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Genre - YA Urban Fantasy
Rating - PG
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“I… I saw Kiernan last night. And it has left me so confused.” She glanced at Selena, feeling her cheeks pinken with the admission of her deception.
“You needed answers.” The old herbalist observed.
Meghan was surprised. Selena was more astute than she had realized. “I’ve spent the last month wondering why Kiernan deceived and hurt me. I needed the truth. It was worth the risk of seeing him.”
“And, did you get the answers you sought?”
“No! I’m more confused than ever. It’s clear that Lord Killian is dangerous. But Kiernan…” She pulled out weeds with vigor, and the loamy earth sprinkled around her. “After seeing him again, I don’t know what to believe.”
Page 99 opens with my protagonist, Meghan, exploring her confusion and feelings of betrayal. Newly-graduated Meghan arrived in London for a gap semester and quickly became smitten with Kiernan who was both intriguing and irritatingly mysterious. He brought her on an adventure beneath the city of London, where Meghan underwent a terrifying, life-threatening ordeal at the hands of Kiernan and his father.
Meghan escaped to an isolated village in the English countryside, where she was introduced to an entirely new world, full of magic and myth. Just as she is coming to terms with the paranormal happenings around her, Kiernan returns. He is full of explanations. Meghan has just as many questions. Can Kiernan be believed? Can he be trusted?
Page 99 is a pivotal scene in that it begins the exploration of Light and Dark and the dichotomy of good and bad that runs throughout the remainder of the novel. It also features my favorite character, Selena, in one of her strongest scenes. Selena—peacemaker, mentor, Fae elder—is counseling Meghan, and as always, speaks in botanically-laden riddles.
Selena dusted soil from Meghan’s cheek. “You have not yet spent enough time in nature to have learned some of the simple truths.”
“What do you mean?”
“Why, even the feared black widow, with its venomous bite, spends the majority of its time eating the mosquitoes and flies that bother us and spread disease. Poison ivy tortures many by spreading its unrelenting itch, but also provides food and shelter for our bird friends.”
Meghan thought about the wise woman’s words. “You’re saying that nothing is purely good, and nothing is completely bad.”
The page represents a turning-point in the novel, in which Meghan begins to reexamine all of her previous assumptions. Page 99 sets the tone for the second half of the book, and it paves the way for a sweet romance to develop. Readers are provided with important plot information, and Meghan is provided with one last piece of advice:
Looking disgusted, Selena walked to the exit of the garden. Pausing, she muttered, “Be careful about being too harsh toward Kiernan. The poor babe ne’er even had a chance to be exposed to the Light.”