It’s time for another short story in the House of Night series to give terrible back story no-one asked for and manage to make already terrible things worse
Now, on the plus side this book does have a very haunting depiction of abuse and sexual assault and rape within the family, especially back in such an utterly patriarchal era where women are constantly abused and demeaned as hysterical and nonsensical and not to be trusted to look after themselves. Emily, who will become Neferet, is utterly helpless and with very few avenues to actually escape.
That includes being ruthless and hurting people she considers friends because she just has so few avenues that she has to take any to actually free herself and protect herself.
Of course, that desperation is kind of undermined by the fact that Emily is not exactly a nice person anyway. I don’t entirely disagree with this, the idea that she would have been a saint before becoming Neferet would be ridiculous. At the same time she is a woman of her time – and is unlikely to care over much about the poor she would consider beneath her beyond a kind of demeaning pity (of course, she doesn’t even manage that). To the surprise of no-one, this book fails to draw the line between depicting bigotry and challenging bigotry, like so many other books