Rating: 5 out of 5 (Perfection! Everyone should read this!)
Neferet’s Curse by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast is the latest edition to the House of Night novella series. This novella is a spin-off from the House of Night series explaining the origin of the High Priestess Neferet. If you love to read fantasy, historical fiction, or paranormal young adult fiction this book is for you! Before this book, I never read any of the House of Night series even though I have seen them in the library. I was drawn to the story and intrigued by the setting and time period of this book.
The year of 1893 marks a violent event that is even worse than death. When sixteen year old Emily Wheiler’s mother dies her whole world is turned upside down. On her deathbed, Emily’s mother imparts her final motherly advice telling her to think before getting married and not to rush into a proposal. Emily isn’t sure what she means by these words; however, she soon begins to understand her mother’s motivations. Before her mother’s death, her father never went out of his way to acknowledge Emily and never took part in her upbringing. Now with her mother dead, her father looks to Emily to become the Lady of the House and takes an active interest in her life. Emily reluctantly takes the role her mother once held where she must fulfill the roles of hostess, charitable volunteer, and companion to her father. At first, Emily is pleased and excited to have her father paying special attention to her; however, she soon realizes that this affection is unsettling and uncomfortable as her father seems to have replaced his wife with his young daughter. The advice Emily’s mother gave her begins to make sense and she realizes that her mother was trapped in a marriage with a terrifying man. In addition to her father’s heavy drinking and strange behavior, he becomes extremely possessive and controlling of Emily and she is now, just like her mother, locked in a nightmare that she wants to escape as soon as possible. The escape she desires comes in the form of Arthur, a handsome young suitor determined to take Emily away from all the evil in her house. Arthur represents the happiness she so desperately wants, but will he be the escape that saves her from the nightmare? Meanwhile Emily’s father becomes increasingly dangerous and threatens to take away everything she holds dear.
My Thoughts: Everyone Loves an Underdog
Let me first say that I finished this book within a few hours. Unfortunately this book is only 146 pages, and I wished it was 500! I loved every minute from beginning to end, and I was completely engaged and enthralled with the story of sixteen year old Emily Wheiler. The character development for Emily is impressive considering the shortness of the story. She is a relevant and relatable character even though the time period is set in 1893. I became attached to her at the end of this book and wished I could have kept reading about her new adventure in the House of Night. Her rise from naïve girl to powerful priestess was well written and developed brilliantly for the length of the story. It is interesting to note that in the House of Night series, Emily, now known as Neferet, is a villain. This novella provides readers with an in-depth look into a character that is written as one-dimensional in the series.
Check with your local library for availability and happy reading!