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Tag / Alison Goodman


Reviewsday: Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact

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Loved, loved, loved this second instalment in Alison Goodman’s Dark Days series set in regency England.

In The Dark Days Pact Lady Helen learns more about the Dark Days Club and what it means to be a Reclaimer. She has intensive training with Lord Carlston in how to recognise and when necessary fight the Deceivers who live in the midst of Society.

Lady Helen along with her maid Darby, have retreated to the seaside town of Bath. This is where her training takes place under the watchful eye of Lord Carlston and his aides. The Duke of Selburn continues his pursuit of Helen, wanting to marry her for her protection and to keep her away from Lord Carlston. There is a very interesting dynamic between the three, with Helen trying to keep the peace.

I found it fascinating to again read how Alison imparts her knowledge of the era into the narrative, it is all so real and believable. While reading you absorb knowledge of how life was lived in 1800’s England, both for commoners and nobility.

At times Helen finds herself torn between Lord Carlston and her superiors at The Dark Days Club. Her oath has meaning and she struggles with the conflict in loyalty. There are also two characters that you “love to hate” who are really well written.

Finally we have some conclusion to the unspoken feelings of Lady Helen and Lord Carlston for each other. Yet there is still unfinished business – can they truly be together? Circumstances and the morals of High Society do not allow for the conclusion we as readers are hoping for.

I found the end of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact particularly exciting, I can’t wait for the third part of this series.

~ Kerryn, QBD Northland

Reviewsday: Lady Helen & The Dark Days Club

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London, April 1812. The Prince of Wales, commonly known as Prinny had been regent for 1 year, Britain was on the brink of war with America, and in it's tenth year of war with France and it's Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. It was also the month in which Queen Charlotte returned to the practice of holding Drawing Rooms for the presentation of young ladies into High Society. However, unbeknownst to all of them, a different war was about to be begin...

Lady Helen Wrexhall is a young woman at war with her very nature. Tip-toeing between polite society and the need for adventure pulsing through her veins, she is constantly reminded of the looming shadow of her mother's disgrace. After a not-so-chance meeting with a less-than-charming gentleman, she wrestles with the fact that she could be destined for more than high society parties and an advantageous marriage. She may have to face the reality that there is more to the world than she had first thought. However coming to terms with this knowledge becomes increasingly difficult when her Aunt insists she attend every High Society event and her Uncle's rather loud displeasure follows any misstep she takes.

In Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, Alison Goodman seamlessly mixes her own unique paranormal mythology with all the pomp and splendour of Regency London. Lady Helen is a strong-willed and quick-witted heroine that feels both true to the time and a little ahead of it, making her an intriguing character to explore as the story unfolds.

"I had not thought to find a fellow rationalist in you, Lady Helen"
"I rather think, Lord Carlston, that you had not thought to find any thought in me at all."

Together with a good dose of female friendship, a murky romance, and battles fought in the shadows this book is one that will keep you reading well into the night.

QBD Book-A-Like: Clockwork Angel & Lady Helen

Brave deeds in the shadows of Victorian London
feature in these two great YA fantasies!

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Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare:
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray arrives in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural fold stalk the gaslit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by and torn between two best friends and quickly realises that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman:
Lady Helen Wrexhall is set to make her debut at the court of Queen Charlotte and officially step into polite Regency society and the marriage mart. Little does Helen know that step will take her from the opulent drawing rooms of Mayfair and the bright lights of Vauxhall Gardens into a shadowy world of missing housemaids and demonic conspiracies. Against a backdrop of whispered secrets in St James's Palace, soirees with Lord Byron and morning calls from Beau Brummell, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club is a delightfully dangerous adventure of self-discovery and dark choices that must be made ... whatever the consequences.

Reviewsday: Eon by Alison Goodman

Dragoneye: A powerful lord selected by one of the twelve dragon spirits, is able to control wind and water in order to protect the land from natural disaster.

eonEon wants desperately to be chosen as an Ascendant Dragoneye. His training has been intense and sometimes cruel but is finally coming to an end, to the ceremony that will decide his fate. But Eon harbours a terrible secret – for he is in fact a she. Eona has endured years of disguise as a boy to achieve her dreams despite the fact that her deception could be punished by death if ever discovered. She’s prepared for the worst case scenario if her ceremony goes wrong but what she never expected was to bring the elusive Mirror Dragon out of its 500 year slumber.

Having no one to guide her footsteps, Eona is thrust into the maddening Imperial court, summoned by the Emperor himself – but she is a mere youngster amongst the other grown Dragoneyes, who treat her with disdain and don’t take her seriously. Even more distressing is trying to hide her secret from those around her, especially with the young, charismatic prince eager for the company of someone his own age. Trapped in a friendship that Eona feels is beginning to blossom into more and failing miserably at commanding the powers she’s supposed to have, she is relieved when the Rat Dragoneye, Lord Ido, offers to take her under his wing – but Eona is starting to get the sense that all is not right in the Imperial court. Something sinister is lurking beneath the surface and Eona is determined to get to the bottom of it, no matter what.

Eon is the sort of fantasy novel that is so rich with detail and knowledge that you can picture yourself living in it. Using the Chinese Zodiac as inspiration for the intricate web of dragon spirits that hold this story together is a brilliant idea and the author has obviously done her research well, incorporating a lot of key cultural values into the universe she has created. If you’re in the mood for something a little different that still has all of the tense, dramatic, action-packed elements that you love, Eon is right up your alley.

-Karen