Saturday, November 7, 2009

Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle.

Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle
Second in a Series
Young Adult, 336 pages
Published September 29, 2009 by Henry Holt and Co.

Penelope Leland has come to Ireland to study magic and prove to herself that she is as good a witch as her twin sister Persy. But when Niall Keating begins to pay her court, she can’t help being distracted from her studies. Especially when she learns that the handsome young nobleman is reputedly an illegitimate cousin of the new young Queen Victoria, her friend and idol, whom her sister saved from an ambitious wizard’s control spell the year before.

Niall Keating has strict orders from his sorceress mother Lady Keating: to make young Miss Leland fall in love with him so that she can be convinced to use her magical powers to help reconcile him to his true father, the Duke of Cumberland, Queen Victoria’s uncle. Niall is delighted to comply until he discovers his mother’s true aim: to assassinate Queen Victoria by magic and put Niall’s father on the throne of England.

Penelope is thrilled when Lady Keating reveals her powers and offers to tutor her in magic. But Niall has fallen deeply in love with the lovely young woman. Even if he halts his mother’s evil plans, will Penelope be able to forgive him for trying to seduce her into a plot against her beloved queen? -from

Oh, I am so contrary! When I put down Betwitching Season, I thought 'Well I got through it; it held my attention, but so what?' and proceeded not to think about it again. But I did not know about the sequel. So imagine my surprise as I'm making a quick stop at the library and see Betraying Season. I saw my hands reach out and snag it, my mind vaguely flickered in interest, and suddenly I was checking out with Betraying in hand. So here we are, after I had dissed Bewitching Season, the book had succeeded in doing what it was supposed to: make me more interested, make me interested enough to grab for the sequel. Although, I will not, not (do you hear me fingers!) buy these books. Take that publishers, muahaha! Only pathetically check them out at libraries...

Back into the world of Victorian England full of witches who buy kid gloves and whatnot, Betraying Season focuses on a character that was a little neglected in the first book: Penelope Leland. She was mainly there as the driving force between Lochinvar and Persy's relationship, and as a little bit of a bother for Persy when she was confused about her feelings for Lochinvar. But all that tiring relationship drama is over and done with: Persy and her beau are married, which leaves Pen..., well she doesn't exactly know where. She spent her first season worried about her twin messing up her one true love and trying to find a husband for herself as well. She failed to find a husband and neglected her magical studies in the process, though she had neglected those most of her life. Now that Persy has all that she desires and more, Pen feels like she should concentrate on her own life so that she might find those things as well.

I did enjoy this book a little bit better than the first. There was more emphasis on the magical aspect of the Leland's life, and we got a glimpse into what other people with magical abilites to to train this, not just what Ally teaches Persy and Pen. In the first book, Lochinvar talks about how a professor at school found him and taught him the ways of magic (?). How did he find him? Do magical people send of waves that can be detected by more skilled wizards? It just didn't make sense to me, and still doesn't. But it was nice to see what magic classes are really like. I also enjoyed the emphasis and the Three Goddesses, who are a very interesting topic in my opinion and added a little more depth to Marissa Doyle's magic.

The plot wasn't as easy to guess as the first was. There were a few points that I didn't see coming, which surprised me pleasantly. However, the characters are still horrible. Not one wasn't a Mary-sure cookie cutter character, and frankly they all bored me to tears, but maybe that's how Marissa Doyle likes to see the world: one-dimensional. I think Lady Keating showed the most promise, and she was the villain. I think the author could have explored a little more of the 'why' of Lady Keating. She was a powerful woman in an era when woman such as herself where not looked well upon. Especially being a woman with magical abilities, she must have run across boundaries in her life that would have frustrated her. Expansion on her history and personality would have made her much more interesting, and not just the 'big bad woman' to defeat.

As before, interesting to read but not much is written between the lines, which is how I enjoy my books. The kind that make you think long after you are done. Or are just so surprising and inventive, they make me wish I had the author's brain. Neither, I'm afraid to say, are in Betraying Season.

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