Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review: Betraying Season - Marissa Doyle

Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle
Series: Leland Sisters Trilogy #2
Genre: YA, historical fantasy, romance
Published on September 29, 2009
Published by Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 330
Read From: 6.28.12 - 6.29.12

Penelope Leland has come to Ireland to study magic and prove to herself that she is as good a witch as her twin sister, Persy. But when the dashing Niall Keating begins to court her, Pen can't help being distracted from her studies. 
Little does Pen know Niall is acting upon the orders from his sorceress mother. And although it starts as a sham, Niall actually falls deeply in love with Pen, and she with him. Even if he halts his mother's evil plan, will Pen be able to forgive him for trying to seduce her into a plot? And what of Pen's magic, which seems to be increasingly powerful?


Cover Blurb: I like it better than Bewitching Season because you can’t actually see the girl’s face. I love the color scheme as much as Book One’s, and the title’s font, and the dress they chose.

What I Liked: The names in this one, compared to Bewitching Season, weren’t as bad. The Author chose good Irish names for her characters. While I liked Persy well enough in Bewitching Season, I prefer Pen. She didn’t jump to any wild conclusions. While it certainly wasn’t smart of her to trust Lady Keating as fully as she did, Lady Keating also did a fantastic job in spreading her net. Pen’s attraction to Niall also didn’t feel too rushed. She finds him interesting, handsome, and wants to know him better - those are all fine reactions to have when you first meet a person. But she’s not, “Oh my gosh! I can’t live without him!!” after five minutes of talking with him. Corckwobble was also a hilarious minor character. And normally I like close brother-sister relationships, but the tension between Niall and Doireann fit.

What I Disliked: Niall isn’t as likable as Lochinvar. He’s an okay male protagonist, and I was okay with Pen falling in love with him, but his character just wasn’t as strong as Lochinvar’s. He struck me as more cowardly and easily manipulated, and just less everything. And clearly he’s a henpecked man, which just made him all the more pitiable - but not necessarily in a good way. It is my opinion that if a male character is going to be at odds with one of his parents, it needs to be his father, because if a male allows his mother to dictate his life, it’s just kind of pathetic. And while Corkwobble is funny, I resent the rather cliché “Irish leprechaun” appearance he has.

Believability: As with Bewitching Season, the Author does a very good job inserting witches into the Victorian era in a way that makes it plausible (well, as plausible as something like that can be). She’s done some research into the political upheaval of Ireland in that era, and continues to acknowledge the social protocols. Niall’s parentage is also believable by a lot.

Writing Style: It’s actually better than the first book’s. And the slight twist in the story is surprising. I was totally convinced that Lady Keating’s plan was exactly what she told Niall, and that’s all she was trying to accomplish.

Content: There is a bit of content in this installment. Niall’s solution to protecting Pen from his mother’s plans is to take away her virginity, which just caused me to think of him as even more of a coward. While Niall expresses his dislike for the idea, and while he has every intention of marrying Pen, it still struck me as a coward’s way of solving things, and I couldn’t care much for Niall after that. Niall doesn’t accomplish what he sets out to do, but there is a considerable amount of groping (pg. 213-215) before Pen puts a stop to it.

Conclusion: The parts leading up to the “climax” drag a little, especially since the Reader knows exactly what’s going to happen. I couldn’t help but wish the story to pick its feet up a bit a get moving. But the climax itself is exciting. The only mar on its surface is the cliché manner in which Lady Keating tries to tempt Pen fully onto her side by talking about all the things they could accomplish together. When has that ploy ever worked on the protagonist?

Recommended Audience: Anyone who liked Bewitching Season will not be disappointed.

Others in the Leland Sisters Trilogy:
1)Bewitching Season
2)Betraying Season
3)Courtship & Curses

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