the mystic marriage by heather rose jonesMystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones is the second book in the fantasy series set in Alpennia. This book occurs after the events in the first book (Daughter of Mystery) but it is perfectly understandable and enjoyable as a stand-alone read.

Although the main characters from Daughter of Mystery (Barbara and Margaret) are depicted, they are side characters. Instead this novel sees Antuniet Chazillen and Jeanne, Vicomtesse de Cherdillac, become the main characters.

I was thrilled when I saw who the main characters were for this novel because I so enjoyed them as side characters in the first book and I am pleased to say that Jones did not disappoint.

The story is about Antuniet, a character who went from being part of the elite to being alone in the world, poverty stricken and carrying the name Chazillen which used to have great standing and is now looked down upon.

Instead of running from the name, as many would, Antuniet is bent on making it mean something again. When she discovers a book on alchemy she decides that is the key and embarks on a dangerous path to becoming an alchemist.

But an unknown man will take violent actions to make the alchemy book his and Antuniet finds herself in increasing danger.

In her quest to seek some measure of protection and funding Antuniet turns to Jeanne.

Jeanne is immediately intrigued by this strange woman and does everything she can to get Antuniet attention and eventually win her heart.

The Writing Style

Heather Rose Jones builds an entrancing world where magic is something you work at and is bound by its own laws. Class systems are realistic and women are only really free if they are wealthy or titled, and even then they are still not as free as men.

I really like that Antuniet works so hard to restore her family name and shed the shame that has befallen them.

Jones is not a romance author. There are enjoyable elements of romance in the story yet this is the story about a young woman’s fight to not just survive but overcome.

I absolutely love the way the novel is written and can immerse myself in the world of Alpennia for days.

This isn’t a light read, it requires your attention because there is a lot going on, but it is so worth it.

It is one of those novels that you makes you feel like you are standing in the dank room watching as Antuniet hides from a burglar.

The Characters

Heather Rose Jones is a superior author. Her world building is brilliant and her characters are imperfect, real and so different from each other.

It is a treat to read her work because you will never see formula characters or predictable plot points.

The Pros

I really enjoyed this work. Any lovers of fantasy must give the Alpennia novels a chance. And if you are not a fan of fantasy but you like period dramas then this will work for you as well.

The research into the world is unlike any other lesfic author I have read and yet the novel is not bogged down by it.

The Cons

None

sheena's favouriteThe Conclusion

If you haven’t read Daughter of Mystery or Mystic Marriage then get your butt over to your nearest bookstore and get it now.

The two books are completely unique, the stories are distinctive and the characters and their journeys are different. It is so refreshing to have a series where each book stands on its own and the characters are not interchangeable.

I absolutely recommend The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones. I think I may have enjoyed it a tad more than the first book, even.

Get it if you love period dramas or are a serious reader and are tired of fluffy romances.

Excerpt from Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones

Jeanne rose to abandon her letters until such time as she could work undisturbed. Then a startlingly familiar voice echoed clearly in the foyer. A voice she hadn’t thought she’d hear again. One that expected to be obeyed. “You will tell the vicomtesse that Mesnera Antuniet Chazillen wishes to see her and will wait until it is convenient to be received.”

She could hear the man’s hesitation in the face of that commanding tone. He would remember the scandal – everyone did.

“Mesnera…Mesnera, I do not believe the vicomtesse would be advised to receive you.”

“That’s hardly your decision to make, is it?” Antuniet snapped. “ Announce me!”

Jeanne relieved her butler’s dilemma by emerging from the parlor. “Antuniet, ma chère! How delightful to see you again!”

It was easy to see the cause of Tomric’s confusion. She herself wouldn’t have recognized the figure in the well-worn traveling suit of gray serge without prompting. Even beyond the clothes, the past two years had greatly altered her visitor. She was thinner – gaunt even – which only emphasized her imposing height. The cool distant gaze that had once ben haughty now seemed haunted. Her straight dark hair was still pulled back in a severe, practical bun, but now a few threads of silver told a tale of more hardship than twenty-five years should have seen. And yet, now that Jeanne looked closer, there was no mistaking the piercing dark eyes and that famous blade of a nose. They had never been bosom friends – difference in ages and taste had seen to that. Had Antuniet Chazillen ever had bosom friends? But still, one knew everyone to some degree in Rotenek society. And beyond her enduring interest in the scholarly set that Antuniet had favoured, their lives had intersected in the person of Barbara Lumbeirt, Baroness Saveze. “Where have you been keeping yourself all this time?” she asked, as if it had been only two months and not two years and more.

“Here and there.” Antuniet’s forceful entrance retreated into diffidence. “Prague. Heidelberg most recently. I though it was time to come home for a while.”

“And you’re still doing alchemy, I see,” Jeanne added, glancing briefly to where the other’s skirts were pocked with small, even holes and washed with pale stains.

Antuniet followed her gaze and Jeanne could have sworn she saw her blush. Except that Antuniet Chazillen never blushed at anything. “Yes, I’m still doing alchemy. And that touches on why I wanted to see you.”

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The Alpennia Series

Daughter Of Mystery

Mystic Marriage

Mother Of Souls

Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9781594934414

Publisher: Bella Books

Heather Rose Jones Online

Note: I received a free review copy of this book for review. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always endeavour to review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.

Listen to Heather Rose Jones do a reading from her novel here