Book Review: As I Descended by Robin Talley

Book Review: As I Descended by Robin Talley

As I Descended by Robin Talley is totally mind-blowing. Since it is based off of Macbeth, I really should have seen everything coming, but Robin Talley still managed to surprise me. There is so much diversity in As I Descended, as well, and a main character who is in between a hero and a villain. This is definitely a must-read!

Book Review: As I Descended by Robin TalleyTitle: As I Descended
Author: Robin Talley
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Something wicked this way comes.”

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.


❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Book Review: As I descended by Robin Talley

As I Descended is a Macbeth retelling, which I don’t believe I’ve read before. Typically, when Shakespeare retellings are written, the story is based on Romeo and Juliet. I could definitely see the similarities between Macbeth and As I Descended, which was really satisfying. Although I am not much of a paranormal fan, I found myself enjoying this story. Basically, there are these spirits that the main character can sense, and because of them, some horrible things occur. It’s hard to describe the plot without spoiling, but believe me, this is not a book to be missed.

❀ Lots of Diversity

There is so much diversity in As I Descended! There are two LGBT couples, Mexican characters, and a character with a disability. I really enjoyed how realistic the romance is between Maria and Lily. Not every couple is comfortable with coming out right away, and Maria and Lily decide to wait. I loved the way their relationship is portrayed and appreciated how believable it is.

❀ Maria is a Complex Character

Maria is not the most likeable of characters, yet I still enjoyed her character, if that makes sense. She is kind of a villain, but doesn’t really intend to be one. At the beginning of the book, Maria is focused and determined to be the best at everything, and she’ll do whatever it takes. She ends up going too far, and her personality totally changes. Maria becomes frightening, but I couldn’t stop reading. She is such a complex character that isn’t quite a villain, but not a hero either.

❀ Shakespeare-inspired

As I Descended by Robin Talley is a Shakespeare-inspired story with so much diversity. The main character is interesting as she doesn’t have the best personality, but is still likeable. I would definitely recommend this fantasy book to everyone!

Book Quotes: As I Descended by Robin Talley

“Maria was the only one in their class who looked at Lily like she saw a girl who happened to be holding crutches. Not a pair of crutches that happened to be holding up a girl.”

About Robin Talley

Robin Talley

I live in Washington, D.C., with my wife, our baby daughter, an antisocial cat and a goofy hound dog. Whenever the baby's sleeping, I'm probably busy writing young adult fiction about queer characters, reading books, and having in-depth conversations with friends and family about things like whether Jasmine's character motivation was sufficiently established in Aladdin.

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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, novice New Yorker, & professional bibliophile.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: As I Descended by Robin Talley

  1. musingsofanoverthinkerblog says:

    It’s always nice when a retelling manages to take you by surprise. As a rule I tend to stay away from retellings that are not fairytale retellings because I tend to not be able to enjoy them. I still don’t think I’ll be reading this one, but it sounds like an amazing read. Great review! 🙂

  2. Anne C says:

    Sounds like a realistic story but with magic and fantasy. I like that it has a lot of diverse characters. Would love to read this soon!

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