Arcana by Jessica Leake Blog Tour - Early Review + Interview + Giveaway
Arcana by Jessica Leake
Series:N/A Authors:Jessica Leake Expected Publication:18th November 2014 by Talos Source:E-ARC from the author for my honest review
Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London Season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome – or dangerous. Through her late mother’s enchanted journal, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform Arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. The machinations of the fashionably elite are a constant threat, but worse still are those who covet Katherine’s Arcana, seeking the power of her birthright. They could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor, even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood. With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?
I love historical romance and I love fantasy, in fact these are probably my two favourite book genres, and I will read almost anything these genres have to offer. Arcana is a brilliant mix of both these genres. The setting is wonderful, as are the characters, and the magic just adds that fun, exciting element to the story. I also like the way the magic is used/portrayed and how it differs between individuals.
The characters wonderfully written, and Lord Thornewood was just yummy wonderful and I just wanted to steal him and make him love me thoroughly enjoyed his character. ;) I loved his and Katherine's witty conversations and loved watching them both wield their words as weapons. I also enjoyed Robert and Katherine's affectionate, sibling teasing. Clever, witty conversation/banter is one of the things that really endears me to a character.
The lore of the magic and the other magical world, Sylvania, is fantastic. It may not be a 100% new idea but the way in which it was shown made me feel like I was seeing it for the first time. I loved that power was derived from the sun and that it emerged differently in different people, throwing some individuality in with the magic. I liked that Katherine's mother had left her a journal to help her with upcoming events, but I wish it had been a little less "spoon-fed". Katherine's mother could sometimes predict the/a future and she was 'giving' Katherine advice on what was going to happen. The runes in the book - which showed glimpses of Sylvania - were really nice but I think the journal entries gave away just a bit too much of the story and made it lose its intrigue.
This story drew me in from the beginning. I loved Katherine's voice and the writing style really endeared me to her character. I really enjoyed the story and its setting - I'm very partial to historical/period settings - and I felt everything flowed really well through the story. The magical, fantasy element was nicely intertwined with 'normal' life and felt like the perfect addition to the story. I really enjoyed this story and hope to read more from Jessica Leake!
Interview with Jessica Leake Tell us a little bit about your book in your own words. Arcana is everything I love in a book: fantasy and romance taking place in an opulent historical setting. It’s a romantic historical fantasy set in Edwardian era London about a rebellious debutante who must hide her otherworldly powers not only from potential suitors—and the man she loves—but an ancient brotherhood who feeds on her magic. What was the best part about writing Arcana? The research! Endless Downton Abbey marathons, anyone? ;). I also loved all the world-building required by the Sylvan realm and Katherine’s arcana. It was so much fun to imagine what the Sylvan realm might look like—especially the spirit fox J. Which of your characters was the hardest or easiest to write? Both Katherine and Lord Thornewood were the easiest to write—their voices were loud and clear in my mind. I’d say Lord Blackburn was the hardest—characters with secrets often are ;). If you could go back and do it again is there anything you would change? That’s a slippery slope! I’m a perfectionist, so as more and more reader reviews come in, I feel that temptation to want to tweak things. But one thing an author has to do is trust in his/herself and editor and all the people who got the book to its final version. Otherwise, you’ll go crazy. What's one thing you hope readers take away from your book? I want readers to find Arcana so entertaining that they read it in one obsessive gulp. I love books like that—the ones that you continue reading through dinner because you physically CANNOT stop reading. Unputdownable. Any advice for aspiring authors? Read constantly, connect with other writers online, do your research, and find at least one trusted critique partner. Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Myra! It was my pleasure, thanks for an awesome interview!
Author Bio - Jessica Leake
I’m a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children (two toddlers and a newborn, in fact, so I think you can begin to see why my blog may be a bit neglected) and author ofArcana: A Novel (Skyhorse/Talos, November 4, 2014), my debut historical fantasy with a heavy dose of romance. I have a particular obsession with blending different genres, but almost everything I write has an element of fantasy and romance. I’ve been in love with historical England ever since my first literary crush: Mr. Darcy (I can’t even count the number of times I watchedPride & Prejudice–the A&E version, of course!!) I’m represented by the fabulous Brianne Johnson of Writers House, and I live in Greenville, SC.
Before I was a writer, I worked as a psychotherapist. I spent several years working at a psychiatric hospital in Birmingham, AL, but after my husband graduated as a pharmacist, we moved back to Greenville. I claim Greenville as my hometown now since I spent most of my childhood here, and I’m a proud alumna of St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Winthrop University.