Inside Pandora’s box

Weaving together a tapestry of twists and turns in A Breath of Frost, Alyxandra Harvey delights with her linguistic art and fictitious fancy.

June 22, 2014 08:39 pm | Updated 08:39 pm IST

A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey

A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey

Alyxandra Harvey premiers a potpourri of emotions in A Breath of Frost , the first book in The Lovegrove Legacy trilogy.


A spell is broken. Three young cousins, Emma, Penelope and Gretchen — young and alluring, tired of conventional courtship and uninterested in marriage — are hurled into a vortex uncloaking a hazy past. That they are descendants of the infamous but powerful Lovegrove Family and inherent in them is the magic that gives them skill and power —something that they, in their cocooned castle childhoods, had never imagined. From untold secrets of their ancestors to convoluted tales of their legacies, life will never be the same for the cousins again. Far from their world of aristocracy, exotic balls and debonair and dashing suitors, far from Regency London, the girls fortuitously expose themselves to a world of sorcery and witchcraft, thus unveiling a storyline that is gripping and enchanting.

What follows is the resurrection of the dark and terrifying trio, the Greymalkin sisters, as powerful spirits, killing witches as ransom for their powers across London. And the girls are in a dangerously responsible state, with their new found gifts. Strangely, Emma finds herself in the vicinity of these murders, undoubtedly inviting suspicion on herself from the watchful Order — the magical governing body that metes out justice.

Beneath his sauve and charming exterior, does Cormac Fairfax have ulterior motives? Is his love for Emma stronger than his call to duty and loyalty as Keeper of the Order? The bellicose Moira, the courtly Cormac, feisty Gretchen, the protagonist Emma; Harvey has cleverly and deeply essayed every character, each building an acquaintance with readers that lures them till the end.

Right mix

Set in 19th century England, replete with turmoil, betrayal, drama and sinister humour, A Breath of Frost has all the ingredients for the perfect magic potion, though it does take a wee bit to get to work with the pace being slow in the beginning. The book felt like an intricately wrapped trove of romance, magic and mystic secrecy, right from its frigidly beautiful and enticing blue cover to the very last page. I certainly am looking forward to Whisper the Dead (which interestingly features Gretchen as protagonist) — the second in the trilogy for, the spell has been cast indeed. ‘

Title: A Breath of Frost

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Price: Rs. 399

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