Saturday, 9 February 2013

Lenobia's Vow by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Title: Lenobia's Vow
Authors: P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
Publisher: Atom
Released: January 31st 2012
Pages: 147 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK /Amazon US

Before becoming Zoey's favourite professor and the House of Night's powerful horse mistress, Lenobia was just a normal 16-year-old girl - but with enough problems to last a lifetime. In 1788, Lenobia's father places her on a ship bound for New Orleans. An evil bishop, skilled in Dark magic, makes the same journey. His appetite for beautiful young women forces Lenobia to remain hidden, but she secretly visits the ship's stables, where a handsome young man and his horses capture her attention. Can they make it to the New World before the bishop discovers her true identity and a powerful evil breaks loose? And will Lenobia follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk?

If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that me and The House of Night series have a love-hate relationship; love in the sense that I can't get enough of some of the characters (cough, Stark, Damien, Shaunee, cough) and hate in the sense that Zoey makes me want to tear my hair out and/or throw the book out of the window. I've been a long-time fan of this series, and even I'll admit that it is being dragged out - so when I saw Dragon's Oath, I was a bit hesitant. Novellas, really? Can't we just get this storyline and Zoey out of our hair? But I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the novella - I ate it up! So when I saw Lenobia's Vow at the library...well, I just had to see what the Cast's had in store for me!

The novella is an insight into Lenobia's past, and how she came to be a fledgling in the first place. I've always had a soft spot for the professor - she has a very down-to-earth nature, and her calm attitude usually manages to cool me down before I flip out at Zoey for her constant whining. After the events of Destined, where Travis Foster was employed by Neferet to help Lenobia, and she lashed out at him, one question was on everyone's minds: what happened in her past to make her act like that? Here, the Cast's have answered us.

Be warned: the rest of the review will contain spoilers.

The characterization was fantastic. I was worried I would find Lenobia's teenage self quite irritating, but no; she still had that calm quality about her, and as the story went on, I found myself feeling so sorry for her. Being born as a bastard child, she ran away to New Orleans to be married off to some wealthy guy - and then BAM! on the boat she meets the Bishop Charles, who is a nasty piece of work. Although I don't know if I've ever detested a character more, his characterization was fantastic. The Cast's manage to make him so realistic and so terrifying that I found myself shuddering whenever he was mentioned. But it was worth putting up with, because then we meet Martin, and everything is fabulous. I swear the Cast's have some unique gift for creating fantastically sexy male characters? He was lovely and tanned and strong and sexy and rugged and sexy and handsome and sexy, but then of course they had to kill him off! I swear I have to get boxloads of tissues in whenever I read a HoN book, because I always cry - always. It's a given. Casts, why do you torture us so?

Anyway. I felt that the plot was surprisingly thick, considering how short the book was. There was constant suspense, especially when we were waiting for the Bishop to make a move - ha, it sounds like I'm talking about chess! I actually felt that this book had more emotion packed into it than any of the actual novels have for a long while. The authors dealt with some serious issues, and I genuinely felt my heart ache for Lenobia and Martin to be able to be together. Although it was nice to keep their story compact and small, part of me wishes I knew more about him. I also now hope that Lenobia and Travis get together - she's spent 250 years keeping her vow to Martin, so I think it is about time she got a reward. I'd say this book isn't a must-read if you like the series, but it's a nice insight.
Rating: 4/5

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