I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My favorite thing in the world is when two amazing genres come together in a book. I love Regency England novels. Anything that takes me back to the world of Jane Austen is a winner in my opinion. Now, if you’re going to add a supernatural element to the story, you’ve just made it the most exciting thing I could ever want to read. I was ecstatic to be approved by NetGalley and the publishers, so here is my review:
Prudence Fairfeather and Josephine Weston may be cousins, but they are as inseparable as sisters. Prudence has left the family home to go to London and make her debut in Society, where she longs for the magic of love. Instead, she finds real magic in the form of her late mother’s belongings. At first, Prudence doesn’t believe that they hold any power. But her ignorance begins to place her in peril, and soon Prudence is fighting just to have control over herself.
Back at home, Josephine is bored with her confined life in the countryside. But that all changes when she encounters rampaging trolls, a special force of soldiers led by a flirtatious officer, and a group of drunk vigilantes. Soon, she has all the adventure she has ever dreamed of. However, life is not all fun and games, and Josephine soon realizes the danger she must face in order to save her loved ones from arms.
One of the things I loved about this novel was the language and style of the writing. As I had mentioned earlier, anything from Regency England is going to get my approval, and the author did a fantastic job of bringing that world to life. I enjoyed the details of life during those times and the struggles of both Prudence and Josephine to act as expected rather than as they desired. I also loved how unique their characters were; they were powerful forces to pay attention to all on their own, but they didn’t clash when put in scenes together. I enjoyed reading parts of the story through letter format, as the girls would communicate to each other that way – it allowed the reader to know exactly what each girl thought about specific things that happened to the other character. Sometimes, it could be a little confusing because I couldn’t tell which letter had arrived to which girl when, but overall the effect was brilliant. The other characters that were introduced were also interesting and unique, which is always a good thing in a novel; no one wants to read a book where all of the characters seem the same.
The plot itself could at times be a little …. slow. I was intrigued both by what was happening with Josephine and by Prudence, which is an amazing feat to accomplish because most of the times, there is one character who seems to lead a more interesting life than the other. However, with that being said, it just seemed like there were little bursts of action happening, followed by a longer stretch of nothing. It would have been nice if there had been a continuous flow of information and activity happening that gradually increased in action and thrill, and led up to the culminating point. For example, Josephine encountered a troll, but the time after that was filled with speculation and other things that didn’t really have anything to do with the supernatural events. Similarly, Prudence was focusing a great deal on finding a suitable husband (which was very interesting to read about!) but then suddenly had a supernatural experience. It was a little jarring for the reader, and really didn’t help with the flow of the story.
The only other thing I wished the author had done was give more of a background into the magical aspects. I’m sure she will do so in the sequel to this novel, but it would have been fantastic to read about how the girls learn more and more about the magical things in their past throughout the story.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this novel, with its historical aspects and its wonderfully-crafted characters. The plot is intriguing, the story is well-written, and I’m hoping that more will be revealed about the fate of Josephine and Prudence in the upcoming sequel!