November 13, 2014 by mmileti
A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.
by Jessica Leake
Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover, 288 pages
November 18th 2014 by Talos
Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London Season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome – or dangerous. Through her late mother’s enchanted journal, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform Arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. The machinations of the fashionably elite are a constant threat, but worse still are those who covet Katherine’s Arcana, seeking the power of her birthright. They could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor, even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood. With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?
I was pleasantly surprised by how easily this novel captured my attention and ignited my imagination. Arcana is a story that both emotionally involves the reader and contains a thrilling plot. In addition, Katherine is an incredibly sympathetic protagonist, and a refreshingly strong female character. Often novels set in the early 1900’s involve a simpering female protagonist and a plot that moves at a glacial pace, but Katherine’s determination to stay true to herself in a society filled with politics, and the complications that come with her use of Arcana keep the story engaging from start to finish.
Usually I enjoy a story where the characters have a bit more moral ambiguity and are less “black and white,” but I could not help but feel for Katherine’s character and become absorbed in her story. This story is undemanding of the reader, and sometimes it is nice to read an entertaining and well-written novel without having to delve for deeper meaning or philosophy; in fact, this was an extremely fun story to read. I found the story really picked up at around the halfway point, and I actually read the last 60% of the novel without once putting it down. The beginning is not unpleasant, but it is involved a bit more with setting the scene and the intricacies of becoming a debutante in London than with the more action packed scenes in the second half of the story.
I was also considerably impressed with Leake’s writing style. Though it is simple, she has a way of completely immersing the reader in the story and making her care deeply for the characters. Leake also has a tendency to describe her settings in a way that brings a clear and picturesque visual to the reader’s mind without inundating her with details. The romance in the novel was intense, but it was blended in well with the rest of the plot, and never completely overshadowed the story (which is a problem I have with many romance novels, and why I tend to stay away from the genre). Katherine’s story is both exciting and heartwarming, and I would recommend it to any reader who loves fantasy, action, and a good love story.
My rating: 7.5/10
Thank you to Prism Book Tours for providing a copy of Arcana in return for an honest review!
Or, would you like a special personalized/autographed copy of Arcana? You can purchase one from Fiction Addiction HERE.
About Jessica Leake
I’m a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children (two toddlers and a newborn, in fact, so I think you can begin to see why my blog may be a bit neglected) and author of Arcana: A Novel (Skyhorse/Talos, November 4, 2014), my debut historical fantasy with a heavy dose of romance. I have a particular obsession with blending different genres, but almost everything I write has an element of fantasy and romance. I’ve been in love with historical England ever since my first literary crush: Mr. Darcy (I can’t even count the number of times I watched Pride & Prejudice–the A&E version, of course!!) I’m represented by the fabulous Brianne Johnson of Writers House, and I live in Greenville, SC.
Before I was a writer, I worked as a psychotherapist. I spent several years working at a psychiatric hospital in Birmingham, AL, but after my husband graduated as a pharmacist, we moved back to Greenville. I claim Greenville as my hometown now since I spent most of my childhood here, and I’m a proud alumna of St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Winthrop University.
– $25 Amazon gift card & personalized hardcover of Arcana (INT)
– Two personalized hardcovers of Arcana + swag (US only)
– One ebook of Arcana (INT – Mobi or Epub)
Ends November 23rd
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11/3 – Launch
11/16 – Grand Finale