I was supposed to get this one done before June 21st, for the Once Upon a Time challenge, but I didn’t, thanks to the library. But, better late than never, right?
This book, by Juliet Marillier, has gotten mixed reviews across the blogosphere. Some people love it. Some people not so much. I think I fall in the not-so-much category.
It’s not that the book was bad. In fact, it was a quick read. (For plot summaries, you can check out Becky’s and/or Erin’s reviews.) But, for me, it just didn’t sit well. For one, it just seemed too long. Even though it went quickly, I kept checking to see how much more left to go. Usually not a good sign. For two, I have little patience for “true love”. Especially when characters waste away because of it. I’m not terribly romantic (as my hubby often remarks), and I don’t have much tolerance for the heartbreak and heartsickness of true love. So when Tati, the oldest sister, lay dying because she couldn’t see her true love — an almost-Night Person (I totally missed that there were vampires in this book. Vampires are the in thing, aren’t they?) — I just gritted my teeth and plowed through. Please. Girls wasting away because they can’t be with someone they love? Not my idea of a good time. (Maybe having four girls has warped my sense of romance. I wouldn’t want them to think this was an acceptable way of handling disappointment or longing. Eating cake, however….)
And, I have to admit, I didn’t really care for the main character, Jena. I liked her a bit — she was feisty and quite capable, but she was just so practical. So sensible. The opposite of Tati. Which isn’t bad. (Ah! I’ve hit upon it here: Tati and Jena were opposites, both with their loves but not knowing how best to obtain that.) But she had to have EVERYTHING spelled out to her before she was able to act. It seemed for someone as capable as Jena, she ought to be able to do something without waffling about everything. Especially the important things.
The only thing I really enjoyed was loathing Cezar. He was a good villain — one of those that just give you the creeps. Not evil because he’s a monster, but because he’s a man who went wrong. (He didn’t get a good end, though; he just kind of petered out.)
The one redeeming factor is the absolutely beautiful cover. But then, we’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, are we?