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4.3 out of 5
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  • Lots of unexpected twists and turns

    Greed weaves with magic and wealth to form an addictive world, where everything is a mirage, even freedom. Mae's lived her entire life on the island of her rich, benefactor...the best friend of her deceased father and mother. Lord Prosper and his family aren't only wealthy but possess magic and control the island, the island's magic and its spirits. Her dream is to perform magic herself and stay on the island, the only home she's only known, but with her eighteenth birthday around the corner, she's not sure the Prospers won't force her to leave and enter the real world, where their own children live and attend school. With everyone returning home for the yearly celebration, she's excited to see her best friend and hopes that maybe her crush might finally take notice of her. But this year's celebration brings another announcement, and while it will give her the family name, wealth and a life on the island, it's the last thing she wants. I need to first say that I've never read The Tempest and know very little about the tale (I know this sets some gasps, but I just need more time in life to read everything). Still, the moment I read the blurb on this one, I wanted to read it...even though the cover isn't quite my thing. I read this book in one setting and found myself bound to the pages to see what would happen next. The author has woven a rich world, and from what I've heard, this does base itself superficially, at least, on Shakespeare's work. Even the names give a nod in its direction. It has the flair of the 1920's, but this is a slight dusting and doesn't present itself much. That's due to the seclusion of the island, and the very sheltered life Mae lives there. This is a fast-paced read with tons of intrigue, woven secrets, greed, and deceit, and while there are hints at what is really happening, its hard to piece it all together in its exact direction until the very end. There's a constant tension and unease lurking in the background, which whispers of evil doings while the rest of the plot plays along. But this is still a strong young adult novel in so far that Mae is a teen...a very sheltered one, at that...and has a lot to break through and learn. The characters are intriguing. Most are not exactly likable, but that fits the tale very well. Even Mae has some sharp edges, which make her hard to completely embrace, and there's a sudden switch in her plans, which I didn't ever quite understand how she got to the point, but then, everyone in the book is, at least, a little messed up...which I assume mirrors Shakespeare a bit. The romance slides a touch to the young adult side, but then, also doesn't completely. It was interesting and doesn't really ever hit romantic strings fully...which also fits the tale, though. I enjoyed this one quite a bit and found it very well woven and written. The characters didn't always hit me right, but I do think it fit the setting and plot better that way. It's definitely a grabbing read and worth diving into if you're a fan of intrigue, magic, dark secrets, and breaking free of bonds. I received an ARC and found it to be a gripping tale.

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