I received an ARC copy of this book from Net Galley, in return for an honest review.
Technically the novel is set in the present day, however, The Rookery is a fantasy world which they travel to using a portal. Most of the story is set in The Rookery, which has magic, a 1920s decor, and is a lot like London but without modern devices.
People have a soul bird. It’s linked to them by a glowing cord that is severed when they die. There are magical houses that specialise in certain types of magic like earth, water, stone, etc.
Alice is the main character. She is completing a number of challenges to earn membership to House Meilaki .
It’s apparent that in book 1 she discovered her parents are not her biological parents. Alice loves them but is keen to find out who her real parents are, especially as powers are inherited. She has Meilaki earth powers, but is concerned she also has powers connected to death. In addition, Alice has the rare ability of being able to see other people’s bird as well as her own.
Alice has a range of friends. Each bring out a different side of her. She’s also dealing with the death of a friend who died in book 1. She blames herself, and can’t forgive Crowly. Crowly is a guy she has romantic feelings for but hates. He isn’t in the book much for the first half but plays an important role towards the end.
The book is written in third POV which isn’t my preference. I struggled at the start to connect with Alice and to get into the story as I hadn’t read book 1. But, I’m pleased I kept reading.
Something strange is going on in The Rookery, and people are dying. It feels like Alice should be doing something about it but she’s going to work, and parties, training for the competition, and keeping quiet about the less public attacks in her room.
But as the magical attacks get bigger, Alice takes action. She realises there’s a connection with her boss and her past. As secrets unravel, Alice is spurred into action and this is where things get really good.
This book has loads of magic and I loved seeing the different powers. The soul birds were new to me and I loved them, and how Alice’s unique gift gives her insight into the motives of others.
It felt a bit like a mystery with fantasy, as the MC collects info, pieces it together, and saves The Rookery. If you enjoy mysteries and fantasy then you’d love this.
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