As a child, Coriel Halsing spent many glorious summers at Castle Auburn with her half-sister-and fell in love with a handsome prince who could never be hers. But now that she is a young woman, she begins to see the dark side of this magical place…
This book was so much longer, so much more detailed, and so much better than the blurb suggested. The story felt much longer than it’s stated 360 pages, but I enjoyed every single moment of this medieval/fantasy story. While there was no specific plot, Corie, her sister and the rest of the cast of characters were so interesting that I was happy to just spend the years with them, as they grew up and realised the truths of their glittering court.
Corie’s intelligence, level headedness and wit made her one of my favourite strong female characters, ever. Torn between her simple life in her village, learning witchcraft, and the castle she spends her summers in with her sister and the captured magical Aliora, we follow her as she grows up, each year at the castle changing until they become of marriageable age. As Corie grows older, she starts to see that the Aliora are torn from their home and is at a loss as to how to fix it.
This reminded me of one of the (early) slow episodes of Game Of Thrones, that were brilliant anyway based on the strength of the characters. I was so fully immersed in this world that I didn’t want to leave, and I was so sad to close the final page, despite the characters getting their desired endings.