. Should I judge this by the best aspects of all those other tales? Is that fair? I don't know, but I'm trusting my gut on this one. The book could have been longer to fit in a much more courageous and interesting end.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Waworga

    Started this book with Zero Expectation and turns out i really enjoyed this one. The Writing style is easy to read and also gripping me from the start! i definetly will read more books from this author I love this story is Gothic and dark, with magic and gypsy and vampires. The story is from single POV (Lillai) we followed her and her twin sister journey when they got abducted and became slaves The plot is pretty simple but i love how the story is about sisterhood, how close Lillai and her twin sis Started this book with Zero Expectation and turns out i really enjoyed this one. The Writing style is easy to read and also gripping me from the start! i definetly will read more books from this author I love this story is Gothic and dark, with magic and gypsy and vampires. The story is from single POV (Lillai) we followed her and her twin sister journey when they got abducted and became slaves The plot is pretty simple but i love how the story is about sisterhood, how close Lillai and her twin sister is and how they supported each others, i always love to read sibling bonding story on fantasy book which i rarely find these days If you love gothic, dark story standalone Fantasy book, give this one a try! 3.5 STARS

  17. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    more of the immortal vampyre brides getting revenge on shitty men pls and thank you Blog • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository more of the immortal vampyre brides getting revenge on shitty men pls and thank you Blog • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository

  18. 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 caricatu 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.

  19. 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' 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.

  20. 4 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 most of 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.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I don’t really know what to think of this... it felt like a cross over of a few different stories for example: Girls of Paper and Fire and An Ember in the Ashes; that’s just the first thing that popped into my head but I’m pretty sure other books that deal with slavery and doing certain things, mainly picked up on it because of cook... I genuinely really wanted to enjoy this, but for me personally everything felt slightly flat, I couldn’t tell you a lot about the characters, the romance really an I don’t really know what to think of this... it felt like a cross over of a few different stories for example: Girls of Paper and Fire and An Ember in the Ashes; that’s just the first thing that popped into my head but I’m pretty sure other books that deal with slavery and doing certain things, mainly picked up on it because of cook... I genuinely really wanted to enjoy this, but for me personally everything felt slightly flat, I couldn’t tell you a lot about the characters, the romance really annoyed me. With that is that there was no build up to it, I genuinely can’t even put together a time that the two characters I’m in about actually spoke, it was just passing looks and then there’s talk of love and I’d had enough by this point. Then there’s the whole situation with “The Dragon” I just don’t think we knew enough about them for me to actually be invested. Overall I was drawn in by the pretty cover, I stayed because I wanted to find out what happened to Kizzy but if this is a series I sadly doubt I’ll be continuing on with this. I really don’t like writing negative reviews, and I just wish I’d of enjoyed this more!

  22. 5 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. 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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice in Bookland

    "A vampyre cannot love, only thirst. And that, above all else, is what truly damns us." This is quite possibly one of the most boring books I've ever read. It takes ages for the plot to move and when it does it gets nowhere particularly interesting. The book's 300 pages long. The first 200 pages have the protagonist thinking about how beautiful, amazing, intelligent, spectacular, out of this world her identical twin is, whilst our protagonist's average and not worth notice, of course. The following "A vampyre cannot love, only thirst. And that, above all else, is what truly damns us." This is quite possibly one of the most boring books I've ever read. It takes ages for the plot to move and when it does it gets nowhere particularly interesting. The book's 300 pages long. The first 200 pages have the protagonist thinking about how beautiful, amazing, intelligent, spectacular, out of this world her identical twin is, whilst our protagonist's average and not worth notice, of course. The following 80 pages have a relationship based on glances, more or less 7-8 exchanged words, and a whole fucking lot of blushing, so basically based on absolutely nothing. Spare me please. The last 20 pages are the only interesting part of the book and guess what? These are the pages where we actually meet Dracula and the brides. But wasn't the entire book supposed to be about Dracula and the fucking brides?????? Holy fuck this was so bad

  24. 4 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    Okay not at all what I was expecting and I'm highly troubled and confused by the current GR score of 3.65/5 I really liked this from start to finish. It's one of those books that sort of changes genres part way through which always keeps it interesting for me. I do wish the ending wasn't so hasty. Give it another chapter or two? I enjoyed the characters a lot but especially the dynamic between the sisters. I want to do some more research into the book now as well because I feel like it pulled in Okay not at all what I was expecting and I'm highly troubled and confused by the current GR score of 3.65/5 I really liked this from start to finish. It's one of those books that sort of changes genres part way through which always keeps it interesting for me. I do wish the ending wasn't so hasty. Give it another chapter or two? I enjoyed the characters a lot but especially the dynamic between the sisters. I want to do some more research into the book now as well because I feel like it pulled in a lot of influences from communities who travelers/nomadic and we've continuously shunned those groups of people in our history. This is one I will definitely comeback to and reread every year or so. The physical book is also absolutely stunning. A+ book design Rep: f/f romance

  25. 4 out of 5

    MariaWitBook

    Nope! Maybe because I’m Romanian, this book didn’t work for me. Sorry. Nevertheless beautiful looking book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stacey (prettybooks)

    Note: I read this for the YA Book Prize 2020 (I'm one of the judges, hooray!). Note: I read this for the YA Book Prize 2020 (I'm one of the judges, hooray!).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    I really enjoyed this though it was super sad! I was rooting for Lil and Kizzy, even though I didn't really like them. I actually found the ending super satisfying. I really enjoyed this though it was super sad! I was rooting for Lil and Kizzy, even though I didn't really like them. I actually found the ending super satisfying.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    I don't really know what to think. It's completely different to how I expected from reading blurbs. The ending was strange and completely unexpected. I don't really know what to think. It's completely different to how I expected from reading blurbs. The ending was strange and completely unexpected.

  29. 5 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 fantasy with themes 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.

  30. 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 female perspect ‘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 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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