Review: Arcana by Jessica Leake

20344642Release Date: November 11th 2014

Publisher: Talos

Genres: YA Historical Fantasy

Format: eARC

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

My Rating: 3 Umbrellas

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD


Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome—or dangerous. To help ease her entrance into society, Katherine’s family has elicited the assistance of the Earl of Thornewood, a friend and London’s most eligible bachelor, to be her constant companion at the endless fetes and balls. But upon her arrival in London, Katherine realizes there will be more to this season than just white gowns and husband hunting.

Through her late mother’s enchanted diary, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. Any misstep could mean ruin—and not just for her family name. The Order of the Eternal Sun is everywhere—hunting for those like her, able to feed on arcana with only a touch of the hand.

But society intrigue can be just as perilous as the Order. The machinations of the fashionable elite are a constant threat, and those who covet Katherine’s arcana, seeking the power of her birthright, could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor—even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood.

With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?


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This is one of those books that I have a hard time deciding if I loved it or not. You know, those in-between books that make you want to stop reading, but then something grabs your attention so you are back reading it? I really wanted to love this book. As much as I love historical fantasies, something about this story is just meh. After just finishing a great book of the same genre, I guess I was just excited to see if this story would be just as awesome.

Katherine is somewhat enjoyable, but she lacked the fierceness that I have come to love about heroines in historical fantasies. She is headstrong on some accounts but it was just not enough for me to want to cheer her on. She’s not ready for what society is expected of her, and that is to find a husband. She is also in a very dangerous situation- she’s not 100% human. Having the ability to perform Arcana, magic fueled by the sun, puts her life in danger. Her father enlists Earl of Thornewood to help ease her into society. Imagine falling for your escort while looking for a husband. So, yeah, that happened.

All of the historical aspects of this book kept me at rapt attention. There’s something about the Edwardian Era that I love and respect, so it was not hard to keep reading on that account. It dragged on parts that I thought were pertinent to this story. The magic, for one, was just not forward enough. It almost just felt like reading your run-of-the-mill historical fiction. I wanted more and it just lacked that for me, which kept me from loving this book. Would I recommend? Yes, if you love this particular time period of London’s history. But if you are looking for something truly magical, then I don’t think this book will give it to you.


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