Thursday, July 28, 2011
Review: Bewitching Season
Author: Marissa Doyle
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); (April 29, 2008)
Twins Persephone and Penelope Leland are anticipating their first London season with mixed feelings. Pen can’t wait to flirt with handsome young men at parties, but Persy would far rather stay home and continue her magic studies.
When the twins discover that their governess has been kidnapped as part of a dastardly plot to enchant the soon-to-be Queen, they’re determined to find and save them both. Along the way, Persy learns that a good lady’s maid is hard to find, that one should never cast a love spell on anyone after drinking too much brandy punch at a party, that pesky little brothers can sometimes come in handy, and that husband hunting isn’t such an odious task after all, if you can find the right quarry.
Given that my guilty pleasure fluff reading consists of regency romances and cozy mystery novels, it would seem that Marissa Doyle wrote her debut novel just for me. How sweet of her!
Anyway, on a purely superficial level, this book was very fun to read. It had fantasy, romance and mystery, plus twin sisters and a regency setting. It had a stern but loving governess! It had a plot against the queen!
But it wasn't perfect. While I liked both Penelope (Pen) and Persephone (Persy)(ouch. such a pretty name, to such a yucky nickname.) I couldn't help but be frustrated by some truly idiotic moves for a supposedly intelligent girl. She may not be able to go to university, but Persy could easily get a degree in leaping to conclusions. And their detective skills were really, truly, heinous. If it weren't for their amusing and sweet little brother, they would have made a complete mess of basically everything.
So I feel torn about this book. I loved the concept and all the tasty trappings of the London Season - the clothes! the dances! the courting! - but was ultimately frustrated by the plot and characters.
Of course, as soon as I saw there was a sequel I hurried to make sure we had it and plan to snag it off the shelf tonight. So, I bumped it from a 6 to a 7 - clearly the problems didn't detract from my enjoyment too much.