Welcome to my stop on the Singing Librarian Books tour for Arcana by Jessica Leake!
A romantic, suspenseful, genre-bending debut set in Edwardian London.
Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome—or dangerous. To help ease her entrance into society, Katherine’s family has elicited the assistance of the Earl of Thornewood, a friend and London’s most eligible bachelor, to be her constant companion at the endless fetes and balls. But upon her arrival in London, Katherine realizes there will be more to this season than just white gowns and husband hunting.
Through her late mother’s enchanted diary, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. Any misstep could mean ruin—and not just for her family name. The Order of the Eternal Sun is everywhere—hunting for those like her, able to feed on arcana with only a touch of the hand.
But society intrigue can be just as perilous as the Order. The machinations of the fashionable elite are a constant threat, and those who covet Katherine’s arcana, seeking the power of her birthright, could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor—even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood.
With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?
Genre: Historical, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Number of pages: 268
Jessica Leake is the author of Arcana, a historical fantasy with a heavy dose of romance, and The Order of the Eternal Sun, the next book in the series to be released summer of 2016. She writes every chance she gets, which is basically just during bedtime or whenever the kids are in preschool since she’s a stay-at-home mom to three beautiful children under the age of 4 (with another on the way!). She loves blending different genres in her books, but almost everything she writes has to have an element of fantasy and romance. What’s life without love? She’s represented by Brianne Johnson of Writers House, and she lives with her husband, 3 children, and 2 dogs in Greenville, SC. She invites you to visit her online at jessicaleake.com.
Historical fantasy is not a genre with which I am very experienced, but I was just discussing it with someone on their Top Ten Tuesday post this week. After reading Arcana, I have concluded that I much prefer historical fantasy to futuristic. My favorite form of fantasy is magical realism, and perhaps that’s why I liked Arcana more than some of the dystopian novels that I’ve tried to read.
While the mystery of who Wren would end up with was basically predictable as soon as I’d met them both in the story, that in no way lessened the appeal of the hero. Not. At. All. He’s the kind of hero whose intense gazes and low voice make even the most stoic of heroines a little weak in the knees… not to mention an easily-twitterpated reader 😉 Speaking of heroines, Katherine/Wren is smart and sassy and refuses to be managed. Forced to cater to Society’s expectations, she still manages to thwart them at every turn. Magical powers, notwithstanding.
Bottom Line: A new twist on the Edwardian era, Arcana combines history, romance, and fantasy with a dashing hero and a spirited heroine. Though most aspects of the story turn out as expected, this doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the read!
Reviewer’s Note: As I primarily review Christian fiction, I feel I should point out the following. While this is not a book written in the Christian fiction market, it is relatively clean with the exception of a (very) few instances of profanity and a couple of racier scenes that fade to black just before things get too descriptive.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
February 1–cherylbbookblog | Puddletown Reviews
February 2–Just Commonly
February 3–Singing Librarian Books
February 4–Katie’s Clean Book Collection
February 5–Reading Is My SuperPower
February 6–Red Headed Book Lady | Griperang’s Bookmarks