Published by Tor on Jan 3, 2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Format: Paperback from Gift
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled–and her twin sister dead.
Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England–a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off…
I’m not sure exactly what kind of story I was expecting from this book, but whatever it was, I didn’t get it. There is some magic in the story, but this was more of a contemporary coming-of-age story than anything else.
Morwenna was an interesting character and I wanted to hear her back story. Specifically, I wanted to hear about the accident and what happened to her twin. This was never explained well, and it felt like this was the sequel to that story.
I loved the scenes with the fairies. They were my favourite part of the book. Those scenes felt magical and lyrical. I definitely wanted more of that.
It was intriguing to have a book loving main character, but this translated to a bunch of title and author name droppings. I think that if you were familiar with science fiction books from the 1970s, the book mentions would be more significant, but since I’m not, it just felt snobbish.
Overall, this was a disappointment because it didn’t match what I was expecting. There were some lyrical parts, and as a contemporary, growing-up, boarding school story, it was interesting, but I wasn’t very pleased with the story in general.