Short Synopsis (Goodreads): In this enchanting debut novel, Galen Beckett weaves a dazzling spell of adventure and suspense, evoking a world of high magick and genteel society—a world where one young woman discovers that her modest life is far more extraordinary than she ever imagined.
Of the three Lockwell sisters—romantic Lily, prophetic Rose, and studious Ivy—all agree that it’s the eldest, the book-loving Ivy, who has held the family together ever since their father’s retreat into his silent vigil in the library upstairs. Everyone blames Mr. Lockwell’s malady on his magickal studies, but Ivy alone still believes—both in magic and in its power to bring her father back.
But there are others in the world who believe in magick as well. Over the years, Ivy has glimpsed them—the strangers in black topcoats and hats who appear at the door, strangers of whom their mother will never speak. Ivy once thought them secret benefactors, but now she’s not so certain.
After tragedy strikes, Ivy takes a job with the reclusive Mr. Quent in a desperate effort to preserve her family. It’s only then that she discovers the fate she shares with a jaded young nobleman named Dashton Rafferdy, his ambitious friend Eldyn Garritt, and a secret society of highwaymen, revolutionaries, illusionists, and spies who populate the island nation of Altania.
My DNF Review: I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. It has such a cool premise and it sounded like a Jane Austen book but with magic. Yeah, didn't happen.
I was intrigued enough at first, and while there were only slight references to magic in the beginning, not a whole lot was happening. Granted, it's a pretty thick book and you have to give time for world building, etc. But really, I got in until about page 333 and still, while mentioned just a little bit more, the magic didn't feel like enough of a force for me. And by then, other things were starting to bug me.
The first half of the book we see through the eyes of three people. I was ok with that. While two of them I thought pertained more to the actual storyline, the other I liked well enough to put up with it for the most part and keep going. Having expected to read a Jane Austen like piece I wasn't disappointed in the first half. There are polite conversations and developments of feelings and it was all heading in a good direction.
THEN randomly it changes to first person and the story line is WAY too much like Jane Eyre (I mean really, we had to have her be a governess for some brooding mans wards?) and the character that had seemed very strong and sensible in the first half becomes a complete ninny! It was extremely frustrating for me. I could handle the change in point of view, but really, she showed no sense whatsoever! It was unbelievable! I just could not fathom how slow she was on catching on to the glaring clues left to her, or then how she made these completely random leaps onto other things, and then magic is starting to play a bigger role but it's too big now and.....it just wasn't making any type of logical sense. Really, I'm not even that much a logical girl, I'm ruled as much by emotion and misinformation as the next person, but I just couldn't handle it anymore. And I gave it a good shot. 333 pages is practically a book all by itself.
Will I come back to this one? Possibly.....but probably not. This seems to be the first in a trilogy so maybe things get better. But really, the important bits weren't explained hardly at all and other things were given far too much detail. I wanted to like it, I really did, and it had a base story that really could have been made into something, but it got lost somehow and got to be too random for me.