Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.
With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make awager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.
Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem, "Annabel Lee," Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.
I read this book in the early hours of the morning when the pre-dawn light added atmosphere to an already eerie, mystical world. The Cailleach, the selkies, the Bean Sidhe, the Na Fir Ghorm and other magical beings on Dòchas add so much to the great romantic plot between Anna and Liam. The battle between eternal love and lust…between the Bean Sidhe and the Na Fir Ghorm who use the humans of the island as pawns was intriguing. Who wouldn’t love Liam? Shunned by the islanders as a demon, he loves Anna for most of his life, pouring his love into his paintings. The cruelty of the people on the island toward each other flows from the evil of the beings that enjoy causing them pain.
Since Anna has lived away for so many years, the contrast of her modern, scoffing view of the islanders’ superstitions gave me a welcome break from the heavy Poe-like air of menace and tragedy that pervades the book…unless Francine is part of the scene. Miss Ronan and Liam’s foster father are ominous threats. Francine’s motherly love for Liam is a bright spot. She tells him to really live – don’t fear death – celebrate the time we have together. That’s why the ending bothered me…I like true love to triumph, but the ending felt like a loss to me - just when it seemed – to me - that Liam had been saved and could live a more normal, peaceful life without the influence of the mystical beings. Maybe I didn't like Anna's character as much as I should have.
*Reviewed by Colleen*
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