Title: Blythewood (Blythewood #1)Author: Carol Goodman
Published: 21 October 2103 by Speak
Reviewed: Sapphired Dragon
Rating: **** 1/2
I have been eyeing off this title for a while and I am so glad I finally took the plunge and bought this recently as a Christmas present to myself as this is one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a while.
Set in New York in the early 20th century, this book has that old style, comfortable feel right from the beginning of a world on the cusp of progress with the suffragette movement and unionism starting to take shape.Ms Goodman places us squarely in this time zone through her writing which brings the era to life around us along with the colourful characters to back it up
We first meet main character Avaline "Ava" Hall, shortly after her mother's death on her way to work in the shirtwaist factory on the day of the famous shirtwaist factory fire and Ms Goodman uses actual historical events seamlessly entwined with fiction to immediately show us a glimpse of what Ava is up against.
After surviving both the fire and a brief stay in a mental asylum, Ava finds herself at Blythewood Academy, Elite School for Girls and her mother's Alma Mater. Here she is introduced to a whole new world, full of good, evil, mystery and magic and many many more questions about who she is,and what happened to her mother.
I love that this is not your run of the mill standard, less fortunate soul goes to elite boarding school and fights to fit in against the odds. This is also about a character finding herself and her purpose and that not everything is is black and white or as it may seem. The characters around her are just as well written and come to life under Ms Goodman's pen.
Ms goodman weaves a dark, powerful tale that you won't want to put down whether you predict what might be coming or cannot guess, either way this story will draw you into its spell and leave you breathless until the end. I loved it so much, I immediately bought the second book, Ravencliffe on finishing the last page and ravencliffe sneak peak.
I definitely recommend this story to anyone who loves reading brilliantly stories with dark magic, strong heroines and turn of the century grace.I give this novel 4 1/2 stars.
Sapphired Dragon xx
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