Review: Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle

Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle

Series: Leland Sisters #2
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (September 29, 2009)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Price: $11.55 from {amazon}
Summary: view {goodreads}
Hidden for ones that haven't read Bewitching Season.


Review: I read this one a few weeks ago, so while it might not be fresh in my mind, I still really wanted to share my thoughts on this one. Basically, in book two of the Leland Sisters series, Penelope heads off to Ireland to continue her magical studies with their now-pregant and married governess, Ally. She expects it to be quiet, a break from the societal happenings back in London, but that's not the case. As Pen's magic improves, she gets entangled in political strife yet again and maybe, just maybe, finds some love on the way.

First, I should say I thought Betraying Season was better than Bewitching Season (though there are many opposite opinions of that on the amazon page). The main reason for this was Pen. If my review of Bewitching Season, I mentioned that I was annoyed by how naive Persephone, Pen's twin, was. In Bewitching Season, Pen was characterized as the frivolous, society butterfly, but I found that to be anything but the case in the sequel. Granted, Pen knows how to look good and enjoy putting on an appearance, but while still vulnerable and relateable, she has a solid backbone coupled with amusing humor. I greatly appluad her for not turning into a pile of mush at her crush's feet and instead asserting her independence. I know it's hard to resist the utter charms of the object of your affections, but real feelings and getting to know someone should be the basis of any relationship, and I found that lacking in book 1.

I also felt that there was a perfect balance  between the three elements: romance, magic, and intrigue. The mystery was technically solved at the beginning, as in you see things from the plotter's side and Pen's side alternatively, but it was still interesting to see when and how Pen would put two-and-two together and figure things out. The plot moved at a good speed, neither too slow or too fast, but while it was enjoyable seeing Pen oblivious to the diabolical plot just simmering under her nose, I would have liked it even more without that element of predictability, especially since the ending was fairly obvious from the start. I was dissapointed by how gullible Pen was, how easily she fell for the plot - sort of justified, but I didn't admire her for it. And though I thought her strong, there were some sobbing-save-me times that made me want to slap some sense into her. Moving on, there was definitely a lot more about magic in Betraying Season, and you learn quite a bit about Irish lore concerning magic and the three goddesses, which I liked. And I know now the symptoms if I ever suspect I'm having a child with magical inclinations!

** Side-note: There is some talk of virginity/purity and scandalous affairs.

Romance: Cute. Niall, Pen's love interest, was supposedly hot (though I don't go for men with "whiskers") and cute in a dorky way. Interesting development here with very minor kissing, and Niall is definitely her prince in shining armor.
Cover: 4.0 -- Such pretty hair and dress! Love the textured background too.
Writing: 4.0
Characters: 4.0
Plot: 4.0

Bottom Line: Betraying Season was a fun read sprinkled with magic, mystery, and romance. I love reading historical fiction and magic, so those aspects combined with Pen were a great read for me! The characters were developed enough, though I would say Pen is the only one fully developed and therefore the one I liked, and the plot was solid with a few interesting pieces of lore thrown in. I would reccomend this book to fans of historical fiction and magic, especially when looking for a light read that isn't total chick-lit. I hope to see more of Marissa Doyle in the near future!

Related Reviews: Bewitching Season (Leland Sisters #1)