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Bewitching Season wins a Cinderella Award!

June 9, 2010

The Cinderella Awards

Another book joins the ranks of  The Cinderella Awards

This is my entirely subjective list of books that have made me stay up well past midnight, reading avidly and fighting sleep, because I do not want to stop reading or being in the world these characters inhabit.  Totally worth a sleepy morning where I’ve slept so little I feel like a pumpkin.

Bewitching Season

Marissa Doyle

Square Fish

April 2008 $16.95 paperback

352 pages.

It’s as though two of my favorite authors, Lauren Willig and Diane Duane, sat down together and decided to write a book I was guaranteed to love.  And, best of all, Marissa Doyle wrote  sequel.  Her only two novels so far. Hope she’s writing a third!

I knew I was going to like this book. Set in Regency England, it is the story of twins Persephone and Penelope, who are about to make their society debut. And they must keep the secret that they are trained to do sorcery. Intrigue and a series of lushly described society parties, and fun banter between the sisters ensue. Also wonderful: their precocious younger brother, Charles, nicknamed Chucklehead. While trying to make their social debuts, they are also solving the mystery of a disappeared beloved governess, and using just enough magic to get by, but not reveal themselves

Honestly, I was more interested in the magic and the social whirl of ballgowns and quadrilles and suppers with lemon ice, than the romance plot. It was a predictable romance plot, I suppose, but so goodhearted that I didn’t mind. That, and the magic was so much fun. Not enough descriptions of the foods and the social constructs within the ton for my liking, but plenty of humor. Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series set the standard for me to read Regency romances. I have to have humor, and quirky characters, and a good dose of intrigue. but mostly the humor. That’s key.

I’m new to the Regency genre– Willig was my first real exposure, and wow did it get me hooked. I need the dialogue and characters to be good, with plenty of humor, and adventures that border on goofy capers. The magic didn’t hurt, either.

Keri, a very dear college friend of mine, writes fiction with elaborate magic plots and intrigue. Nothing published so far, but this morning, I sent her a note recommending this book. Because reading Bewitching Season reminded me of some of the stories Keri’s written. I teased her that I was wondering if she was Marissa Doyle, writing under a pen name. So far, they’re two separate people. (That, and Keri tends to torture her characters more with every possible calamity!!!)

Marissa Doyle’s world of the magically gifted Leland sisters reminds me of other stories that are among my favorites, both published and unpublished. That tells me that I’m not the only one with an appetite for smart, well plotted Regency, with a zippy sense of adventure and humor. Magic is a nice plus. I’ve read Lauren Willig and I’ve got the next Marissa Dudley on my hold list at the library.

Guiltily, I realize I should probably go back and read the classics that I’ve missed. Add that to my confessions. Can’t get through Wuthering Heights, and most of the great Regency writing I’ve loved, with manners and ballrooms— was written in the 21st century. (Wow- okay, typing that feels weird.)

What else should I read, in the genre? Got any funny, smart Regency for me? I know what I’m reading next: Marissa Doyle and Regina Scott, another YA writer of the same historical period, have a blog: NineteenTeen, a discussion of what teen life was like in England in the Regency period.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2010 11:12 am

    Wow! Thank you so much, Elizabeth! Yes, there’s a third book in the works due out in 2011, and set in 1814-1815 during the actual Regency (Bewitching Season is set after the Regency, just as Victoria is coming to the throne).

    So glad you liked my and Regina’s blog! We have a lot of fun with it. If you want to read the best of the Regency genre, you can’t do better than Georgette Heyer, the author who more or less created the whole thing. I envy you having all her books ahead of you! 🙂


  1. Books Read in 2010 « Elizabeth Willse: Freelance Writer

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