The Shadow Behind the Stars

The Shadow Behind the Stars
Age Range
Release Date
September 01, 2015

A girl’s dark destiny could cause the unraveling of the world in this spellbinding novel from the author of A Creature of Moonlight, which Kirkus Reviews called “cumulatively stunning” in a starred review. Heed this warning, mortal: stay far away from the three sister Fates. For if they come to love you, they might bring about the end of the world… Chloe is the youngest. Hers are the fingers that choose the wool, that shape the thread, that begin it. The sun smiles upon her. Men love her without knowing who she is. She has lived forever and will live forever more. She and her sisters have been on their isolated Greek island for centuries, longer than any mortal can remember. They spin, measure, and slice the countless golden threads of human life. They are the three Fates, and they have stayed separate for good reason: it is dangerous for them to become involved with the humans whose lives they shape. So when a beautiful girl named Aglaia shows up on their doorstep, Chloe tries to make sure her sisters don’t become attached. But in seeking to protect them, Chloe discovers the dark power of Aglaia’s destiny. As her path unwinds, the three Fates find themselves pulled inextricably along—toward mortal pain, and mortal love, and a fate that could unravel the world.

Editor review

1 review
A sure hit with readers who love Greek Mythology
Overall rating
Writing Style
The Shadow Behind the Stars features the three fates of Greek mythology. On a desolate island the sisters spin, measure, and cut, shaping the lives of humans they were sure to never meet. Until Aglaia appears on their doorstep and forces them to once again engage with the human world. While many books will feature encounters with the fates, this is the first time I have read one where they are the main characters. I loved the concept and the humanization of such epic characters. With only a handful of details written about the sisters in Greek mythology, it allows a wealth of opportunity to expand their story and imagine their world. Hahn capitalizes on this in the best way possible, creating characters that are interesting and intricate with thousands of years of experience to motivate their actions.

As with her previous book, A Creature of Moonlight, Hahn's writing is beautiful and haunting. She keeps true to the spirit of the old Greek tales and also makes a nod to Shakespeare with the inevitability of death that features so prominently in Macbeth. However, The Shadow Behind the Stars is not a particularly fast paced novel and does require a patient reader who can appreciate the beauty of the writing and forgive the sometimes slow crawl of the plot.
I loved this book almost all the way through, but it did take a downturn in the ending. After the novel was over, nothing really seemed to have changed for the characters. I don't think life after the story would have been all that different for the sisters if Aglaia had never shown up in the first place. As such, I'm not sure what the point of the entire adventure was.

Bottom Line: The Shadow Behind the Stars is beautifully written and, despite some pacing and plot issues, will surely be a hit with readers who love Greek Mythology.
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