Persephone and Penelope Leland are excited to start their first season as eligible women in London. At least Penelope is. Persephone is nervous, and besides, she’d much rather continue her studies in magic with their governess Ally.
The twin girls are witches — as is their governess — and in addition to their book and finishing training, Ally helps them to learn magic and how to use it responsibly. Things go horribly wrong however when Ally comes up missing a few short days before their coming out. When the family receives a cryptic note, the twins know something is not right, but have no idea what to do about their missing governess who they love and miss. Little do they know they are walking into a much bigger plot in which Ally is a central player, and to top it all off, Persephone has an admirer whom she has to try and fend off at the same time.
Bewitching Season was a perfectly bewitching YA book. I sincerely enjoyed Marissa Doyle’s ability to take several different characters who have very different stories and bring all of them together into an exceptionally enjoyable and satisfying end. Essentially Bewitching Season is a love story combined with an “evil magic” plot. Sometimes books that try to combine two very different plots become overwhelmed by one or the other. Doyle, however, has a genius for combining the two. Just when I thought one plot was starting to overcome the other, she would shift gears and remind me of the other plot. Overall Bewitching Season kept me guessing the whole time.
It was such a pleasure to read a YA book that had a mature enough plotline to keep an adult enthralled but was simple enough to lure in younger readers who have been looking for something to fill the Harry Potter void.
I’m excited to read the next installment: Betraying Season. Since this series has a touch of romance, I can’t see a lot of pre-teen boys flocking to read it, but I can see it becoming a hit with pre-teen girls. We’ll just have to wait and see if young readers find Bewitching Season as charming as I did.
Julie Waineo, one of our earliest guest reviewers, earned an MBA at Bowling Green State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a minor in French. Now living in Virginia with her husband and dog, Julie is an avid reader of not only fantasy, but historical fiction, the occasional “chick lit,” and children’s literature.
The Leland Sisters — (2008-2013) Young adult. Publisher: In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic. At least, most of them didn’t. Shy, studious Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies than enter society and look for a suitable husband. But right as the inevitable season for “coming out” is about to begin, Persy and her twin sister discover that their governess in magic has been kidnapped as part of a plot to gain control of the soon-to-be Queen Victoria. Racing through Mayfair ballrooms and royal palaces, the sisters overcome bad millinery, shady royal spinsters, and a mysterious Irish wizard. And along the way, Persy learns that husband hunting isn’t such an odious task after all, if you can find the right quarry.