One girl fuelled by rage, another by magic.
When Natasha’s sister disappears, Natasha desperately turns to Della, a local girl rumored to be a witch, in the hopes that magic will bring her sister home. But Della has her own secrets to hide.
She thinks the beast who’s responsible for the disappearances is her own mother—who was turned into a terrible monster by magic gone wrong.
Natasha is angry.
Della has little to lose.
Both are each other’s only hope.
TW: For abduction, murder, abuse
This book alternates between two perspectives, Della is the first and she is such an interesting character. Tormented by an incident which happened in which her mother killed her own sister and became a river Siren. Her mother almost has two personalities but is deemed too dangerous to have at home so she is locked in a prison for everyone’s safety. Singing old ballads about murder, she is a creepy and haunting shadow in Della’s life. Della’s family fractured on that day with her close cousin Miles leaving the family because of his mother’s death. Della feeling a sense of responsibility to look after her mother as her father can’t face her, often visits in the hope that her mother will come back instead of the river Siren. Della’s family are witches, their magic comes from a place called ’The Bend’ in which was forged by their ancestor when she fed her magic into the ground. The Bend gives to the Lloyds, their magic manifests in different ways but since the incident with Della’s mum, the Bend has twisted and its magic gone awry.
Natasha is our other perspective, sister of the missing Rochelle Greymont, she is determined to do anything to find her. Both Natasha and Rochelle were adopted from their abusive parents into the Greymont family which comes with both status and wealth. Their lives should be perfect, but they’re not. Natasha, believing Rochelle’s boyfriend Jake to be the reason that her sister is missing, stumbles into the path of the Lloyd’s and asks for a potion. This potion is meant to make the recipient spill their secrets like water from a hose but the result only incentivises Natasha further.
Della finds her mum has escaped and when she finds her, she’s covered in blood. Hoping for the best in that her mum has hunted some birds but feeling like it’s the worst when she gives her a lock of reddish brown hair. Is Della’s mum the killer? You’ll have to find out.
Natasha is discovering that her sister isn’t quite who she thought she was and discovers a power of her own. Her determination is admirable and it’s nice to see that she forms a relationship with Della, they are opposites but so alike in many ways and compliment each other. They just fell for each other, two fierce, passionate and protective girls, falling in love. They both lost as much as they gained and these are moments that have defined their characters. It was also lovely to not have a story that relied on some man to come along to save these women but they saved themselves. Women empowering women!
“Women spend so much time trying to make ourselves small so we won’t get hurt, or we make ourselves so visible our visibility becomes a shield. We’ve got a hundred weapons to use against men like Jake, and none of them work.”
I really enjoyed this book, the dual perspectives was great as it covered so much more of the story and you could feel them aligning and coming together. Della and Natasha are quite the pair and the ending was unexpected and badass. Some bits made me cry, especially with the owls and damn if that was not so powerful and utterly heartbreaking at the same time. That bit in particular stuck with me.
Brilliant, book and I really recommend it.