OUR DIVINE MISCHIEF, by Hanna Howard, Blink, Oct. 17, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
The destinies of girl on the brink of womanhood, a young man who is an outcast and a wish-granting dog are intertwined in Our Divine Mischief, by Hannah Howard.
The Goddess Trial is designed to push young people to their edge and mark their coming of age, but Áila LacInis is ready for whatever it brings. She sets sail from her small fishing village to the island of the goddess Yslet, fully expecting a divine encounter, but what she finds is … nothing at all. The goddess is completely absent, and the only thing on the island is a dirty, mangy dog. Suddenly, everything Áila has ever known and believed is upended and her future becomes shrouded in uncertainty.
Hew already completed the Goddess Trial and received the designation of Unblessed. He is an outcast in the village, until he is tasked with assisting Áila through a series of Ordeals the town elders designed to compensate for her failed Trial. For the first time, he has hope he can make something of his life.
Orail isn’t quite sure who or what she is. She remembers little before Áila’s arrival on the island, and now all she knows is that she’ll never leave Áila’s side. But as she begins to realize and remember, she discovers powers—and an identity—she never could have imagined. —Synopsis provided by Blink
Our Divine Mischief is a YA fantasy adventure fantasy inspired by Scottish history and mythology.
The story is told from three perspectives — Áila, Hew and the dog Orail. Áila and Hew’s narratives are pretty straight forward. Orail’s however comes to life through verse. As Orail grows, so does her verse. It’s an interesting and effective way to show progression, and it helps move the story forward.
Because Our Divine Mischief is inspired by Scottish folklore, it feels authentic. In Hanna Howard’s world, talking to a goddess and a whish-granting dog make sense. Howard has created a rich world that is easy to immerse yourself in. It takes a few chapters for things to really get moving, so stick with it. You will be rewarded.
Our Divine Mischief is a compelling read that will make you wish for more from this world.
Copyright © 2023 Cracking the Cover. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.