At last! It took me three agonizingly long days to get a chance to read the new series I picked up. I had to finish another book first - grrr.
This sadly wasn't what I expected, though. Maybe the writing style wouldn't have worn thin if I enjoyed the story better. I thought of the traditional gothic stories with big, looming castles, davishingly handsome men, and a smidge of romance that makes the heart melt. Instead the main protagonist isn't a very friendly wench. Being in her head would be similar to being in the head of a sociopath, or at least it felt like that at the time. Sure, the girl HAD feelings, they were just oddly spread out. When her grandfather died, as an example, she looked about it so logically and without too much emotion. WTF?? He was all the family she had! I suppose Darby was setting up the whole witch thing, but really, she's the main protagonist and she got on my nerves.
In fact, my favorite character was her beloved Harry, who despite his flaws at least was more likeable. He did the 'wrong' thing in the end, but he suffered mentally rolling over the decision. It doesn't matter which way he decided, he still showed more emotion that she. Margred's love for him doesn't make much sense to me either. I understand there's something special about him that attracts her, and her eventual seeking of revenge is adumbrated at the beginning by a rude man, but why him of all people? How could she so instantly fall in love? And I wanted one last confrontation between them, damnit!
This is one of those depressing novels a bit reminiscent of the original V.C. Andrews - almost every damn person dies! And each time the knife in the heart twists even deeper. Argh! I liked this in Andrews' books but here it just pissed me off further. Not that many of the characters deserved falling in love with, but still.
Another irritating side note is that the front excerpt doesn't seem to have happened in the book. When did that scene ever occur? It didn't go down like that at all. ????
That isn't to say this book didn't have it's good points. Cool cover. It's short with relatively slow pacing, but because of its length the pacing sort of matches. The ending is bittersweet as hell and is easily remembered. It's not boring. The whole witch thing was semi-cool. And I did love the dancing bear :) Oh, and even if this is psychically guessed on my part - it sets up the mode for an excellent series to come. (Please God, please God...I have at least five more of these on my shelf to read!)
I have a hard decision to make - the next book I own is book four, not book 2. I either wait out till I get the second and follow in order, or just start at four and see if I like that one better, reading in order from there up. I just don't know yet.