I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)
Wow. This is different. I like books that don't easily fit into categories and try different things. You get bored reading the same thing over and over again, and with Fantasy and other genre fiction....that can happen easily. But this book was a nice change.
If Jane Austen wrote fantasy books..I would imagine it would be like this. It is a combination of all the charm and social moors of an Edwardian novel and the magic and mystery of a modern fantasy novel. But it fit so easily together. The book is in three parts. The first part reads like Pride and Prejudice complete with it's very own version of the Bennett sisters (Ivy, Lily and Rose) and a Mr Darcy played by Mr Rafferdy. The second half reads like Jane Eyre with a dour Lord that has many secrets...and poor Ivy alone and scared in a big manor house, and the third part brings it all together. The book weaves two main story lines. One is a central mystery that at the end of the book is left open enough to hint at further books and resolutions to come, and another is a more concrete rebellion against the Crown...but both are tired together.
The Characters were great. They were not cardboard cut out and all seemed more than two dimensional. Ivy was a strong, clever and sensible character. You cheer for her and hope she gets what she wants, and you feel for her when she doesn't or doesn't see the mistakes she is making. Rafferdy is witty and spoiled and frustrating, he had many fault..but he is likable. And Garritt...wow....he fascinated me. His story is so subtle and careful....like he is. He doesn't know who he is or who he wants to be, but the reader gets many hints of what he is hiding even from himself and it is an interesting journey to watch. I hope in the next book his story continues. All three characters come from different places in their rigid society, and each thinks the other is more free...but you can see that all three must live up to standards and are trapped in their own way. All the characters are not perfect. They annoy you and frustrate you and make you angry...but they pull you in and that is a sing of a good and satisfying read.
This book is not perfect..but it was very satisfying.