Author: Kiersten White
Release date: September 9, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First off, the cover is what got me to pick up the book. It created the sense of mystery that plays throughout the story. Then I read the first line, which happens to be a letter the main character, Jessamin, is writing to her mother which begins, “Dear Mama, I am most certainly not dead. Thank you for your tender concern.” Clearly Jessamin has spunk and humor...and perhaps a reason for not writing her mother frequently? And so I was hooked.
This is a story that will pull you in and wreak havoc with your emotions because of how engaging the characters are. I love Jessamin, who has come to the shadowed, rainy country of Albion for her own reasons. The problem is that people from her country, Melei--a sunny world--are seen as inferior by the people of Albion. That means that there are many layers to Jessamin’s story: her connection to her father, the wealth at school versus her poverty, the people she meets and befriends, and the evil that finds her. Soon, Jessamin is embroiled in a political, magical world that she had no idea existed.
Second, you will love Lord Ackerly, Finn, who is from the Hallin magical line and who attracts Jessamin with his bright hair which stands out in the dull world of Albion and reminds her of the sun in her home country. And here begins a love-hate relationship, but do not fear, the romantic tension is wonderfully engaging.
Finally, our villain, Lord Downpike. Hate him! He is from the Cromberg magical line and is a man obsessed with power. Some of the things he does turns my stomach. The anxiety and tension he brought to the story nearly killed me. You will hate him, but strangely love him as a complex and perfectly constructed villain.
There are also several other characters you will enjoy, like Sir Bird and Eleanor. Ultimately, this story has a delicious plot filled with captivating characters who will tie you in knots and give you sleepless nights. I know you’ll love it!!