I thought I would start the year out right with a review of this fantastic book. Filled with Victorian charm, monsters from the netherworld, and more romantic interests than you can shake your diamond encrusted staff at, it's a great start to a series full of corseted promise.
Henrietta Howel has struggled with a penchant for setting things alight when the passion strikes. But when a government sorcerer comes knocking at the charity school she's been teaching at, it may take all she has to protect herself.
-The story uses a lot of fantasy tropes, but the story is well written enough that you tend not to care.
-The "Chosen One" idea is milked throughout the storyline, but it isn't because it's true, it's because Henrietta is trying to pretend to be the chosen one. It's a great twist.
-There were some confusing traits between magicians, witches, and sorcerers that just didn't make sense. There really needs to be some clarification on that in the next books.
-The ending was amazing. I can usually tell what's about to happen, and for the conclusion of this book I had no clue. Well done Cluess.
-I really enjoyed Howell's friendship (and whatever else) with the boys. I wasn't a huge fan of Rook, for some reason I'm not digging the main character love interests right now. He just wasn't developed enough for me to care, really.
-There is always something really interesting about the dynamic of one female protagonist in a group of boys, especially one that can hold her own. It was very well done and , surprise, not everyone was in love with her.
-I was able to finish this one quickly because it was an enjoyable, sometimes shallow, read. I don't think that will be an issue in the next books though, as I think this was a set up for those to come.
-Overall, for a fantasy ya reader, I think it's definitely worth the read. The boys are charming, the heroine can hold her own, and the monsters might just make you look under your bed at night.
I was given a complimentary copy of the book from blogging for books for an honest review.