Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Breath of Frost (Lovegrove Legacy #1) by Alyxandra Harvey

Series: Lovegrove Legacy #1
496p.
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publishing: 1/7/14
source: NetGalley and publisher for review
In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld. Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies. Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed… or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?
My thoughts:
This is the story of 3 cousins who come into their witching powers when a binding spell is broken. They didn't even know that magic or witches even existed. They are all suddenly thrown into a unknown world. It is also the story of Emma in particular. She is the reason the powers have been bind, but not why. It is Emma's exploration of who she is and who she is to become is the focus of this edition.

I have to say that while I loved the premise of this story, I was frustrated a bit with the beginning. Granted, our knowledge of this world came with what Emma learned. However, some of the adventure was purposely muddled and that is what frustrated me. Emma and her cousins were warned about the Keepers and those that uphold magical law, but not why. In fact, they seem like they may be the "good guys" even if they are a bit too strict and set in their ways. I get that any entity that does not listen may not be trusted, but it seems as if "the Order" was all powerful and yet at the same time completely weak. It just wasn't clear from my perspective. However, once Emma actually started "working" with the Order in a finishing school designed to help her learn her powers, it was a bit less frustrating. In this way, the Order seemed to be more in the background. However, in the end when the Order became more dominant in the story it became a bit more muddled once again.

The main and secondary characters in this book did shine, however. It was the reason that kept me going and kept my interest. Emma's character is interesting and I do hope they keep her as a focus for a few more series books. I also enjoyed Daphne, Emma's nemesis. She wasn't one dimensional as some of these characters can be made and so I would also love to dive more into her character as the books go on. There is also potential with Moira and "outlaw" witch who is more like a street urchin with power. Yes, several interesting characters in this book.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I recommend it for the characters and I really can't wait to see if those secondary characters get even more fleshed out.

23 comments:

  1. I have missed this one, but...hm yes interesting but still not sure

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  2. I love really well written and deep characters, so despite a few flaws with this, I'm curious. I'll be looking out for your thoughts on the sequel before adding this directly to my TBR, I think. Great review, Melissa!

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    1. I do want to read the sequel. I do like the characters.

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  3. It's intriguing, I love the cover and I'm intrigued with the synopsis and your review. I haven't read any books by this author but I keep hearing about her. should try!

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    1. Oh I hope you read it. Would like to know what you think!

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  4. I do hate when the world gets muddled and the purpose is not clear! At least there's lots of potential and maybe in the next book things will get clearer!

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  5. As Ann would say, for me, character is king, so the fact that all the character in this one are so well done certainly raises my expectations, despite the faulty beginning.
    Lovely review, Mel.

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    1. Oh I can see that. I do enjoy Ann's characters. Also her world building. :D

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  6. I've been meaning to pick something up by this author for quite some time now. Despite the few flaws which distracted you a bit, you did seem to overall enjoy it. I'm guess that it's because it's the first book and the author is still laying down the groundwork for the series. I think I'll wait for book 2 to come out before starting this series. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Melissa!

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  7. There's definitely a good kind of confusion and a frustrating kind of confusion in books, and this one clearly has the frustrating kind which is a shame. I'm glad the characters are such a highlight though, I can overlook a lot of flaws if there are strong characters:) Fantastic review Melissa!

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    1. I'm the same way. I think that is why I did end up enjoying it. The characters.

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  8. Hmmm, this Order sounds like it would confuse and maybe even frustrate me. I like Alyxandra Harvey, and she does write wonderful characters, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed them in this book, but I'm wondering if I should give this series a bit more time to develop before I commit to reading it. Thank you for your honest review! :-)

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  9. Sounds like a nice premise. I do like witches, but I haven't read that many books with them. that's great you really enjoyed the characters. Well-rounded characters is always a plus for me. Hope things get even more clearer in the next book.

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    1. I know... characters seem to make or break a book for me as well.

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  10. I can probably forgive the flaws in exchange for good solid characters. I do like a good witch book as well.

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  11. I love witch books and I love Alyxandra Harvey so I'm definitely wanting to read this. I'm glad you mostly enjoyed it!

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  12. Despite the muddled world building I like how strong the characters sound in this. I need to read 3 witchy books for 2014 challenge, so I may add this. Lovely review Melissa and happy hump DAY!

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  13. I love this author so I think I can enjoy the book. The premise about witches intrigues me. Nice review.

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  14. Nice review Melissa, thank you. It sure sounds interesting.

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