Top critical review
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Beautiful romance that was greatly overshadowed by ghosts, magic, and several extra characters.
on August 27, 2007
I was very hopeful during the first chapters of this book. The main couple, Jamie and Aveline, were instantly attracted to one another. There was none of the typical resentment or stubbornness coming between them. Jamie was chivalrous and protective of Aveline's feelings when her father humiliated her in front of her clan. Aveline was thrilled to meet her groom, and she was protective of Jamie's dignity in the face of her father's treachery. They wanted to spend as much time together as they could, and neither wanted to hide their growing feelings for one another. I was definitely looking forward to a romantic tale.
Unfortunately, I began to get very bored around the middle of the 5th chapter, then had a strong urge to start skimming at the beginning of the sixth chapter. Too many extra themes and characters entered the story. The original dilemmas of a rivalry between Jamie's and Aveline's fathers, Jamie's father's resentment over the fact the Jamie's mother died during his birth, and the loss of Jamie's brothers to a tragic accident were more than enough adversity to sustain the story. To my disappointment, Welfonder decided to also throw in the ghosts of Jamie's brothers haunting their father, mystical premonitions and dilemmas of characters from Welfonders' past novels, and various superstitious actions and beliefs by Jamie's clan. All of this happening at once made it impossible for me to dive into the story of the main couple. My head was spinning while trying to keep each character's problems separate, yet still keep them combined into one core story. What started out as a beautiful romance turned into several tangled stories of mythical legend.