Author: Valentina Cano
Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror
Age Category: Young Adult
Release Date: June 23rd 2012
Publisher: Reuts publications/\/\Twitter/\/\Facebook
The writings below are my opinions, you may let it influence you or you may not.
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Valentina Cano is on facebook and twitter: @valca85
There's something wrong with Rosewood Manor.
Staffed with only three other servants and inhabited by a young master, Lord Grey, who is as cold as the place itself, the house is shrouded in neglect and thick with fear. Her questions are met with hushed whispers, and she soon finds herself alone in the empty halls, left to tidy and clean rooms no one visits.
It doesn't take Anne too long to realize there is something else in the house with them--some creature that stalks the frozen halls and claws at her door. A creature that seems intent on harming her.
As Anne learns the truth about what haunts the grounds, she learns secrets she isn't prepared for. The creature is very real, and she's the only one who can help Lord Grey stop it. Anne has to decide whether to risk her life for him or abandon her post while she still can.
the three r's
Good news: this book was fantastic.
Bad news: After I finished reading, I kept hoping some news of a sequel (hint, hint) would pop up and it made me tear up that there wasn't. I want more!
Three things I'll touch on: characters, plot; and romance.
Anne, the narrator, is a level-headed, courageous young woman. She's a go-getter. She sees a problem and starts figuring out ways to solve them. As the book progresses, she has to untangle herself from the chains of societal expectations and rigidity to bloom (I couldn't resist) into who she wants to be. She has to learn to embrace her gifts and, thereby, accept herself. Half-way through this book I would have ran away but she sticks with it, running towards the problem and, ultimately, love.
August: *giggles* August. He posses one of my favorite names. I love saying it: August, August, August. What can I say about him? He makes me dissolve into a pile of giggles. A smart, charismatic and sarcastic young man, August is molded by tragedy and, unfortunately, is in way over his heads as he attempts to protect his servants. His past (and current) experiences has left him heartbroken, hiding his caring nature under a cold facade.
REUTS describes this as "Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast." Now, I can't attest to the Jane Eyre part (having no memory of reading it) but it does have that Beauty and the Beast je ne sais quoi: there's roses, secluded house, magic and an owner who is more than he seems.
The story moves along at a steady pace, fast but not breakneck. If, like me, you figure out who the bad guy was a third of the way through, it still makes for an interesting read. Even though the subject of tragedy is an overarching one, the overall book is not deary. There's a ray of hope throughout the book. You know Anne and August will persevere but there's still that element of uncertainty that they will not.
I melted. Because Anne is so level-headed, it takes her a while to realize her growing feelings for August. Meanwhile, I was a puddle of feelings. These two were perfect together: a blend of sarcasm, loyalty and mirth.
What do I have to do to get a sequel?
Organize a protest? Get signatures? Make a life-size model of August? One of Anne? Raise a wraith?
Because I will!