The Lady Jewel Diviner
By Rosalie Oaks
Miss Elinore Avely recently moved to a cottage in Devon with her mother and brother, Perry, to escape a London scandal. There are only two problems with the Avely’s retreat, it’s located in the vicinity of the Earl of Beresford, whom Elinore wishes above all else to avoid, and it’s also smack in the middle of smuggling territory – where hidden jewels abound. Her ability has already gotten her into enough trouble and she’s determined to keep it under wraps. Until she finds two French emigres who need assistance in recovering their stolen jewels.
This was a fun book. Within the first chapter, the author introduced an enticing backstory, a heroine with the odd ability to divine jewels, and a vampiri (a miniature vampire), named Miss Zooth. It was somewhat lightweight – the characters were appealing and quirky but the author didn’t do much of a deep dive into what drives them. Although, that’s not to say they were two-dimensional. I simply felt that the book focused more on plot than character, which moved along at a good clip.
I had expected a world of magical realism similar to Spellbreaker, but this was more historical fiction with some fantasy elements. This England, in 1804, was primarily concerned with the London Season and Napoleon. Elinor’s ability is not widespread – in fact, she’s only heard of one other diviner, although she accepted the appearance of the vampiri with great aplomb. Miss Zooth was adorable as the bat-morphing vampiri who had to constantly scuttle into her dress whenever she transformed back into a human. The introduction of a handsome and arrogant selkie was also a nice twist. I don’t run into too many selkies in historic fantasy. Needless to say, the Earl was handsome and brooding.
I appreciated the obviously important backstory dropped into the first chapter without feeling like there might be a previous book that I needed to read first. Although, if a reader is interested, the London fiasco is available in a prequel novella. However, the author filled in the details in good time. This had all of the elements of an enjoyable, light read: history that felt real, romance between two stubborn people, some nice fantasy elements, great tension in the final scenes and a twist on the villain that I honestly didn’t see coming.
I rated The Lady Jewel Diviner three stars.
Until next time, thank you for visiting.
My rating system:
5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.
4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.
3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.
2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.