HARP MAIDEN: WEB OF SECRETS
author: Jackie Burke
cover illustration: Rachel Corcoran
Lindon Books (24 September 2021)
1900: The new century has dawned and Evie has survived the chilling events the will colour her life forever. Having escaped the fire that destroyed Dower Hall, Evie emerges with her magical harp intact and demon free. She struggles to come to terms with her new role as Harp Maiden and keep her secret from the people she loves, but the spectre of Lord Volok and Olga the demon ogress still loom large over her. Now, Evie must find the powerful Black Ruby and solve its’ mystery before further devastation hits even closer to home. But her dangerous search leads Evie to some shocking discoveries; an ancient sorceress under a cruel curse, a demon queen longing to return from the dead and wreak destruction and the ghosts of Dower Hall lingering still in the strange woods surrounding its’ burnt out ruins. If Evie can find the Black Ruby, perhaps she can rid the world of dangerous, evil demons once and for all. But the web of secrets and lies she must weave to do so are threatening to overwhelm her. Evie no longer knows who she can trust or how she can face her destiny filled with magic and mystery.
From page one, we are thrown back into the world of the Harp Maiden as we enter an eerie, predictive nightmare that leaves Evie…and the reader shaken. While the hopes, friendship and dreams of ordinary life seep throughout the story, as does beautiful historical detail, the deeply magical, mysterious life Evie now finds herself firmly planted in casts a pall over daily life. The tension is palpable, the atmosphere tense and real and suspicion oozes through everything. Evie tosses back and forth between determination, inner strength, outright stubbornness and doubts about her abilities and heartfelt concern about those she loves. It makes her so relatable; so human. There is further development in her up and coming musical career that matches her evolution as Harp Maiden, but we are left wondering, will Evie have to choose between the two, between normal life or a magical path…or has that choice been taken from her? The demons surrounding her are even more sinister and powerful than in the first book, and the power they wield is chilling. Like its’ predecessor, Harp Maiden, what we have here is an incredibly constructed, beautifully written Gothic mystery that takes us to places we can only visit in our dreams…or nightmares. Consuming, eerie, fast-paced and simply extraordinary.
Thank you so much Jackie, for sharing the Harp Maidens’ journey with me. (Copy provided for purposes of review) https://www.grindlewood.com/