by Jessica Leake
Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover, 288 pages
November 18th 2014 by Talos
Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London Season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome – or dangerous. Through her late mother’s enchanted journal, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform Arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. The machinations of the fashionably elite are a constant threat, but worse still are those who covet Katherine’s Arcana, seeking the power of her birthright. They could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor, even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood. With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?
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Katherine Sinclair has the power of arcana, magic drawn from the power of the sun. Her mother was a Sylvan, passing the power down to her children. Katherine's arcana is particularly powerful, with the ability to heal. However, with power comes responsibility and in the early 1900's, Katherine must be careful to not be accused of being a witch. At the age of debut, Katherine and her younger sister are sent away from their country estate where they have the freedom to roam and ride horses to the stuffy and rule-filled London season with their Grandmother. Katherine must make her debut amid London society and find a suitor that will not betray her and her gift. Luckily, she has her mother's enchanted journal for guidance which warns her of two suitors, each with their own intentions.
I loved the premise of this book, a girl born with magic fueled by the sun who must be careful with how she practices her magic, or be called a witch. Katherine, or Wren, is a great character. She would rather be racing horses with her brother, has an incredibly quick wit and is compassionate and caring. The descriptions of the London debut season were elegant, with the gowns, carriages and dances. The two men that Katherine must choose between are presented early and each of their intentions become obvious rather quickly. The majority of the book is Katherine vying for the attentions of each man, quickly finding out which one means her harm and then regaining the attentions of the other. These parts dragged a bit for me, however, there were some racier romantic parts that piqued my interest. I would have loved to see the magic and paranormal aspects woven into Katherine's story a bit more, the land of Sylvani was intriguing and I would have loved to see what else could be done with the powers of arcana.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
I’m a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children (two toddlers and a newborn, in fact, so I think you can begin to see why my blog may be a bit neglected) and author of Arcana: A Novel (Skyhorse/Talos, November 4, 2014), my debut historical fantasy with a heavy dose of romance. I have a particular obsession with blending different genres, but almost everything I write has an element of fantasy and romance. I’ve been in love with historical England ever since my first literary crush: Mr. Darcy (I can’t even count the number of times I watched Pride & Prejudice–the A&E version, of course!!) I’m represented by the fabulous Brianne Johnson of Writers House, and I live in Greenville, SC.
Before I was a writer, I worked as a psychotherapist. I spent several years working at a psychiatric hospital in Birmingham, AL, but after my husband graduated as a pharmacist, we moved back to Greenville. I claim Greenville as my hometown now since I spent most of my childhood here, and I’m a proud alumna of St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Winthrop University.
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