Readers looking to lose themselves in a beautifully told fantasy, ripe with magic, forbidden love and unspeakably dark forces, will find a happy home at Blythewood, a boarding school for girls.
Having lost her mother and been forced to seek employment as a seamstress in order to survive, Avaline Hall never dreamed that she would one day attend her mother’s beloved alma mater. But when a mysterious fire erupts at the factory and nearly claims Avaline’s life, everything changes. Suddenly, Ava finds herself face to face with her estranged grandmother and the opportunity to attend the school of her dreams. Though the storyline meanders a bit, what follows is a series of discoveries about Blythewood, Ava’s mother and her own strange powers that will hook readers and keep them reading despite a few slow spots. The novel is at its best when the story turns to the topic of forbidden love and sparks fly between Ava and the mysterious dark-eyed, winged boy who rescues her on more than one occasion. While intent on discovering his identity, Ava is equally determined to learn why her mother was expelled from Blythewood and to uncover the truth behind her own paternity.
It’s a long and winding road that leads Ava toward the answers to her questions, and readers are likely to agree that it’s a journey well worth taking. (Fantasy. 12 & up)