Review: Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle

Leland Sisters series #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (April 29, 2008)
Harcover: 352 pages
Price: $11.53 from Amazon
Summary: Twins Persephone and Penelope Leland are anticipating their first London season with mixed feelings. Pen can’t wait to flirt with handsome young men at parties, but Persy would far rather stay home and continue her magic studies. When the twins discover that their governess has been kidnapped as part of a dastardly plot to enchant the soon-to-be Queen, they’re determined to find and save them both. Along the way, Persy learns that a good lady’s maid is hard to find, that one should never cast a love spell on anyone after drinking too much brandy punch at a party, that pesky little brothers can sometimes come in handy, and that husband hunting isn’t such an odious task after all, if you can find the right quarry.


Review: I was this close to really liking Bewitching Season. It had a great premise filled with everything I love: magic, mystery, a historical setting, and romance! I'm actually amazed Marissa Doyle managed to fit all that in a book, and it was a fabulous debut novel!

The main thing that kept me from really enjoying this book was the fact that Persephone (Persey), the main character, has incredibly low self-esteem. I understand having low self-esteem, since I do too, but there is a certain level of confidence that's necessary. If I were a viscount's daughter, had a identical twin that I thought was beautiful, and had a load of money, I definitely wouldn't second-guess myself all the time, like Persey does. Basically, I enjoyed the story, but Persey's constant complaints sort of interrupted and detracted from it. A little more confidence would have helped the flow and made Persey seem more believable.

Plot-wise, the book was pretty good. The mystery was very obvious, even for a dense person like me, and I already knew who it was from almost the very beginning. However, it was still very interesting reading how the mystery unraveled and what Persey did to solve it. Like I mentioned before, I also liked the mix of elements and they flowed very well into each other. The magic part was incorporated well, and the romance was definitely there. Congrats, Marissa Doyle, on a wonderful debut!

Bottom Line: Bewitching Season was an engaging and new read that kept my attention throughout the book. The conversation was belivable and the plot was good, especially with the mix of magic, mystery, and historical romance. The main objections I have are Persey's low self-esteem and the obvious suspect, though it was still fun to see how and when Persey would figure it out. It was good enough that I'll definitely have to get my hands on Betraying Season, book two of the series. I can't wait to see what happens next!