Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ARC Book Tour & Book Review: Secondhand Charm

Secondhand Charm

Author: Julie Berry
Title: Secondhand Charm
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publish Date: Oct 12, 2010
Rating: 5 Stars
Book Blurb: In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . .

Review:  Secondhand Charm is one of those books that you start and can't put down. It wasn't even what I was expecting but it was so good that all the expectations I had going in were just blown away.

Its very much a novel of fantasty, though it has a good dose of the medieval tossed in which makes it a little more real.

Evie was such a wonderful character and she overcomes so many obstacles as she tried to reach her goal, which was to study at the University and become a physician. (Has anyone noticed a lot of the heroines lately want to be doctors?) She has all the strength that most of us look for in adult fiction. She knew exactly what she wanted and she went for it from the beginning of the book to the end.

The fact that she's a serpentina comes as quite a surprise, just as the discovery that she has a leviathan. I loved the relationship that grew between Evie and Clair. At times the leviathan seems like a special pet, but Clair is much much more and the sea monster really is quite lovable and very protective, but in the end it wasn't the leviathan's protectiveness that helped her the most, it was her friend Aidan, who grew to be much more than a friend as the book progresses. She discovers her true self when making an appeal to one of King Leopold's men in hopes of getting into the University to study. Her letter from the king was lost at sea. It is there she meets the king's intended bride, Annalise, who is another serpentina, and who teaches her some of their ways.

The action all makes sense leading up to a climax which was not something that was not expected, which is a testiment to Ms. Berry's excellent storytelling skills. She keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what happens next.

I really love how Ms. Berry utilized characters from early in the story at the end to tie things together. This was truly a great read. Its listed as a YA book but I would recommend it to just about anyone.


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