A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy #1) by Alyxandra Harvey

18633458In 1814, three cousins-Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope-discover their unknown family lineage of witchcraft. Beyond the familiar manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, a dangerous, alluring new underworld visible only to those with power is now open to the cousins.
But unbeknownst to them, by claiming their power, the three cousins have inadvertently opened the gates to the Underworld.
Now the dead, ghouls, hellhounds-and the most terrifying of all: the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters-are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers.
And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies.
Can the cousins unravel the clues and mystery behind their heritage and power before their gifts are stripped away …or even worse, another witch is killed?

I really wanted to love this. I’d heard good things about Harvey even though I never got round to her other series, The Drake Chronicles. The cover drew me to it (so pretty) and I loved the synopsis, but unfortunately I just couldn’t get into it.

That being said, I’m not entirely sure if the book is to blame or if it was a timing issue. I was so busy I was trying to snatch 15 minutes here and there to get through it but every time I picked it up my heart wasn’t in it and I found it hard to follow, which probably wouldn’t have been an issue if I had time to sit down and read it for longer periods of time.

The book started promising enough. It was action-packed from the off and I really loved the humorous tone of the narration.

In a nutshell, A Breath of Frost is about three cousins who discover they are witches, just at the same time that they have more important things to worry about such as debutante balls and finding husbands. When their powers are awakened, an ancient evil known as the Greymalkin is too and we follow the cousins through the discovery of their ancestry, their powers and responsibility, and generally just trying to stay alive. Oh and throw in a bit of Romance too, of course. (I liked Cormac a lot!)

Breaking into a dead woman’s house was easy work since she rarely complained. Breaking into a dead witch’s house was a different matter entriely.

We come across vampire pigeons, goblin markets, LADIES WITH UNICORNS…As I’m writing this really starting to wonder how I didn’t ADORE this book. I even found the writing beautiful and inventive at times:

“The others looked at her as if she were made of spiders and thorns”

A girl meandered out of the shrubbery, her long, pale hair, falling like shining swan feathers to her waist. She was all moon-beams and mist, delicate pearls and orchids, apart from the wickedly jagged knife at her belt.”

So why did I find it so hard to read? Answers on a postcard please.

I found a lot of similarities to The Worst Witch too, (with Daphne being the mean one but most talented, and Emma being rubbish and getting up to all kinds of things) albeit a more grown up, Regency Era Worst Witch.

What’s not to like? I might have to give it another go at some point!

unicorn rating 3

Disclosure?: Yep, I received a copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review.
Title: A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy #1)
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Details: Paperback, 496 pages
Publication Date: January 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury Children’s
My Rating: 3/5
If you like this try: Nightworld by L.J Smith