A Novel of the Sylvani
"Leake weaves together a beautifully rendered historical setting, magic and romance in this stunning debut." —Elizabeth May, author of The Falconer
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 facade 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?
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Magic, romance, and intrigue are erratically melded in Leake's undistinguished romantic fantasy debut, set in a vague facsimile of 1905 England. The Hon. Katherine Sinclair, daughter of the Viscount of Bransfield, carries a dread family secret. Arcana a magical power based on sunlight comes to Katherine through her mother, a Sylvani who left her world and her family to marry Katherine's father. As a peer coming of age, Katherine is required to go to London for her debut, but she would rather ride horses than endure the marriage mart. Guarding against callow rakes is a given, but Katherine must also safeguard her family secret against the shadowy Order of the Eternal Sun, which craves the power of arcana. Is the dashing Earl of Thornewood a member of this villainous group? Or is Lord Blackburn, whom Katherine's grandmother wants her to marry? Lack of detail and a routine plot bog down the supernatural and romantic aspects of this story, making it predictable and forgettable.