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A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy) by…

A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy)

by Alyxandra Harvey

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978124,414 (3.74)None



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3.5 stars ( )
  KendraJ. | Dec 29, 2016 |
Slightly jarring as the reader is at once plunged into the story, but I loved the world and characters, and the literary references.
  LaPhenix | May 17, 2016 |
I won this book and agreed to give it an honest review. In 1814 London. Three cousins, Emma, Gretchen, and Penelope learned their family lineage is witchcraft when a binding spell is broken. This allowed the cousins their individual powers to burst through at a Regent ball, and by the cousins opening their powers, they accidentally open the gates of the underworld. Now the Greymalkin sisters are killing innocent debutantes for their power and Emma is blamed! ( )
  Linda.Bass | Apr 26, 2016 |
Readers that love witches and young adult books have an engaging read in store for them with A Breath of Frost. Discovering family secrets and a heritage long kept hidden, these three young cousins have so much in store for them, some of which (like what I did there? hehe) romance, gargoyles, madcaps, silly debutantes, dashing young men, balls and oh my a finishing school for witches.

These girls discover they are witches after one accidentally breaks the binding spell that her mother placed on all three of them. Unbeknownst to them there was an entire secret society and world hidden from normal folk and that they now have to adapt to. In learning their heritage they also need to learn to control their powers that come with it. They are decidedly behind the power curve, and no one seems to let them forget it and yet combined with the force of their personalities and a whole lot of moxy they don't let that stop them from kicking butt and taking names.

You can expect a lot of interesting magic - I really enjoyed the different forms of animals that the magic familiar of each person took. I thought it was a nice way to integrate the typical witches familiar. The use of spell ingredients is always fun for me, so you'll see plenty of mention of that throughout the book. The smells of things are described rather well and I believe always helps pull you into a story more.

Oh yes, I already mentioned the finishing school yes? I think many young girls often dream of how interesting life might be at a boarding school I know I always did, and still do. It was very neat to so one just for female witches.

There was no shortage of things to enjoy about A Breath of Frost. Things start fast and keep a nice steady pace. I adored Harvey's writing style, even though I was quite confused for the first 35 - 40% as to why the heck these "Keepers" were after Emma. While the book does feature all three cousins, Emma is most definitely the focus of the story. She is the main perspective, the other perspectives that are included are of course Penelope and Gretchen but we also get to see things a few times from one of the romantic interests, Cormac (and another minor character Moira). I have to say, in the beginning there wasn't a very strong difference to me between Penny and Gretchen so I would get them confused a bit but ultimately that straightened itself out as things went on.

For the time period it was in there were of course some definite veering from 'acceptable' behavior. That being a considerable amount of kissing for a story that takes place in 1814 with unmarried debutantes *wink* I find this is often the case in historical fantasy books, not the kissing but the veering of the characters towards decidedly modern behavioral patterns. That sort of thing doesn't bother me at all but I imagine it could pickle a few people. I say just roll with it, it works.

The style of things leaves the reader just as confused in the first half of the book as Emma is and you slowly learn and uncover things right along with her. She has so many mysteries that she wants to solve that you wonder if she's really going to be able to figure it all out by the end because by then you as the reader I'm sure already have.

I seriously enjoyed the starter of this new series and look forward to reading more about these cousins. I'm really hoping that each future book will focus on each of the cousins in turn so we can get to know the others just as well as we did Emma.

If you love, YA, witches, magic, romance and historical settings with some definite tweaking then definitely pick up A Break of Frost. ( )
  Pabkins | May 2, 2014 |
By unknowingly unlocking their magical abilities, the girls have not only opened an entire, previously unknown, world, full of magic, spells and creatures, but put themselves in danger as well.

Now they have so much more to worry about than simply navigating parties and society as debutantes. Hiding in the library (Gretchen), looking for the most suitable dance partner (Penelope) and staying out of sight (Emma) isn't going to be the easiest way to get by any more. Not with the bodies of dead girls appearing, ones that Emma keeps finding. And dangerous warlock sisters , thought to be gone, now back and wreaking havoc.

If they can keep themselves safe, if Emma can figure out the forever hot and cold actions of Cormac, then maybe they can figure out their new-found magic . . . and the murders.

The Drake Chronicles series, Stolen Away and Haunting Violet have made it pretty clear that I love Alyxandra Harvey's storytelling but A Breath of Frost was really something else. That same spark, humor and wit that I love from her characters was definitely present once again. While it was Regency London and the plot seemed to hold true (while involving witchcraft), the characters - the female characters, especially - had that little extra something separating them from the status quo.

The girls aren't so different that they seem modern day or out of place, but they also have a bit more audacity, maybe more mettle than one might expect. It makes them and the story superb.

Emma, Penelope and Gretchen are not Lucy and Solange from Harvey's Drake Chronicles series but that strong friendship, that almost sisterly bond that was done so well in that series is present with the cousins here. It's different as they are different characters in a different setting, situation but the love, the fierceness of their will to protect each other is there. It's a bond I hope to see grow over the series.

Much of the novel focuses on Emma and her story - with her mother, with Cormac and with her magic. We learn a lot about her in this first book, some things that are easier to see coming than others. It will definitely be interesting to see how each of the things that happened, that she uncovered affects her, the other characters and the story down the road.

The glimpses we got into the other girls lives very much left me wanting to know more about them - and wondering if we'll find out even a third as many secrets as we did with Emma. (Penelope's character and what we saw with her has me especially intrigued.)

Cormac and his sisters are kind of a fantastic addition to the story. His sisters were not a big part of the story but I loved the little bits that they were in it and hope that was not all we will see of them.

As for the plot, it's kind of really great. With witches, warlocks, society, societies, madcaps, gargoyles, enchantments, and familiars all with family drama, school, possible mean girls and confusing boys, A Breath of Frost has it all. Alyxandra Harvey weaves a brilliant tale, told at a great pace that connects readers with all of the characters and the (slightly modified?) Regency London world they're living in. You'll love not only where things end up but how it got there -- all while eagerly waiting to see where they things go next.

My review is really long already but it needs to end with this: Alyxandra Harvey's books? ( )
  BookSpot | Jan 27, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080273443X, Hardcover)

In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their secret family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld. Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies. Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

When three cousins in 1814 London discover their magical powers and family lineage of witchcraft, they accidentally open the gates to the underworld allowing the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters to hunt and kill young debutante witches for their powers.… (more)

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