Overview (No Spoilers):
After recently finishing and thoroughly enjoying reading Emma for the first time, The Ill-Kept Oath was recommended to me as a book that would fit well within my reading tastes and the endorsement did not disappoint! Aune skillfully knitted together the Regency and fantasy genres, creating an enchanting hybrid that contains the intrigues of London society and the mystery of emerging, strange unexplained powers. The tale follows two cousins, the oldest, Prudence is making her entrance into the complex world of London society, while the youngest, Josephine is stuck at her country estate where she encounters more adventure than she possibly imagined. As the story progresses, both characters find themselves the object of multiple romantic suitors, however their lives become increasingly complicated as the hidden secrets of their past come trickling through the cracks into present day, manifesting themselves in inexplicable episodes and baffling antique objects, not to mention the trolls. As these events become more bizarre, their lives and the secrets that have been kept from them their entire lives are on the verge of being unraveled, however do they really want their peaceful, normal existence spoiled? Overall, as a testament how ardently The Ill-Kept Oath arrested my attention, I finished this fast paced novel in one sitting. The characters were delightfully unique and captivating, however the book finished without revealing anything of significance regarding the fantasy aspect of the tale. As I realize The Ill-Kept Oath is going to be part of a larger series, I can acknowledge this first book successfully laid out intriguing groundwork for a glimpse at a storyline that has captivated my curiosity.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- These two ladies contain a past where one or both of their parents tragically died while they were babies, however it soon becomes apparent that there is more to their parent’s death than is initially insinuated. How did their parents’ die? Who were Edward and Prudence’s parents?
- Poor Edward. Will he have an Inheritance as well? Also, how will the story resolve for him? He tries so hard, however is not destined to have a literal inheritance at all? Will he make Josephine and her suitor’s life miserable?
- Lieutenant Quimby makes me absolutely swoon! I knew he was going to turn out to be someone of importance!
- Why did Helen and Lady Revelle show up at the wedding? What words were exchanged? Was Prudence cursed again? What does Lady Revelle know about the past? Why did they try keeping Prudence and MacNeal apart?
- What will happen to Prudence if she tries to destroy her Talismans? Will anyone step forward and assist her and Josephine in their use?
- I want Josephine to rummage through the attic again! Who knows what she will find! Plus, she turned into a total bad ass whenever she kicked into survival mode. There must be different forms of Inheritance, much as MacNeal is Prudence’s Protector. What is Josephine’s skill and how is it different from Prudence?
- Who is this Mr. Bancroft?
- What is Lord Middlemere’s Inheritance? Will he and Mrs. March move their relationship beyond the flirtation it has maintained for years?
- What is the source of this rebellion and what do they have in mind for Josephine and Prudence?
- Am I the only one that was not a big fan of William MacNeal? He was never around. I realize he and Prudence were drawn to each other due to the Inheritance, but alas he hardly courted her.