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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 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...

304 pages, Hardcover

First published September 19, 2019

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About the author

Kiran Millwood Hargrave

25 books1,850 followers
Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an award winning poet, playwright, and novelist.

Her books include the bestselling winner of the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017 The Girl of Ink & Stars, and Costa Book Awards- and Blue Peter Awards-shortlisted The Island at the End of Everything, and The Way Past Winter, Blackwell's Children's Book of the Year 2018. A Secret of Birds & Bone, her fourth middle grade title, was published in 2020. Julia and the Shark, in collaboration with her husband, artist Tom de Freston, was Indie Book of the Month, Scottish Booktrust Book of the Month, and has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2021.

Her debut YA novel The Deathless Girls was published in 2019, and was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize, and long listed for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. Her first book for adults, The Mercies, debuted as The Times number 1 bestseller, and at number 5 in the Sunday Times Bestseller Charts. Writing for the New York Times Book Review, Emily Barton called it 'among the best novels I've read in years', and it won a Betty Trask Award.

She is represented by Hellie Ogden (UK) and Kirby Kim (US) at Janklow & Nesbit. Kiran lives in Oxford with her husband and their cats, Luna and Marly.

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5 stars
966 (15%)
4 stars
2,124 (34%)
3 stars
2,163 (35%)
2 stars
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1 star
147 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,245 reviews
Profile Image for Sara.
1,037 reviews348 followers
October 28, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Trish.
1,848 reviews3,363 followers
February 24, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Lauren.
139 reviews26 followers
September 10, 2019
"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.
walk out
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.
glee wtf

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.
krabs mad
*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.
harry mic drop

--->To be released mid September, 2019.
I received an ARC through work. <---
Profile Image for Emma.
2,385 reviews810 followers
November 11, 2019
‘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.
Profile Image for christina.
747 reviews
November 8, 2019
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

Profile Image for charlotte,.
3,001 reviews796 followers
February 6, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Sian.
13 reviews31 followers
August 14, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Lunabookaddict.
320 reviews579 followers
August 16, 2019
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

description

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
Profile Image for greta.
192 reviews206 followers
April 11, 2021
it was a good read. debut ya novel which wasn't my favorite, but not one to dnf either, i guess. going into it, i feel like i expected something else. it is a Dracula retelling, dark and mysterious, but not in a way that would make me remember this book.
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however, it is a book that has beautiful descriptions about nature and animals, but i found myself bored to DEATH while reading it. the end of the book quite saved the whole story tbh. this is a book that i'll forget really quick lmao
it does include grief, torture, love, magic & all that type of stuff but only the ending of it is worth reading tbh. it's this book that has a sad ending, not a happy one, so that's a change.
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i liked Kizzy as a character tbh, she was ferocious and stubborn & yk characters like that are my weakness ;) we stan a bad bitch in books!! i also loved the relationship between Lil and Mira, but other than these characters - meh. also, gotta mention that the relationship between the twins and their mom was so fucking heart warming!! made me miss my mum since she's back in Lithuania ugh :/
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i do recommend reading this book, but i think people who like poetry, nature & just stories that go with the flow (and a bit of darkness) would like this better. i, on the other hand, am a sucker for action & drama, so it ended being a quite a boring book 😂 xx
Profile Image for TheCrazyFanvergent.
102 reviews70 followers
April 24, 2022
3,5
SONO SCIOCCATA
e l'ho letto come file, chissà come dev'essere girare la pagina e ritrovarsi l'epilogo

La storia, raccontata da Lil, la protagonista, che si rivolge direttamente al lettore, è un retelling che narra le vicende delle mogli di Dracula prima di diventare tali: vediamo come vivevano prima nel loro "villaggio" e come da questo sono state strappate via per compiacere il Drago, in una storia di crescita personale fatta di dolore, speranze e un ultimo grande sacrificio, compiuto per salvare le persone care.

Devo ammettere che il ritmo della narrazione per la prima parte del romanzo mi aveva un fatto storcere il naso: nonostante i frequenti flashback della protagonista - che già dal capitolo due si ritrova catturata - coi quali raccontava com'era la vita nel suo villaggio, i riti che facevano e nei quali credevano, storie e leggende e modi di vivere, quasi non riuscivo a sopportare come sembrasse tutto troppo veloce.
Non che non mi stessi godendo la lettura, ma le disgrazie che accadevano alle protagoniste si susseguivano senza lasciare un attimo di "pausa" tra una cosa e l'altra, per cui ci si sentiva davvero troppo ingolfati da tutte le cose negative che accadevano da sembrare quasi surreale (anche se a lungo andare suppongo fosse una cosa voluta dall'autrice, la situazione da schiave È pesante e di sicuro non lascia tempo libero per altro).

