Review: Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda

“Baba Yaga, Romanov Prince's, and the Unholy. A fascinating mix of lore.”

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Title:Dark Goddess (Billi SanGreal 2)
Author:Chadda, Sarwat
Publisher:Hyperion
Pages:384

From Goodreads: New enemies, new romance, and new horrors,

Billi’s back, and it seems like the Unholy just can’t take a hint.

Still reeling from the death of her best friend, Kay, Billi’s thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity. And these werewolves are like nothing Bilil’s seen before.

They call themselves the Polenitsy – Man Killers. The ancient warrior women of Eastern Europe, supposedly wiped out centuries ago. But now they’re out of hiding and on the hunt for a Spring Child — an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone — precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good.

The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia, and the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr whose suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular.

Let me just get this out of the way: OMG WTF YAY FTW!

Sarwat Chadda’s second book in the Billi SanGreal series is mind-blowingly epic. So epic in fact that I just want to download a list of praising adjectives from a thesaurus and just put all of those in a text and call that my review. Sarwat is a master at mixing lore and handing them to you in a mash up that will literally have you anticipating each sentence. Usually when I am inundated with a mash up of different lore I immediately dislike the book *cough*CharlaineHarris*cough* and am unable to enjoy the work.

In Dark Goddess Billi is faced with life after Kay’s death. She is in a depression and resents being forced into the life of the Templar. On a random patrol she is surprised by a Werewolf and saves a small child from being eaten and that is where the book takes off at a break neck pace to the finish and oh my what a finish.

"Baba Yaga"

In this book we have Billi starting a flirtation with a Romanov Prince, saving a Spring Child from the epic witch Baba Yaga and learning to become the Templar she wants to be. Sometimes books suffer from what we call the Sophomore Slump but Dark Goddess if anything improved the story of Billi and Chadda’s writing was tight. I am a visual reader and a motion picture plays in my head as I am reading and with Dark Goddess at no point did I have to stop and assign the movie playing in my head characteristics.

These books are so well written and fascinating that I know whenever I start one that I will be incapacitated until I can finish. I only hope there will be more in the Billi SanGreal series. I can’t press upon you enough to read these books. If there is one set I am going to be pushing this year it is this.

Billi SanGreal and her battle are important on so many fronts. Not often do we get a YA character that is not white, that the cover hasn’t been white washed, and more than that Billi is a beacon for feminism: she is strong and needs no one to survive. A true to life self rescuing princess.

Have you read the books or are planning to?

Find out how to get copies of Devil’s Kiss and Dark Goddess signed, personalized and shipped to you!

FTC Disclosure: I picked this up in ARC form at a conference.

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8 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    I love these books as well! I’m glad to see that you enjoyed them. I think Dark Goddess is my favorite of the two :) I’ve been booktalking the as soon as they are returned to my LMC :)

  2. Gravatar

    Y’know, I’d overlooked this one because I assumed it was typical UF fare (I coverjudged. Bad!). But seeing you gush over it makes me want to pick it up! (Also–I had no idea this series was YA! Awesome!)

  3. Gravatar

    What high praise. I’ll have to check out this author and series. Definitely!

  4. Gravatar

    Good lord Pam, coming to your blog is like reading my wish list. You are killer on the pocket book. :)

  5. Gravatar

    Hmmm, maybe I will have to move this up in the pile. I enjoyed the first one but wasn’t in love with it. If this one is even better it might be worth trying to squeeze in sooner.

  6. Gravatar

    I really enjoyed Devil’s Kiss but have yet to read Dark Goddess. Glad you enjoyed them both. :) I shall have to move Dark Goddess up the “to acquire and read” list.

  7. Gravatar

    I loved this book too, and I completely agree with you that the sophomore slump didn’t affect this series in the least. If anything, I thought it was better than the first novel in the series.

    I really, really hope that Sarwat Chadda’s publisher decides to go ahead and buy a third book in this series from him. I want to see what develops with Billi and the other characters.

  8. Gravatar

    WOW!!! I accidently read the second one first because I was at the library and it caught my eye. Seeing how awesome this one is…I can’t imagine how amazing number one. Especially since consider I really want to know more about the relationship with Billi and Kay. I’m going to put this book down and get number one so I can fully understand. Sarwat Chadda, you need to write atleast one or two more books for this series!!!!!! <3

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