Claren Maidstone has
been forced to flee her childhood home after the death of her parents
and a vicious assault from a sadistic young man who intends to marry
her. Claren changes her identity and finds employment as an assistant to
the handsome Fredrick Lowood, a generous yet mysterious benefactor.
However, she soon finds out his generosity comes at a price. Fredrick
wishes for Claren to befriend his disfigured son who resides in
seclusion at their estate, Westwind.
Fredrick Lowood knows what
the history books do not teach, that the Grand Council built this new
world of peace and beauty on hidden blood and greed. He has plotted for
years to bring down the family that enslaved his own people. Suddenly,
he has the last living heir in his grasp.
Etrigan Lowood rejects
the world that forces him to hide. He is powerful, plagued with a
terrible dark beauty: WINGS. It is these wings that carry him out only
at night to watch the unwanted intruder in his home. A creature of
refined instinct yet little social grace, he is strangely captivated by
Claren but knows nothing of how her family’s dark past is intertwined
with his own . Through their blossoming friendship, Etrigan realizes he
still retains his human heart and yearns for Claren’s love.
Wandsworth is the only son of the Mayor of St.Marhen. Kurten lives his
life fueled by cruelty and lust. Whatever he wants he takes and he wants
Claren to be his wife even it if kills her. Scarred by Claren he hunts
her down mercilessly until he can set a trap which she will never be
able to escape from.
I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this book. I was honestly a little hesitant about it because I thought the cover looked like something I wouldn’t really enjoy. However, the story immediately drew me in and I was hooked right from the start. The writing was beautiful and addictive.
The characters were all well developed (except for Etrigan, I thought), and interesting. I found Fredrick Lowood to be the most interesting out of everyone. He was so mysterious, and I could never figure out if he had a thing for Claren or not. I secretly hoped that he did and that she would return it, even though he was much older than she. I felt like their relationship was far more developed than the one between Claren and Etrigan. Etrigan seemed rather hollow to me, like we never really got to know much about him, other than his untrained manners and guarded behavior.
Claren was a believable character that I really liked. She was honest, sweet, and good to the core. Kurten was a perfectly horrible villain. He was as disgusting as you could expect from an antagonist.
The world that Yrigollen created was vivid, and almost believable. It was a strange and beautiful mix of past and future, using horse drawn carriages, electric trains, and steam horses for transportation. Plastic is a thing of the past, yet new chemicals have been found and developed for the “betterment” of mankind.
In all honesty, I really enjoyed this story and I am really glad that I read it. I appreciated that the romance was kept clean, except for the incident of attempted rape which was very shortlived. Nothing actually transpires, but just gives Claren a good scare and makes her flee her home.
I am giving it a solid 3 star rating because there were some major editing issues that should have been resolved. Things like spelling and grammar mistakes, and switching between first and third person (or forgetting to). I also found the ending to be a little bit cheesy and fluffy. It didn’t really fit with the rest of the story. But for a self-published title, I thought it was a pretty darn good read.
The Cover: I both like and dislike the cover. I love the colors, and the artwork is fantastic. It also goes really well with the story. It’s totally a personal preference thing, but I’ve never been a fan of manga or anime.
About the Author:
stories for her friends in sixth grade. After working part time at a
funeral home during high school, she channeled her love of story writing
in to creating video games for PC’s which were featured in Shareware
secured a position with International Video game giant, Sega of America
but never lost her love for writing in traditional format. After
leaving the video game industry, she worked briefly as a vet assistant,
aiding in surgery until she found out she passes out at the site of
blood! Maintaining a great love of animals, but preferring work where
there was no blood involved, Astrid became a boutique fashion designer
for people ‘who like to dress like their dolls’, successfully placing
her designs in boutiques in Europe, the U.S, and Australia.
co-chairs with her husband for the California Coast Ball Jointed Doll
Convention, an annual event for Japanese Super Dollfie Collectors.
Astrid enjoys collecting dolls, Anime, video games, baking and sewing
and is currently studying college level Japanese, her third language.
10-I started playing video games at 5 years old back in the 80’s.
9-I went on to make my own video games for PCs.
8-Yes,I’m older then I look.
7-I believe chocolate cake should be its own food group.
6-I am a vegetarian almost vegan.
5-I speak 3 languages and want to learn a 4th.
4-I believe in God and have studied theology for the last 9 years.
3-I love baking.
2-I am really super(pathological) shy but sometimes have to act like I am not.
1-I used to work in a funeral home.