Monday, May 19, 2008

Bewitching Season - Opening Chapters

The first three chapters of BEWITCHING SEASON do not disappoint. They introduce the two protagonists, Persephone* and Penelope, who are about to make their society debut in London. They are twins and are exactly the same age as Princess Victoria, since they were born on the same day as the future queen. Naturally, Victoria is their idol; they collect information about her and dream of meeting her.

Percy and Pen--as they are called--aren't the only ones with ponderous names. They were named in the same classical tradition as their mother, Lady Parthenope. Their governess is Melusine Allardyce, and their good-looking neighbor is Lochinvar Seton. If everyone didn't have playful nicknames, I'd be longing for a plain old William and Jane by now.

But all the names are in good fun and I have nothing whatsoever to complain about. Percy has had the main point-of-view so far, until chapter three, when Miss Allardyce--nicknamed "Ally"-- swings by to visit her father when she goes to London. The book's blurb reveals that Ally is kidnapped, and it happens in this chapter. The timing is excellent. The first chapter introduces the twins and their younger son, the plain-named Charles; the second chapter introduces Lochinvar and the possible chemistry between him and one of the twins. And the third chapter dives into the action.

As is traditional in YA novels, correspondence between characters is shown in a different font for each person doing the writing. The sign for Miss Allerdyce's father's shop is rendered in a flourished typeface with a decorative border. And each chapter heading has elaborate lacework. All of these touches gives the reader the impression that they are reading something special, and the story they illustrate holds up that impression so far.

* Emboldened text inspired by Robert.


Robert said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention :) I hadn't heard of it. Sounds like a Victorian setting which I really enjoy...

Thanks for the shoutout btw!

Tia Nevitt said...

It's another ClassOf2k8 debut. Great place to look for debuts. I have another one from there to announce this week.

Carole McDonnell said...

Beautiful cover! I was just telling Chris over at stuffasdreamsaremadeon that fantasy seems to abound with separated twins. Ah, the mysteries of twinness! Are these two gonna be separated?

Always liked Lochinvar-C

Tia Nevitt said...

I do love the cover. No, so far the twins have not separated. But I've only read five chapters.

And yes, twins do seem to have a mystique that lends itself well to works of fantasy. Hmm . . . this might be good article fodder.