Ad un certo punto della vicenda però, lo stile narrativo cambia del tutto, perché cambiano ulteriormente, e per il peggio, le vicende delle protagoniste, Lil e Kizzy.
Le due gemelle, pur di salvare coloro che amano e tornare a stare insieme, si ritrovano a compiere scelte e sacrifici che mai, nella loro vita di prima, si sarebbero immaginate, tenendo conto di come le loro visioni del mondo e i loro obiettivi siano cambiati nel corso della vicenda, sia interiormente che, sfortunatamente, a causa delle pressioni e manipolazioni esercitate da altre.
Cambiamenti che però, nonostante siano di nuovo insieme, le portano ad allontanarsi per le loro differenze ancora di più di quanto in realtà non lo fossero sin dall'inizio- il carattere determinato di Kizzy e l'istinto di sopravvivenza di Lil, ora portati quasi all'eccesso, continuano a scontrarsi e a farle scontrare, portandosi dietro un retrogusto di scontentezza che non svanirà mai

Il romance (queer) all'interno del romanzo era dolce e piacevole, MA anche qui l'inizio, a mio avviso, un po' troppo frettoloso, non si capisce cos'è che l'abbia fatto scattare davvero, e mi è inoltre dispiaciuto non aver avuto modo di vedere com'è nato il sentimento da parte anche dell'altra ragazza (non dico il nome per evitare eventuali spoiler)
Nonostante sia stato di breve durata, però, il rapporto tra le due e l'amore che Lil prova per lei diventa uno degli aspetti principali che la aiutano a maturare e diventare più coraggiosa, e spingerla, verso la fine, a compiere la scelta ultima e più importante della sua vita, diventando uno dei pochi, flebili ricordi ancora allegri della sua vita di prima

Per la prosa non posso dirle niente, c'erano certi passaggi e pensieri della protagonista che mi sono piaciuti da morire e rendevano bene ciò che lei pensava e/o come viveva determinate cose. Questa la supera a pieni voti.

Avevo iniziato questo libro con il sentore che mi sarebbe piaciuto, e nonostante, come detto prima, qualche intoppo e scelta stilistica non condivisa a pieno (e una/due cose che mi è dispiaciuto non siano state riprese e approfondite in seguito nel romanzo), si è rivelato una pressoché bella e a tratti inaspettata lettura
Però è comunque una storia abbastanza semplice, quindi non createvi altissime aspettative, come detto prima diverse cose sono fatte abbastanza superficialmente e/o improvvisamente. Potrà colpirvi, interessarvi e intrattenervi, ma dubito sarà la storia che vi cambierà la vita
Profile Image for Catherine.
412 reviews136 followers
October 29, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Brenda Waworga.
571 reviews652 followers
February 29, 2020
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
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,844 followers
February 23, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Beatrice in Bookland.
438 reviews845 followers
November 28, 2019
"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
Profile Image for Lydia Hephzibah.
837 reviews43 followers
September 19, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Beth.
657 reviews569 followers
November 4, 2019
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!
August 22, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Janet Brown.
159 reviews8 followers
April 3, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard.
1,143 reviews243 followers
October 6, 2020
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
Profile Image for Bitchin' Reads.
460 reviews120 followers
October 18, 2019
My heart sings for this book. Love, love, love. Gothic literature always hits me in all the right places.
Profile Image for MariaWitBook.
254 reviews18 followers
November 13, 2019
Nope! Maybe because I’m Romanian, this book didn’t work for me. Sorry. Nevertheless beautiful looking book.
Profile Image for nellherself .
39 reviews3 followers
May 8, 2021
If you listen closely, you will hear my heart as it shatters into a million pieces.
Profile Image for Ellie.
571 reviews2,063 followers
December 2, 2019
note to self: just because this has a quote from one of your favourite books as an epigraph does not mean it will be similarly incredible.

I didn't mind The Deathless Girls. I confess I had hoped for a bit more from it, but it was good enough. The pacing was tight, so I read most of it within a few hours, but I also found it lacked a certain depth which would've made it truly good. It just needed to be a bit . . . longer maybe? I was surprised when the heroine only headed to Dracul's castle in the final one hundred pages, when I expected her to arrive there much sooner and had the preconceived belief that a majority of the story was going to be placed there.

However, a positive: I was a big fan of Lil and Mira. Their romance was sweet, although the ending did surprise me - there are three brides of Dracula, but Mira did not end up as the third. Before I read the book (and for a majority of the book), I believed she would be.

Basically, I had a lot of preconceptions about what this book would be about and not a lot of them turned out to be true/different to what I expected, lol. This is my first Kiran Millwood Hargrave book though, and I will be continuing on with her work - she's pretty big in the UK and I'm glad I've finally read something of her work.

TL;DR: The Deathless Girls gives an intriguing backstory to the brides of Dracula. A brief read, it works well enough but might've worked even better with just a few more chapters added at the end to make a slightly more developed ending.

> 3.8 stars
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