Descendants: Rae Else *Review*

Cover image of Descendants by Rae Else is in the middle of an image of an underground train tunnel. Added text above the cover image says: The Order is hunting El for her power... Can she trust anyone to help her?

Genres: YA Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy | Release Date: 12 April 2017 | Series: The Arete Series | Series Book: #1 | Pages: 277 | Indie Author | Review

“She wouldn’t let the murky realms of the future keep her from her path.”

Rae Else


Descendants by Rae Else has actually been in the world for a few years now, so I’m clearly a bit behind the times! But this fantasy is such a good read, full of betrayals, mythology and magic. Who could resist reading such a book?!

El has lived a sheltered life with her grandmother, always wary of her magic bursting forth around other people. When it’s accidentally let loose, her world immediately changes. Now, the Order wants to use her for her powers and her lineage, but can El trust anyone who hunts her? There is an intensity about this search which promises secrets are about to be revealed… Including Grandma Helena’s. Will El keep her freedom? Could she have the famous Medusa stare? And will a betrayal cause everything to shatter forever?

Cover image of Descendants by Rae Else is to the bottom left on image of a night-time sky and the glowing city lights in the distance, across the water. Added text says: El is no longer safe anywhere, her magic is just too powerful to go unnoticed... What must be sacrificed for freedom?
Descendants is a YA urban fantasy you will want to sink your teeth into if you love Greek mythologies…

Happiness Boost:

Rae makes sure that within Descendants we are given a very likeable main character in El, but without reducing her to a cookie cutter symbol. It’s both a journey of discovery and the consequences of fractured family bonds. I know it’s a lot to put on a young person’s shoulders, but that’s why I love it! It isn’t only adults who have to deal with fraught situations in the real world, so why shouldn’t El be thrown a curveball or two?

A new magic system isn’t always easy to explain. But Rae has given depth to the Order and arete (magic) system, without overloading the reader. With the added references to Greek mythology, I was hooked! You know when the words Medusa, hydra and Olympia make an appearance, you’re in for a treat. There’s also a lot of backstabbing (figuratively speaking), which I found very intriguing. It also made me wonder if anyone actually cared about El’s wellbeing, but that’s another story!

There are *big* bombshell moments. I should have been prepared for them, as I’ve long loved Rae’s other series (The Dark Between) and she gives us plenty in those books. But two moments really, really shocked me in Descendants. And this is only book one of the trilogy! Yes, give me more mic drop moments. I’m here for all of it!


I did hang my head in frustration at one point, when El did something rather foolish. But it’s probably true to her age, so it’s clearly a sign of my own when I got frustrated with her!

Final Thoughts:

Descendants by Rae Else is a captivating YA urban fantasy of mythology, magic and the price of secrets. I rushed through most of this book in one night, because I clearly have no self control when it comes to Rae’s writing! At the end El is left in a rather precarious position, so I’m really glad I have the other books in this series ready and waiting for me. Like the Medusa’s stare, Descendants held me in place. But unlike her victims, I didn’t mind a bit! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can order Descendants via these links:

Amazon | Booktopia | Fishpond

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