Blood and roses, love and death, past and present, the mundane and the magical; all intertwine in this dark fantasy, a stand-alone companion to the well-received Blood Magic (2011).
Will Sanger, high school soccer star, only wanted to free himself from his recurrent nightmares. Mab Prowd, neophyte guardian of the blood magic, only wanted to understand the curse buried beneath her rose garden. But when their choices bind their fates together, an old love story and a long-concealed crime begin to creep into the present. As Will is forced to confront his family's recent tragedy and the demands of their expectations, Mab is called upon to devise rituals and seize powers well beyond her training. Their alternating perspectives interweave to form a nightmare of steadily building desire, obsession, sacrifice and violence. The power of this narrative lies in the gorgeous prose, lush with a gothic sensibility, ripe with sensual images of horrific beauty. The characters, while vividly drawn, are more poetic archetypes than real people, and the instant attraction between Mab and Will depends more on destiny than convincing chemistry. The workings of the blood magic make for spectacular unforgettable set pieces, but they rely upon the surreal logic of dreams rather than any rational system.
But this isn't a tale for thinking; it's all about feeling: Passion, heartbreak, yearning and dread bleed from every page. A perfect book for those who loved Wuthering Heights and are looking for an essentially American gothic. (Horror. 14 & up)