Title: The Lady Rogue
Author: Jenn Bennett
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: September 3rd, 2019
Some legends never die…
Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.
Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.
Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.
“I’ve yet to hold the devil’s handiwork. Everything evil I’ve found was made by human hands.”
Jenn Bennett has become one of my main auto-buy authors, and it’s for a reason. I’m a huge fan of her contemporary stuff, and when I knew she was coming out with an historical mystery, I immediately added it to my TBR, and I have to say after finishing it that I need more of these type of stories in my life, because not only they are so gripping and entertaining, but also had a lot of layers and are just so interesting to follow.
One of the main thoughts I had when I first started The Lady Rogue was that it reminded me a lot of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, and everything I loved about them. They each had totally different plot and characters, but I think the atmosphere and the vibe were the same in both of them, so I got super excited as I continued reading the novel. And it was just what I expected and more.
The plot was so intriguing and mysterious. I think the author did such an incredible job at setting the tone and slowly building up the anticipation on the reader. I really enjoyed the mix between historical and fantastical elements, and the part they played in the story. The magical elements added a little extra something to the story that took it to another level, and the mystery was pretty well done and kept me engaged and wanting to know what was going to happen.
My only complain was regarding the pacing. Though it really wasn’t a very long book, the pacing was very slow, and sometimes not much was actually happening and the story was more focused on the characters’ backstory and their dynamics, and that along with some other little things made the book feel longer than it was. It’s true that once I kept reading that feeling disappeared, and it wasn’t that big of an issue to me since I was loving the plot and characters so much, but I still wanted to point it out.
“Magic is in every natural thing. It waits in the grass, and in blossoms in flowers. It’s concentrated inside metals, deep within the earth, and it’s carried on the wind. Magic will speak to anyone who takes the time to listen.”
When it comes to the characters, I have to admit I was so pleasantly surprised. I adore mystery/historical books where the main couple have to pair up to solve the mystery together, and this totally had that, so I was like a child with candy. The dynamics between Theo and Huck were so well done and written in a very realistic way, and I enjoyed seeing them interact and grow throughout the story. I think their personalities complemented each other really well, and added a perfect balance between them that made the story went by quite smoothly.
I was also pleasantly surprised because there were a few revelations made towards the end that totally took me by surprise and wasn’t expecting to see, along with some pretty action packed scenes that kept me at the edge of my seat. Of course, there were a couple of twists that I think were a bit predictable (or at least I totally saw them coming), but I think that the curve of the story was quite well done and in a very interesting way.
Overall, I was so happy I decided to read The Lady Rogue, because I ended up really enjoying the plot and the characters. I’d love to read a sequel with the same characters but in a different setting, because I don’t think I’ve had enough of them yet, and I love me a good historical mystery with a pair of lovers.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
“Beware of hounds on your tail: do not allow anyone suspicious near Theo. If you have a gut feeling about someone, trust it. If possible, try to keep the authorities out of this. We’re beyond their help now anyway.”
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