by Alison Goodman
Viking, 2016. 482 pages.
Review written in 2016.
This book is one of my favorite kinds – a Regency novel with magic thrown in.
We’re introduced to Lady Helen Wrexhall, eighteen years old and getting ready for her Royal presentation. Lady Helen is an orphan, and her mother died with the cloud of treason over her name. Helen lives with her aunt and uncle, who want her to curb any impulses to be anything like her mother. Lady Helen has recently noticed herself extra excitable and restless.
Then she meets Lord Carlston, about whom rumors swirl that he killed his wife. Lord Carlston believes that Helen, like her mother, is a Reclaimer – one of eight people in England who is able to fight the thousands of Deceivers who feed on the souls of others.
Lady Helen indeed discovers unusual powers. And when she holds the miniature her mother left her, she is able to see Deceivers. She witnesses the shocking scene of Lord Carlston fighting a Deceiver. He tells about the Dark Days Club – a group of people who work with the Reclaimers to fight the Deceivers and save humankind.
But meanwhile, her aunt and uncle and brother know nothing of this and are intent that Helen should be seeking a husband. They continue with preparations for her Royal presentation and her ball.
The two worlds are at odds and one is very dangerous. Then Helen receives a letter her mother left for her and discovers that she may have a choice as to which world she wishes to remain in.
This novel is clearly just the first of a series – and I definitely want to find out what happens next. Regency plus magic is one of my favorite genres. There’s still romantic tension going on, as well as real peril associated with the activities of Reclaimers. She is a Direct Inheritor from her mother, so it is believed this means a Grand Deceiver will arise, and Helen needs to fight them. It will be very interesting to see how this develops.
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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.
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