A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare in this spellbinding fantasy
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.
Cate is protective of her little sister, but now they aren't so little anymore and she must decide on her own future. Cate is a strong character, many people depend on her and she is very young herself. She has a sweet personality, though she can be unyielding at times. Cate's sisters the reader will have varying reactions to. The youngest sister is easier to like while the middle one seems to only cause trouble needlessly. The other secondary characters were interesting, many will stick out and factor importantly into the book's plot.
The events moved along at a fast clip, the reader will be hard pressed to be bored throughout the novel. Cate and her sisters quickly go from a quiet life to trouble within a few chapters. The author describes the rich history and environment beautifully, the reader will easily be able to immerse him/herself within the novel. The author handles multiple issues such as feminism and religion and manages to weave magic into the two.
The slight love triangle is a tad annoying, but the author handles that issue well too. There really isn't a question as to who the main character is going to choose, if there was more emphasis on the love triangle it would've been nice if it was less predictive. The love interests are both hard to choose between, the reader will likely be happy with both! This book is recommended to young adult/teen/adult readers.
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