OK, this cover? Gorgeous, and really the thing that made me read the book. I am a sucker for a corset. The other books in the series have covers that are just as beautiful, too.
I really liked the beginning, stories set in India are fascinating to me ever since I read Pomp and Circumstance (which is completely trashy, don’t judge please). The narrator, Josephine Bailey, was extremely good, giving each character a distinct voice (I love it when they’re able to do that, and so few narrators bother/are able to). Her English accent was really pleasant, and her Indian accent was awesome. Browsing through her narration work, it looks like she does a lot of Tudor-type novels, which I’m going to interpret as us having the same reading interests, meaning we’d be the best of friends in real life. I should really start keeping a list of narrators I love, because I always forget to go back and check out what else they’ve done. Like Bronson Pinchot. MAN, he’s good.
Ok, now the bad.After the first few chapters, suddenly we’re in a totally different book. Alas, right after all the Indian stuff, suddenly we’re in an english boarding achool that is filled with a bunch of bitches. Its like, Gossip Girl set in the 1800s. Totally not the book I signed up for. At first Gemma seemed like a good strong willed character, but she sort of devolves into a weak-willed follower intent only on getting Felicity to like her. The story progression was slow and seemed to concentrate too much on the boarding achool girls – I feel like her Indian stalker dude and her mother’s death took a backseat to descriptions of Pippa’s whining. This was also one of those books where I had a hard time figuring out what the theme was – was it feminism? Straight up magic like I’d thought originally? How mean girls can be? And BTW, what’s with the weird lesbian undertones?
Overall, I enjoyed this one, and here I go into the second book of the series!