Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey (ARC)

A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy #1)
Alyxandra Harvey
Pub.: January 7, 2014

A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy, #1)In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld.

Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies.

Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?

Lordy. Where to begin? A Breath of Frost begins with three cousins attending a party in historical society. Emma's mother had long gone mad, and found comfort pocketing an old perfume bottle of hers, which accidentally gets broken and unleashes a massive spell that was binding not only Emma's powers, but that of her two cousins. But apparently, it also opens several gateways to the Underworld that change locations every day, and out with them came the Greymalkin sisters, another trio of powerful witches who had already been banished by the Order. And with them come several witch deaths that Emma is drawn to - which is bad luck, because now the Order believes she's the one responsible for offing them so the Greymalkin sisters can steal their powers. The only way to get them temporarily off her back is to board at a finishing school for young witches, and to work with her cousins, a Madcap named Moira and her on-and-off love interest Cormack to figure out who is really behind the attack, and stop it before the Order permanently removes Emma as a threat to society.
A Breath of Frost was actually a bit refreshing. There were a lot of magical things going on that involved two powerful family lines living in historical London, with Emma being the reason everything becomes entwined. The cousins were delightfully entertaining as a trio, and young Cormac struggles constantly between his loyalty to the Order and his interest in Emma. This novel does start off a bit confusing, what with so many characters being introduced to you at once and the constant change in POV that isn't clearly defined. I'll admit it took at least a third of the novel for me to really fully understand who everyone was and their family trees. I did notice that in some situations, characters seemed privy to information I don't think they should've really known about. Like near the end of the novel when Emma had discovered the power of the person behind all the deaths. She knew, but when the POV changed to Cormac, it seemed this knowledge carried to him as if he had been present at the time, too, as he automatically knew it was her and not one of the three sisters doing it. But despite my frustration with these things, it did turn out to be a pretty interesting novel. In fact, if you're a fan of the old series Charmed, this new trio of witches should be right up your alley.  

ARC provided by Walker Childrens for honest review.
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