P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Published 2013 Novella - 146 pages
Reviewed by Georgia
Summary (from the book jacket)
The White City, 1893: In turn-of-the-century Chicago, with the World's Fair bringing bustle and excitement to her home city, sixteen-year-old Emily Wheiler should be reveling in her youthful beauty and the excitement around her. But her whole life changed when her mother died, leaving her to be the Lady of Wheiler House. Her father, a powerful bank president, is at the center of an important social hub for the booming young city, and he needs Emily to do everything her mother would have - to be a good hostess and make sure the mansion runs smoothly.
As Emily uneasily tries to replace her mother, she also longs for more... for love and a life of her own. When a handsome young man notices her at one of her father's parties, it seems that her hopes may finally be coming true. Until her father forbids her to see him - or any other man - and starts revealing a darkly violent side that even he can't understand.
At last, afraid for her life and with nowhere to turn, Emily is Marked by a vampyre and brought to the Chicago House of Night, where she begins a magickal new life that should allow the wounds from her past to heal. But as she gains strength, and a powerful new name, she carries a dark need to wreak vengeance on the man she trusted most.
From victim to High Priestess, beautiful young woman to powerful seductress, Neferet's journey begins...
N.B.: due to the story’s nature and the danger of spoiling the fun for fans of the Series this review will be as general as possible.
Neferet’s Curse is the third novella in The House of Night Series. It narrates the events that led to Neferet’s being Marked and joining the House of Night in Chicago. It is certainly one of the most intriguing books in the Series so far, especially if one takes into account that Neferet is the chief villainess in the Series. Thus it is very interesting to learn as much as possible about her life before being a fledgling and consequently a vampire.
In order to achieve the necessary familiarity to Neferet’s character the authors decided to tell the story through the protagonist’s journal. In this way the reader sinks into Neferet’s secret thoughts, desires, and anxieties and has a chance to glimpse into the complexity of her intellect and the determination of her character. Although Neferet is portrayed at first as a frivolous young girl, who has the misfortune to lose her mother before learning the ways of the world, gradually she becomes more certain of herself and more perceptive of the situations around her and the dangers that lie within. Neferet at first bites off more than she can chew, but due to her intelligence and strength she copes and comes out on top. Nevertheless, she learns a few important lessons about friendship, human relationships, men, love, trust, self-respect, forgiveness and about what becomes a pivotal event in her life: vengeance.
I have particularly enjoyed the author’s respect and kindness towards Neferet and her choices. As always the authors stay true to their main theme in the Series, namely free will and choosing your own destiny. Using the journal they manage to highlight many aspects of Neferet’s character, both good and bad, without judging her or patronizing their readers. Instead the reader feels as if Neferet is standing next to him/her and tells them firsthand of her woes and plans. As a result, we readers are able to draw our own conclusions about Neferet, to accept some of her decisions, to reject others, to sympathize with her and/or forgive her, but most of all to understand why she turned away from her goddess and chose darkness.
At the end of the book there’s a note from P.C. Cast in which she starts by saying that this book was “very difficult to write, but ultimately very cathartic”. I couldn’t agree more. I think fans of the Series will be very pleased with this book. Furthermore, someone who randomly peeks in it will definitely want to read the rest of the Series.
P.S.: this edition offers some beautiful illustrations throughout the narrative.
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