Author: Cassondra Windwalker Release date: 25th of January 2022
Publisher: Black Spot Books
When librarian Sigrun falls head-over-heels for the sophisticated and very married Edgar Leyward, she never expects to find herself in his bed—or his heart. Nevertheless, when his enigmatic wife Octavia dies from a sudden illness, Sigrun finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance worthy of the most lurid novels on her bookshelves. Sigrun soon discovers Octavia wasn't Edgar's first lost love, or even his second. Three women Edgar has loved met early deaths. As she delves into her beloved's past through a trove of discovered letters, the edges of Sigrun identity begin to disappear, fading into the women of the past. Sigrun tells herself it's impossible for any dark magic to be at play—that the dead can't possibly inhabit the bodies of the living—but something shadowy stalks the halls of the Leyward house and the lines between the love of the present and the obsessions of the past become increasingly blurred—and bloody.
My first book review on this blog and it's a spooky one! Perfect for the Halloween season.
Firstly, let's begin with the elements I loved about this book. The cover is very eye-catching and also matches the narrative perfectly.
I really love how the story ends. It has a nice finality and I enjoyed the eery tone it finishes on, which I won't spoil for those who wish to read it for themselves. Some of the poetic lines throughout were lovely and relatable, and the writing was easy flowing and great to read aloud. There was a good pace in the beginning and at the end. I also loved that Sigrun was a gothic librarian but not in a stereotypical sense. She had truth and naturalness about her. The name took a bit of getting used to, but it grew on me and I also wondered if Edgar's name was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe.
This book would be perfect as a holiday read. It's an easy to follow story with interesting characters.
Now, on the flip-side, it's clear that the author hasn't done enough research into Type 1 Diabetes. The character of Devlin meets an untimely end, due to her condition. This is mentioned pretty early on, so I wouldn't class it as a spoiler. There are a few line changes I've suggested to the publishers including, "Even patients who followed every instruction lived significantly shorter lives than they otherwise might." This line in particular stood out to me because it's completely untrue. Someone with Type One has the same life expectancy as someone without it. Lines such as this are only adding to an already misunderstood condition.
I was torn on if I liked the overall tone of the book. There were moments when it felt modern in style and then other times when it felt like it'd been written/set in the victorian era. I wish it were one or the other, but then again, I have a theory about the origins of Devlin that fit the crossover nicely.
Overall, a really interesting story, a nice quick read and something a bit different to the genre.
Let me know if you pick this book up when it's released,
Hope you're all having a happy and safe spooky season,