Bethan is an apprentice to a healer, Drina. She and Drina are Romani — and this sometimes causes problems for them. But Bet befriends a half-Roma young man in a nearby town. When she does, Silas and his friends brutally assault both Bet and Martyn. To save him, Bet must preform a spell, but the ingredients are gruesome. If the boys who assaulted them don’t come forward, Bet is going to come for them.
“Send me the five today or send them to a dark fate.”
I was looking for a good, creepy fall read, and this certainly fits the bill! And it was far more nuanced than I expected it to be. But I should have guessed that it would be since the author was using proper terminology when referring to the Romanies. In this case, I definitely think you should read the Author’s Forward, it is really revealing, and super helpful for part of the book. But if you don’t, then you should know a rape does occur off page in this book, that she was kind enough to mention in that note.
I was pleased with this book overall, it had such a creepy atmosphere to it. While I would say half the book takes place before the assault and half takes place after, it really helps to show off Bet’s character. It is a rather short book (or it felt that way to me) so there isn’t too much in terms of character development.
“I hope you are ready to walk this road, Bethan. Once you begin the journey, it is difficult to go back.”
I really loved that the author incorporated true facts about the Romanies in this book. She didn’t just say “oh they’re fortune tellers” and leave it at that. She expanded upon in, and used the truth of the Romanies to build a tale that felt real and poignant to me. You want Bet to exact her revenge, and you want those boys to die.
Monahan did it in a spectacular way. I think the writing was also very nice as well, although there was one part that was slightly gruesome and I had to skip that part. I’m a bit squeamish.
Fate punishes us for our transgressions eventually.
Monahan also brought up real issues that Bet had to deal with — the feelings of herself after the assault, how she has to deal with them, her feelings about her attackers, all of this was included in the book. And it was relevant to today in that way. I thought it was a well done part of the plot. I really felt for Bet, and I wanted her to heal and get better and overcome what was done to her.
The plot was a bit action oriented, but it did mostly feel character driven. It was done wonderfully though, and I do believe everything tied in really well. There was nothing wrong with the simplistic nature of this novel, and actually, it made it really work. There wasn’t anything that made me want to put it down or give up on it. Novels don’t have to be complicated to be good, and I think that this book proved it.
A well done job, and I will definitely have to check out more of this author’s work!