Author: Charlie N Holmberg
My rating: 3.8 stars
A young lady with the ability to break spells gets caught during one of her Robin Hood escapades.
Elsie is a typical girl who likes to listen in to gossip & daydream about the latest book she read, but she also likes to consider herself like Robin Hood. A secret group of justice seekers saved her from the workhouse when she was a young girl. In exchange, they ask her to do occasional favors using her spellbreaking skills. As an unregistered spellbreaker, Elsie runs a risk every time she utilizes her skills, but her little acts as Robin Hood certainly justify the means. When a spate of odd crimes occur & Elsie is caught while spellbreaking, her life takes an unexpected turn, causing her to question her actions & her trust in others.
This is a Victorian fantasy romance type of book. Perfect for those who enjoy slow build clean relationships set in the Victorian era. The alternate world building is pretty good. Since it’s an alternate world, women don’t have the same limitations they did in our world, which allows for more literary freedom, but the book did try to keep to social etiquette rules as much as possible.
I enjoyed the slow build friendship-relationship between Elsie & Bacchus. They had lots of time to get to know each other, beginning with their original mutual distrust. I also appreciated that this wasn’t just a romance plot. The bigger plot focused on the secret group that ordered Elsie to do her Robin Hood acts and also spent time on Elsie’s other relationships with her employer & coworker. The magic system was simplistic, but interesting, especially in the way that Elsie used it.
While there were some “duh” instances, I can’t blame Elsie much for being unaware of them. Looking at it from her perspective, it’s easy to see how she was deceived, especially from a psychological viewpoint. She grew up with a certain perspective & it was only as she matured that she began to question the inconsistencies that she noticed.
It was a fun book. A feel-good fantasy, with a bit of found family. It wasn’t difficult to figure out where the plot was heading, (although there was a small surprise towards the end), but it was a very enjoyable journey & I’m definitely interested in reading the sequel.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.