Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Susanna Kearsley - Named of the Dragon

The invitation to spend Christmas in Angle, on the Pembrokeshire coast, is one that Lyn Ravenshaw is only too happy to accept. To escape London and the pressures of her literary agency is temptation enough, but the prospect of meeting Booker Prize nominee James Swift - conveniently in search of an agent - is the deciding factor.  On holiday she encounters the disturbing Elen Vaughan, recently widowed and with an eight-month-old son whose paternity is a subject for local gossip. Elen's baby arouses painful memories of Lyn's own dead child/ and strange, haunting dreams, in which a young woman in blue repeatedly tries to hand over her child to Lyn for safekeeping.
Who is the father of Elen's baby? What is the eerie, monstrous creature of Elen's dreams that tries to ensnare her son, and what makes her so sure that Lyn has been sent to protect him?  As she begins to untangle the truth behind the stories, the secret she discovers leads Lyn to an encounter with the past that will change her life forever.

Comment: This is another book by this author that I had to read. I'm a fan of her style and by norm she comes up with an intriguing story with some mysterious elements to make the reader captivated. I had hopes for this one.

This is the story of Lyn Ravenshaw, she's a literary agent and she agrees to a holiday with one of her writers at the house of another writer she might bring to her list. Still, this isn't Lyn's main goal, only to escape her family during a time where she's reminded about what he lost.
While there Lyn meets several people, among them Elen, a young mother that brings memories to Lyn and someone who asks her for help although they just met. Something strange is happening but will Lyn follow her instincts and help?

I enjoyed this book. It's one of the author' first works, but it's already obvious her talent for storytelling. The opening paragraph is wonderful and evocative, which I really hoped would be indication of a good story. I wasn't wrong, because I felt immediate empathy towards her and her past. She is a character that had some bad experiences but in this holiday some of her fears will be over for she's going to battle them in order to help someone. At the same time, some mystery is going on and the plot is focused on poetry and the meaning of some things. The poetry mentioned in the book is directly related to what is happening and it's interesting to see how the author uses real poetry and information to suit the developments in her fictional story and how well these two thing work out.

Lyn is a likable character. She's just a normal person dealing with many issues, but she doesn't let what is around her to shape her. I liked her personality and thoughts. As always, this story has a romance and I found it slightly better than the romances in previous books (except Shadowy Horses, still my favorite book by her) because is was more obvious at times and the end, despite not being detailed, was enough indication to make the reader dream of a HEA, while in some of the other books this would be harder to see.

Like I said, there's a lot of poetry talk in the book. Being a story about writers, I was quite happy with what we could learn and nothing was said in such a way the reader would feel bored or out of his depth. I liked how the little things, like simply the character's names weren't left to chance an were actually picked especially for this novel. It feels like nothing is random and this, in a way, makes the story feel more constructed, elaborated, like th author really wanted to put it in the best way to be experienced.

The plot follows a certain path and at some point we believe something to be obvious, but apparently it wasn't. Someone was against a person and I was quite surprised to see the identity of the guilty part. I didn't expect that, so even better, the mystery solution wasn't as obvious as that.

This book was good, enjoyable, had all the elements to work out and it's the author's trademark in style and prose. I was happy with it.
Grade: 8/10

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