A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare in this spellbinding fantasy
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.
I really enjoyed this alternative historical PNR. Yes, I invented a new genre just for this book. ;) The world in which this book resides is very different. One, I have to admit, I didn't quite buy. Racism is not a part of the world and the village is full of ethnic diversity. However, being sexist and homophobia is rampant. I just don't buy that one hate is eradicated while others exist. It just doesn't work that way. However, despite that, I have to admit this world built on contradiction also fascinated me. Oh yea.. I can see plenty of contradictions exist in a world where few have power over many. True, that does happen, and that is why this world still fascinated me.
The main character, Cate, was a strong child. I have to admit that I didn't always like Cate. I loved her spirit and the fact that she doesn't want to live in any sort of cage. I also admired the way she took responsibility for her sister's safety. However, there were times when she would act childish and throw tantrums. Granted they were inner tantrums but childish nonetheless. I would also have to stop and think that she is only 16. She isn't an adult but had to take on adult responsibilities. So, quite honestly even though I didn't always like her attitude, I also thought it appropriate as well.
The one character I did love was the youngest sister, Tess. We don't get a whole lot of her, but I really loved how she could read people and how big her heart was. She would be a little sis I would protect fiercely as well. She was also precocious. I can't wait to read more about her in the coming books.
As for the romance. Well, there is a bit of a love triangle and honestly both boys were perfect for her in different ways. There was a clear winner from the beginning but I have to say, I wanted to know more about Paul and who he really was. It just seemed that possible depths to his character was missing. Perhaps those will come out more as the series goes on.
Now I do have a warning. The ending. I was NOT happy with this ending (and no I'm not even going to hint about what happens). I read it late at night and NOW I have to sleep? I wanted to kick some character arse. I wanted to throw the book out the window. I wanted my HEA. I also was left with so many questions I wanted to cry. However, after saying that... I want that next book! I want to know what will happen! Will someone please ask Jessica to put me out of my misery and tell me? ;)
I give this book 3 stars. All I have left to say is gimmie the next book and make it an HEA.. PWEESE! ;)
I received this book though the Library Thing Early Reviewer program and no compensation for my review was given.