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Steeped in the gothic tradition and borrowing freely from Jane Eyre, this debut romantic fantasy takes few risks with an old-school tale of love, betrayal, and redemption. Jane Eliot, covering her fey-scarred face with an iron half-mask to prevent her magically induced rage from leaking out, takes a position as a governess at a half-ruined manor house on the moors. Dorie, Jane's charge, is also fey-cursed; her mother, while pregnant, was taken over by the fey during the Great War. Dorie's father, Edward Rochart, broods over Dorie's fate as well as his own dark bargains with the fey who haunt the nearby woods. Emotive eyes are a frequent feature ("There was a well of sorrow in those amber eyes"; "The waterfall of desire spilled over into her eyes"). The characters are rather modern in their growing appreciation of their fey "curses," whose powers they tend to adopt rather than rejecting them in horror, but Connolly provides plenty of discussion of fashion, courtship, and marriage for fans of Victorian gothics. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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In this historical fantasy debut, a tribute to Jane Eyre, Connolly evokes that classic's literary feel but adds her own creative twist. Jane Eliot, having lost her teaching post, seeks employment as a governess to a "special" child born during the Great War between humankind and the fey. Jane knows that "special" means the child is like her, a victim of the fey, but whereas Jane wears an iron mask to protect society from the curse of rage cast on her face by a fey bomb, the child, Dorie, was born to a woman fatally possessed by a fey. As Jane teaches Dorie to act more human, less fey, she becomes intrigued by her enigmatic employer, Edward Rochart. VERDICT While Connolly echoes Charlotte Bronte's novel in some plot points and names, this is not strictly a literary mashup but rather an unusual blend of alternate history, fantasy, and gothic romance. It should appeal to fans of Leanna Renee Hieber's The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker as well as such literary mashups as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. [Previewed in Kristi Chadwick's Genre Spotlight feature "Hungry for SF," LJ 8/12.-Ed.]-Melanie C. Duncan, Shurling Lib.,ÅMacon, GA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.