I love Victoria Holt's books, she wrote under several pen names. She has humor to balance the gothic thrillers she writes under this name. I remember how her books always hit the best seller list, no excessive swearing, modest love scenes, and an entertaining mystery. Her strong heroine's are intelligent, strong willed and persistent. I enjoyed this book having a German setting for most of the book in the 1800's Victorian era. Headstrong Helena finds a lover on the seventh moon festival in Germany, and this changes her life. She is steadfast in her determination to find out what happened to him after he disappears. Helena finds out not everyone who professes to be her ally is trustworthy. Good thriller.
Gothic romance + ancient Germanic mythology? Yes, please!
This was such an eerie and twisted book in plot, character, and narrative voice. Helena Trant’s life forever changes when she meets a handsome stranger in Loki’s forest, a wood near her school in Germany. Her saga in the years to come is one of most fascinatingly messed-up stories I have read. Who thinks of this stuff? Apparently Victoria Holt (Eleanor Hibbert). I absolutely cannot give spoilers about this. I cannot. This is one of the last books I would willingly reveal anything about because you just seriously need to read it and experience it for yourself. However, I will say the following:
- The dual backdrop of a dreary England and a lusciously Gothic Germany is enchanting.
- You actually will not ever know what’s coming next.
- The story is a life-imitating one in terms of ages and phases, how things can change so drastically from one year to the next. This makes the story fuller and more mysterious.
- Helena is a competent, determined, and patient heroine who has enough self-confidence to persevere. I like me some of those.
- This is a story of unconventional relationships with friends, family, lovers, and enemies.
There were really only a few things I didn’t like:
- The lack of commas. I know it’s not a huge deal, but you just can’t have really long sentences without having commas. It affects the way people read and it can get confusing.
- Unclear timeline. The story jumped back and forth a lot, and at times it was hard to keep track of when events were happening/at what stage of Helena’s life.
- There was a fair bit of filler.
Sure, the book could have been edited better, but I really liked it and would recommend it all the same.
This book does keep you in suspense for much of the story. There was one character that you really couldn't tell if they were good or bad until the end. Lots of plot detail, interesting setting, many characters. The author's portrayal of the heroine's two aunts was hilarious! (You rarely find humour in these books so it was an unexpected bonus).
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