October 8, 2012
Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
I have to admit that I really wasn’t sure what to expect from Doyle’s Bewitching Season. I’m not a huge fan of romance novels or chick lit and the cover made me think that this was probably a frightening combination of both. That said, the book had been highly recommended so I heaved a great sigh and settled down on the sofa.
Wow. Am I ever glad that I did.
Soon I was pulled into the story of Persy and her twin sister, Pen. Daughter of a Viscount in Regency/Early Victorian England, they are supposed to be studying dance and deportment for their introduction to society in just a few short weeks. What they are actually doing, under the guidance of their tutor, is practicing their magic on their younger brother. Magic may be something that a number of people can do, it isn’t something that polite society discusses but more of a skeleton in the closet. While no one has been executed for witchcraft in 100 years or so, it simply isn’t smart to take any chances.
While Pen practices her dance steps and chatters on about upcoming balls and card parties and more, Persy focuses on her magic. After all, what’s the chance that Papa will continue to pay their tutor once the two young ladies have entered society. She better learn all she can and learn it now before she falls victim to ballroom dancing and flirtation.
The two girls may be twins, but they have distinct personalities. Persy is a devoted student and Pen the social butterfly whom Persy is certain will be the belle of the ball and quick to find a suitor. When their neighbor, Lochinvar has returned from touring the continent. He’s no longer the pesky slightly older boy who drug them through every bramble on the estate. Nor is he the slightly handsome young man who chatted with her about books. He is now the tall, handsome heir to his father’s estate. When he seems to fall under Pen’s spell, Persy realizes that he is the one man who truly interests her.
I can’t say much more without completely spoiling the plot but a missing tutor, a witches curse, and young Princess Victoria make this story a fast moving tour through a magical England that sadly never was.
In spite of my initial misgivings, this book pulled me in and refused to release me until I had turned the last page and then gone back to read the climax once again. As a parent, I did have to say that I was a bit put off by the fact that neither of these girls parents had a clue what they were up to or that they could use magic. Not to worry, this “oversight” becomes crystal clear by the end of the book.
Yes, there’s romance but its pretty light and fluffy, keeping with the books middle grade appeal. Fans of fantasy and historic fiction alike should give this one a try although I don’t see the book having much appeal for male readers.
Now off to start the sequel!