Lucy Derrick is a young woman of good breeding and poor finances. After the death of her beloved father, she is forced to maintain a shabby dignity as the unwanted boarder of her tyrannical uncle, fending off marriage to a local mill owner. But just as she is on the cusp of accepting a life of misery, events take a stunning turn when a handsome stranger—the poet and notorious rake Lord Byron—arrives at her house, stricken by what seems to be a curse, and with a cryptic message for Lucy. Suddenly her unfortunate circumstances are transformed in ways at once astonishing and seemingly impossible.
With the world undergoing an industrial transformation, and with England on the cusp of revolution, Lucy is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy in which her life, and her country’s future, are in the balance. Inexplicably finding herself at the center of cataclysmic events, Lucy is awakened to a world once unknown to her: where magic and mortals collide, and the forces of ancient nature and modern progress are at war for the soul of England . . . and the world. The key to victory may be connected to a cryptic volume whose powers of enchantment are unbounded. Now, challenged by ruthless enemies with ancient powers at their command, Lucy must harness newfound mystical skills to prevent catastrophe and preserve humanity’s future. And enthralled by two exceptional men with designs on her heart, she must master her own desires to claim the destiny she deserves.
The Twelfth Enchantmentis the most captivating work to date of a master literary conjurer.
My take: This is a cross between any Jane Austen book and The Iron Daughter along with something else altogether. I really had no idea what to expect with this book but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I kept having to check to make sure the author was a man. He wrote remarkably well from the point of view of a woman trying to obey the laws of propriety while on a quest to discover her true nature.
Also historical fiction in nature, the story introduces us to the rascally and rakish Lord Byron who, according to many fiction books, tended to be one of the most unique historical characters to come out of England along with King Henry VIII. Actually, Lord Byron surpasses Henry's intrigue. Also intriguing is the way the author threaded the story with different forms of magic and redefining creatures that are not, by any means, playful folk that frolic in the woods.
Like Jane Eyre and novels by Jane Austen, Lucy, the protagonist, is a rather tragic figure destined to a marriage of convenience rather than love as she is without means but also without a stellar reputation and carrying baggage. Living with a distant uncle, Lucy is at the mercy of his whims as well as his woman servant who is quite detestable. Lord Byron enters the picture and the intrigue begins.
Character development is slow but steady. Lucy is the average downtrodden English maiden possessing attractive features but nothing extraordinary. Her transformation of confidence is believable as she discovers more about herself and what she can do. Mary is a very interesting character and Mr. Morrison becomes endearing. Mrs. Quince and Harriette are always detestable as are Buckles and Olsen. Byron is everything you would expect from a self-centered Lord in the nineteenth century. He just loves himself.
The story is original and unexpected. It has some historical value, has fantasy, love interest and Chick Lit. If I try to explain it, I might ruin the effect. But I really liked it.
Clean read. Except for the innuendo of Lord Byron's character.
About David Liss:
David Liss is the author of The Whiskey Rebels, The Ethical Assassin, A Spectacle of Corruption, The Coffee Trader, andA Conspiracy of Paper. He is also the recipient of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and children.
In accordance with the new FTC guidlines concerning blogging endorsements, I would like all of my Amusing Reviews readers to know that all of the books reviewed on the site I have either purchased, recieved on tour, or recieved from the publisher with no form of monetary compensation unless otherwise specified.
However, I am an Amazon.com affiliate, and so I will receive a tiny dividend of any book purchased through my Amazon links.
In accordance with new FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review on my site are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. I am in no way compensated for any reviews on my site.