Book Review: Daughter of Hades
A captivating historical story of love, loss, and the will to survive
Content warning: Rape, violence
Set in the 17th century, Mack Little’s Daughter of Hades depicts two sets of siblings as they escape their homes in search of a new life. Both end up on the seas of the Caribbean, as slavery and its effects loom around them and as pirates challenge their way of living. Their escapes lead to great adventure, danger, romance, and a huge fight to survive in
After Dinny and her brother Jimmie are rescued from their slave master in Barbados, they head to Jamaica with a crew of pirates led by an old family friend, Captain Duff. This is the beginning of their new life, creating a new path forward for both siblings: Jimmie as a
pirate and Dinny in Jamaica with her extended family. But there is one wrench in Dinny’s plan: Lei, a Chinese pirate, quickly captures her heart.
While this is all happening, two other siblings begin their new path on the ocean. Brothers Ivan and Pax have to escape their hometown in France after avenging the death of their mother. This brings them to sign their lives away to be indentured servants on a ship until they can buy their freedom and start a new life. This is when their paths cross with Danny and Jimmie.
But both sets of siblings find danger when another pirate, known by Smith, learns of their previous lives and makes a plan to return them in exchange for a handsome fee.
There are moments in this book that you will NOT be able to put it down. This highstakes story captures the intense reality of slaves and the downtrodden, making us never sure if someone is truly safe.
I am an American reader, so when I think of slavery, my mind usually runs to the history of my country. But here, Little fills us in on important Caribbean history and how the rules of a terrible trades system changed from one island to another. Envisioning the beautiful settings of Jamaica and Barbados and recognizing their histories illuminates a truth that readers will really benefit from knowing.
This book isn’t only about its smart & captivating history. It’s also dripping with sexy romance. The descriptive and intoxicating sex scenes in Daughter of Hades are sure to satisfy a variety of preferences.
Little writes of romance between men, coworkers (which in this case are pirates), distant lovers, and even some forbidden love interests. Dinny and Lei are at the epicenter of romance in the novel, as they fall madly in love on the high seas. Little expertly places erotic content in the midst of intense hardship, creating a gotta-have-it desperation to each romantic story.
With a handful of truly lovable characters, an excellent plot, and expert writing, Daughter of Hades makes good use of its nearly 400 pages. Readers will appreciate the fruits of Little’s labor in research and her ability to capture this story inspired largely by real events.