A little boy is removed from his family and renamed, forced to live in a monastery with other boys in fear and horror at the secret rites they are submitted to. A scribe, angered by his lowly status, tries to trick his way to power, but finds himself on a long journey carrying a precious and treacherous silver ravens head. And a young girl is drawn unwillingly into the spells, potions, schemes and obsessions of the evil Lord who her village shuns. As their stories weave forward the three are drawn closer together by forces they cannot explain or escape.
I quite enjoyed reading this book. The world and mysteries created were interesting and fairly enjoyable to spend time in, but the action seemed too slow, and the characters not sufficiently fleshed out to sustain my attention any further. So I’m glad to read this one… but despite it being the set up to a whole series, I’m not tempted to embark on the rest of the journey.
I’m sure these days every third book or so follows this simple formula for a title.
Honestly. The Taxidermist’s Daughter. The Time-Traveller’s Wife. The Pirate’s Daughter. The Firework Maker’s Daughter. The Photographer’s Wife. The Gravedigger’s Daughter. The Alchemist’s Daughter.
I find it extremely annoying… and yet still these titles draw me in. I think they work because they make you immediately ask these three questions:
Two time lines run parallel; in 1891 young Leonie Vernier moves to Domaine de la Cade away from Paris and in 2007 Meredith Martin arrives there from America. Both get drawn into mysteries both personal and spiritual as they come up against darkness in people and in the old estate that they explore; an old sepulchre in the grounds hides secrets that will change both of their lives forever.
I’ve also read Winter Ghosts and Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. And I’ve enjoyed the worlds of the books; been drawn to the characters, sucked into the mystery and enjoyed the play between the different timelines. But you know when you keep persisting with something hoping that it will get better? Sadly in each book I was ultimately left hugely disappointed by the ending.