This was my kind of book – historical fiction with a dash of magic. A good blend of different story threads, and a heroine that I liked even when she did silly things. Perfect!
Set just around the time Queen Victoria takes the throne, it features Persephone (Persy) Leland, a shy somewhat awkward young girl who feels a might overshadowed by her identical twin sister, Penelope (Pen). Persy is bookish and would rather be devoting herself to her studies in Magic than entering society. The girls are about to embark on their first Season, and while Pen is looking eagerly forward, Persy feels a bit like she’s being led to her doom. As daughters of a Viscount, both are expected to find suitable husbands, a fact that hangs over Persy’s head like a guillotine blade.
As they arrive in London, the girls discover their beloved governess, Miss Allardyce (Ally), has gone missing. Ally has been kidnapped as part of an evil plot against the young Princess Victoria. The girls, along with their sometimes pesky younger brother, Charles, must now navigate not only the Season and social society, but plots against their heroine. Add to that the handsome Lochinvar, a neighbour who taunted them when they were children but now has Persy’s heart fluttering.
There’s just enough young-love angst, sibling strife, and adventure to satisfy my tastes. I quite appreciated Persy’s bluestocking tendencies, and as someone who is usually at least a little uncomfortable in new social situations I totally identified with her reluctance to enter society. I also really appreciated Charles, who may only be 10 but is the perfect little brother for the story.
I am also QUITE pleased that this is the first of a series and that there are already a few sequels either published or in the works! Always a thrill to discover!
I think I’ll have to give this one a 5 / 5. I feel quite happy with my random bargain-bin find at the bookstore!