Viking Books for Young Readers
Series: Lady Helen #1
Received: Received a copy from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Buy From Chapters.ca / Buy From BookDepository.com
London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?
I had been eagerly anticipating this book for quite awhile, I love the dark fantasy books set in Regency London. Honestly, as you can tell from the description, this is a book that right off the bat doesn't want to say too much for fear of giving away the story, so I will keep it easy myself as well. I find it is always amusing to see a girl going through the rigorous motions of getting into society, while at the same time having something dark to deal with. Alison Goodman really highlights what it was like for a girl to be presented to the queen and how hard it was growing up in this time, and yet she also adds a great supernatural element to the story that keeps readers on their toes even more.
What drew me in to the story even more was the way everything was slowly drawn out and it took some time before things were revealed about Helen. Readers do learn that she has a more difficult time in society because of who her mother was, but her aunt truly tries to help her through by pushing her into society more and more. When Helen begins to look into some dark secrets happening around town, she begins to learn more about not only others around her but herself as well.
Many of the characters do really stand out to me as a reader, but Helen especially. She is very intelligent and even though she is taught to hide that away for fear of no attracting the right sort of people, she still knows how to socialize and she can keep up a great conversation. She is also inquisitive and truly cares for those around her, she fights for what she wants when she believes that it is what is needed, and she is willing to overstep boundaries to help people. And then there is Lord Carlston, he was run out of town years earlier, and now has returned despite being looked down upon by society. Even with these things hanging over his head, Lord Carlston still has some people in high places that will help him through, and Helen becomes drawn to him, he knows things about her and her family that she wants to know, and her curiosity gets the best of her and drags her into the dark streets of London. Especially when Lord Carlston comes around saying he knows more about her than he should.
Truly, give this book a chance, Alison Goodman has packed so much into one book... there are some comedic sections, but this is a dark book yet a lot of fun as well. You will want to know more about where Helen came from and you will want to see what she does with everything she learns. Helen truly takes things in stride and I am excited to see what else is coming from these characters!