Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Breath of Frost:

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. 
Recommendation: Yeah, okay, sure. You can read this. Why not? Right. 
"Magic and witches and secret societies and murder."

In an age were corsets are all the rage and women are supposed to be polite and silently fragile. Three cousins, one a lithe tomboy, one a perfectly curvy romantic searching for true-love, and one the belle, the beautiful girl with a sense of self preservation twisted up in love with a guy who is one moment distantly cold and in the next passionately smoldering. 
All threefold these daughters of earls live content and placid lives in London's sparkling aristocratic neighborhood. And all three discover the same thing, the sort of thing that leaves them remarkably stupefied. They are witches. Descendants of a long line of powerful regal witches. Follow these three young debutants as they attempt to blend their new magic with the duties of a proper lady who's trying to land a landed beau. 

The Girl: Emma Charlotte Day:
"'I don't know your rules enough to break them.' But she was feeling decidedly in favor of learning them for the express purpose of demolishing them. Fear, apparently, made her contrary." (Emma says as she stands before the horrendously unmannered magisters of the Order. Whom, by the way seem to be in the business of torturing witches. Can anyway say Salem.) 
The gaul on this girl is marvelous. Given what she's been through and the horridness of being raised but a silent stoic father who is mainly absent from her life, I think the girl manages herself extraordinarily well. You know for a "pampered aristocrat".

The Intrigue:
"It all came crashing back. 
Witchery.
The Order of the Iron Nail. 
Cormac...She was well and truly a prisoner of madmen." (Emma thinks to herself as she awakes in an albeit somewhat luxurious bedroom after having heard her sentence from the magisters.)
The girl barely becomes a witch and wham bam it's off with her head or rather in Emma's case to the river with lead slippers to see if she'll float. 
The poor girl and her cousins are chased by this secret society that somehow manages to micromanage witches. Then are ridiculously accused of (gasp*) murder. A finishing school, mystery gates to hell that periodically open and slam shut, and deer antlers are thrown into the mix so that by the end of this far-too elongated book (one could argue) I honestly was glad for it to be over. All the twists, turns, pivets, and bloody different p-o-v's was driving me bonkers. It's sort of like the author collapsed a dozen different albeit intertwined stories into one bursting at its seams novel. 

Bottom Line:
Although I am sorry to say this, I shall: this book has made me realize there is such a thing as a "too long book." And yes I realize that is the most structured sentence in the world it does manage to get the point across well enough. By about page 270 things had taken a turn for the weird, and not the good weird mind you but the unsettling sort of weird that has a girl wondering 'Why?' Furthermore to my dismay the sense of adventure had died away, rather than fizzling like the slow crawl of a falling action normally does, it simply came to an abrupt disconcerting halt and then in a dozen or so pages the adventure like a rocket shooting into the sky would pick up again and form some sort of semi-ridiculous intrigue.

1 comment:

  1. I really like a lot of Alyxandra Harvey's books, but I've been reading mixed reviews about this one. I think I'll check it out from the library before I buy it. Great review!

    Amber @ Fall Into Books

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