Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: The Lovegrove Legacy (Book 1)
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover, 496 Pages
ISBN-10: 080273443X (Bloomsbury)
ISBN-13: 978-0802734433 (Bloomsbury)
Reviewed by: Kaitlin
In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their secret family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld. Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies. Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?
Quick & Dirty: In a slightly confusing but beautifully written novel, mystery and romance plays out behind the covers. I thought it was rather enjoyable and had no troubles getting through it.
Opening Sentence: Breaking into a dead woman’s house was easy because she rarely complained.
Emma, recent debutante, at the beginning of the book has little more worries than finding a husband . . . if you don’t count her mother’s going practically mad and the handsome man she can’t seem to ignore knowing secrets he is annoyingly clinging to. But when Emma and her cousins realize they are witches and have been released from a spell, murders start to spring up and Emma is the prime suspect.
I enjoyed the characters in this book. Not only are they all different and unique, but they are described so perfectly that you can picture each in your mind without difficulty. When I think Emma, I think reddish hair and a white debutante dress. Each of them has a familiar also (an animal formed of their magic), that fit their personalities perfectly- except for Penelope. Hers was a spider, which I can’t really imagine her particularity close with. Emma’s being a deer? Sure. An evil warlock’s being a snake? Yup. Penelope and spiders, not so much.
Let’s talk more about the stuff I liked. I had no problem with the writing style in this novel, which I found refreshing because I haven’t heard anything like it before. I also liked the romances: Emma’s, her mother’s, and everyone else’s. Though Penelope’s isn’t gone into much detail, that one was cute as well. Emma and Cormac really do fit well and this particular author is one of those writers that find a way to make you really feel what the character is feeling through just words.
There is also, regrettably, things I didn’t like as much. The top one would be how confused I was at points. I just didn’t get certain things, couldn’t process them as fast as the author expected the reader to before loading them with more explanations. If this was a mystery it didn’t feel much like it. Although it had the typical traits of one (clues, murders, etc.) often I felt that the main plotline was pushed far enough to the side that I forgot about it altogether until it was mentioned again. And for the most part, by then I didn’t remember any little detail I had learned previously that was important in the current scene. I don’t know, sometimes the bigger picture didn’t seem so large with all the little things happening.
Another annoyance: the Order. They’re supposed to be so scary and important, but the main character bypasses them so much it makes them seem weak. I like me an antagonist who seems more powerful. The Sisters, they have serious evil points, on the other hand. Their creepy, morbid looks along with Lark’s sad backstory make for a wild ride.
To sum up, A Breath of Frost was a good read. I would recommend this especially to fans of fantasy or the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Fabulous description and amazing, hilarious characters. Check it out!
Theodora spat on the floor. Mrs. Peabody sighed. “Time for your medicine.” She slid the spoon into Theodora’s mouth before she could move, holding her mouth and nose firmly clasped until she swallowed. Mrs. Peabody patted her hand. “There, puppet. All better.”
“Gold is good, silver’s better.” She drifted off, her head falling forward as the laudanum took effect. “The lion stalks the maiden fair when the bear leaves his lair.” She smiled. “But where the hunter goes, only the serpent knows.”
The Lovegrove Legacy:
1. A Breath of Frost: The Lovegrove Inheritance (January 7, 2014)
FTC Advisory: Walker Children’s/Bloomsbury provided me with a copy of A Breath of Frost. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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