Plot: With the death of her father, Lia’s world is turned upside down. Her twin sister has been acting strange and a strange mark has appeared on her wrist.
Lia discovers two others with similar marks and realises she is part of something much bigger. She is key to an ancient prophecy guarding the world against danger and destruction. But Lia isn’t alone in this prophecy; her twin sister is destined to be on the opposing side.
With the forces of evil against her and her family torn apart, Lia must discover what she’s capable of to survive this fight.
Quote: If Alice and I are on conflicting sides of the prophecy, the keys would almost certainly be dangerous in her hands, which means I have to find them. And I have to do it before my sister.
Opinion: I first received this book when it was initially published and remember being underwhelmed by it. Not remembering the plot meant I was keen to try it again. This time, I found myself enjoying it and believe I might have been a touch too young the first time around.
Knowing the book is the first in a trilogy stops the ending being a disappointment this time around and allowed me to enjoy the book far more. The story is set in New York, but back in a time of carriages and dresses, servants and etiquette. It gives the plot – and the characters – a charm to them as dark and dangerous things must be discussed by girls not used to being unchaperoned.
The characters themselves are engaging. The novel is told from Lia’s perspective and her caring nature and optimistic way of seeing the best in people is endearing. Despite the time setting, she is not weak and is prepared to rise to any challenge set in her way. Having an aunt who encourages that (and is indeed part of the prophecy) helps with this.
Sonia and Luisa are two very different characters, both from Lia and from each other. This keeps the book exciting rather than having the girls’ clones of each other; their personalities weaving together to make the story work. Alice is the most complex and her character could go a long way in the rest of the trilogy.
The writing is fluid and engaging, the reader finding themselves sucked into this world with ease. Lia is “proper”, as expected of a young lady in her situation, and the writing reflects this effectively.
I went to this book remembering being disappointed the first time around. I ended it with the next book on reserve from the library. I am eager to see what happens next. I found the characters engaging, the plot interesting and the writing strong enough that I remained gripped the whole way through the book. While not being the most exciting book I’ve read recently, it is definitely one I would give a go if you’re after a bit of magic, darkness and battle for souls.