After Psyche turns down Aphrodite’s request to marry the callous Eros, Aphrodite’s son, Psyche is cursed with a grave fate. She is to become the wife of a monster, a thing even the gods themselves fear. However, Eros accidently strikes himself with one of his arrows, falling in love with Psyche, and he creates the curse. He steals her away to a grand palace he made for her, and he visits her under the cover of darkness night provides so she can never see his face. He then tries to win her love while Psyche tries to come to terms with her destiny of being tied to a monster.
I love Greek myths, especially the story of Cupid and Psyche, so I just had to get my hands on Destined! As with most myths and epic stories, there are many different versions of the same story, making it extremely difficult to write a good retelling. However, Harrell does an excellent job! She combined some of the versions together to make Destined and I really enjoyed it. In some versions of the Cupid and Psyche story, Pysche hurls herself off a cliff after certain events go down (which is not a satisfying ending, if you ask me). Sorry for mentioning that there is an absence of cliff diving, but would you honestly want to read a book where the main character falls to her death? (If you do, I would suggest reading some of the other versions of this story.)
I liked Psyche and Eros a lot. Psyche is beautiful both inside and out, and I really adored her. Even with being the most beautiful woman in the world, she seems like any other girl and is rather humble. She hates being extremely beautiful, for she wants people to like her for who she is on the inside, not what she looks like on the outside. She wants the guy she’s going to be with to like her for personality and mind, and I really respect that about her. Her life has become quite a mess after Aphrodite’s offer to marry her son, and she takes it in stride, remaining strong and mature through most of it. I just really appreciated how real her emotions and thoughts were and I really liked her character. Eros was also pretty awesome. Even as the god of love, he was not saved from heartbreak when a previous lover of his left him. He is on the defensive when it comes to love, but he slowly reveals a little more about himself to Psyche. The chemistry between them took a while to build up, but towards the end of the story, I really felt the love they had for one another. Besides Eros and Psyche, I really did not care for the other characters. I did not mind Aphrodite, but I could not stand Iris. Darrell probably wanted to make her seem all clingy and annoying (I hope), and she did a bang up job.
Destined is an amazing retelling of one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful (not to mention monogamous) relationships in Greek myths. Even if you are not a fan of Greek mythology, this book is one that you will still enjoy. It is more of a love story than a myth, and I enjoyed every page. Harrell has made me a fan! She has written a short story for an anthology called In His Eyes
, scheduled to come out February 14, 2012 (Valentine’s Day!!). I will definitely be checking it out!