Author: Deborah White
Publication Date: 1 Sep 2011
Synopsis: From AmazonA thrilling adventure that combines history fantasy and romance. Refreshingly original, from an exciting new voice in teenage fiction. This is a stunning debut in a brilliant new series for teenage girls from new Templar author Deborah White. A powerful and charismatic man; an Egyptian mummy and twenty spells written in hieroglyphics on parchment. An emerald casket, a French ropewalker and two red-haired girls, fourteen years old and living in London, but four hundred years apart - are all united by blood and by a devastating prophecy.
I will be completely honest with you and tell you I had issues with this book. I know that some of the incidents portrayed were acceptable for the era in which the book is set but I still found aspects disturbing, this is partly due to the fact that I am a complete wuss and partly because I have three girls and am over-protective of them.
The story is told in alternating narrative spanning centuries. Claire and Margaret are connected via the ring that Claire finds in her Grandmothers belongings following her death. The use of different fonts for each narrative voice help to differentiate the characters visually. The portrayal of grief at the beginning was quite poignant Overlapping elements between Claire and Margaret added depth to the story. Repetition of certain phrases re-enforces the storyline. The use of both third and first person narration aided the differentiation of narrator but I did feel it was a little disconcerting at times.
The writing was beautifully descriptive and I really liked the additional facts interwoven into the narrative adding to the realism of the story. I did find the plot built slowly and would be very interested to know how many books there are going to be in the series. The ending left an opening for further development.
Interesting details regarding the lifestyle at certain periods throughout history woven together with alchemy and romance provided an intriguing plot. I would point out that I really did not think this book was suitable for Middle Grade Level - due to some of the incidents (brain washed, drugged, controlled physically and mentally) I really think it is more suitable for an older audience.Further to this point is the issue of how young the girls were when undertaking a physical relationship resulting in pregnancy. Yes I do know that it was a 'different' time and it was probably the 'norm' but I did not like it. In fact I think it is this that has swayed my overall opinion of the book. I felt that it could have been handled differently.
There is a very, very clever plot twist at he end of the story and as I said earlier there is development for further books.