Monday, 8 June 2009

Review - Prophecy of the Sisters / Michelle Zink

Summary - Sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans, and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her. Debut novelist Michelle Zink takes readers on an unforgettable journey where one sister's fateful decision could have an impact of Biblical proportions.

Review - Have you ever run cool, dry sand through your fingers? That delicious feeling is the closest experience I can relate to reading this book. Many reviewers have spoken of similarities between Prophecy of the Sisters and Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty - they are both stormy Gothic tales but Zink is the clear winner. The storytelling, characterisation and overarching mythos is stronger and better formed than the latter option.

It's such a lush read that it's easy to find yourself two hundred pages deep and not even notice. Zink's created a mythos that runs throughout the story, each clue in Lia's investigation reveals more about herself, her family and friends and ultimately, the prophecy itself. The story is complex, involving and deep.

The characters are delightful, puzzling and difficult to decipher. The sister's roles contrast with with their personalities, wants and needs and sets up an inevitable clash that I am longing to read. Lia is a character that is quickly thrust into the centre of a prophecy she has no knowledge or understanding of. Her sister, Alice, is not as conflicted, her purpose has been clearly delineated for many a year and this sets the stage for the family conflict that will flow through the expected trilogy. Family plays a strong role in prophecy. Each member is involved to varying degrees that both surprise and shock.

Supporting characters are just as enthralling as the sisters. Aunt Virginia is a remarkably complex and sad character, the victim of the prophecy already, doomed to see it continue with those that remain. Brother Henry, the silent observer, watchmen to his family's dismantling at the hands of a greater good (or evil). Luisa, stubborn and gorgeous, and Sonia, possessing of abilities that are invaluable but taxing, are fabulous additions to a wider mystery involving the prophecy. James is the only character I wish were more fully formed, he's Lia's beau but I don't really see his appeal past their physical attraction and history. This is sure to be played out more fully in the forthcoming volumes.

The intricate weaving of plot involves the reader immediately. The shadowy foreboding and tension that permeate Lia's journey of discovery, propel the reader along with the story making you fully involved in the events that unfold.

Intoxicating and mysterious.

Published: August 2009
Format: ARC, 352 pages
Published: Little, Brown Young Readers
Origin: USA

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Reverie said...

what a great review. I completely agree and cannot wait for the second book. Zink truly has a winner and she will go so far!?

Thao said...

Cool, dry sand run through your fingers? What a perfect description. This book seems really great, I want to read it.

Lisa Schroeder said...

Mmmm, sounds delicious. Can't wait!

Rhiannon Hart said...

I'm looking forward to this one! Nice review :)

Natalie Hatch said...

Another for the TBR pile. Stop doing this to me Adele, I have soo many others that have to be read as well.

Kami Garcia said...

OMG. what a great review! this book rocks, I love POTS and Michelle is the greatest!

Michelle Zink said...

Thanks so much for the lovely review, Adele!

I'm SO very glad you enjoyed it!