I really loved BEWITCHING SEASON! If I had to vote for Most Charming Debut, this would be it. It was lovely, adorable, fun and drenched in history.
Persephone and Penelope are seventeen-year-old twins about to face their first London Season. Persy is shy and studious and Pen is outgoing and lighthearted. Both are equally lovely, but Percy thinks Pen is the prettier. Percy is also the point-of-view character. They have a younger brother named Charles, who is twelve years old, and a governess whom they call Ally. When Ally vanishes just before they are supposed to make their debut, it's up to the three of them to find her.
Lochinvar, their childhood friend, returns from a long absence very nicely grown-up. It turns out that Persephone has loved Lochinvar since she was thirteen. He pops up in the most unexpected places, and has the most unexpected talents. Their love is delightfully thwarted by their own actions, yet it is not too drawn out.
Another mysterious man, Michael Carrighar, makes a reluctant henchman for a conniving lord. Here's where I had a quibble--Michael appears to be under an onerous debt of some sort, forcing him to do evil deeds when he otherwise would not. However, when the debt was finally revealed, it didn't seem nearly onerous enough to compel such deeds. Michael was the only character whose motivations never quite rang true for me. He was otherwise likable--truly conflicted and a rather dark soul.
The final battle was nicely done. I expected both twins to have to face the nemesis, but one twin had to go it alone. This made it a nice challenge. Having to fight wizards while in a breath-constricting corset is not easy, you know. All plot threads get sewn up satisfactorily, leaving Penelope free to gallivant off into the sequel, which will follow her adventures to Ireland.
It has been a long while since I was so charmed by a novel. In fact, I think you have to go all the way back to You Had Me at Halo by Amanda Ashby. My only complaint is that it was too short. I think Marissa Doyle will attract a legion of fans, both young and old, who will eagerly buy each new installment. I know I will. I loved it.
Marissa has agreed to an interview! I hope to be able to post it next week.