Synopsis: Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul. Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.
Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.
This semester has been flying by. I cannot believe that we are halfway through October already… and I still don’t have a Halloween costume. Gotta get one that… anyways, heres a bit of a spooky read for you! Filled with magic and myth and Vlad the Impaler! As always, thank you Simon & Schuster, you guys rock.
I’m gonna start this review by saying that I haven’t read a YA book in a while, and this felt like a throwback for me. Not that it was bad writing or anything (tbt the days where I would read anything with a bit of fantasy in it and absolutely love it!) but it did have a bit of a younger-audience vibe. Theodora is a teenager who travels with her Indiana-Jones-esque father, but since the death of her mother they’ve been distant, and he never lets her actually treasure hunt with him. While on one of these adventures, Huck shows up, and things get… well, really messy.
Something that I liked a lot about this book was that there wasn’t any shying away about how much it must suck to travel all over the place in these types of situation. Huck and Theodora get stuck walking through a field, in a snowy forest, and in bad situations all around. They both complain, but they both also suck it up and work through the situations (and their rocky relationship). I loved the little interlude they had with the Roma people, and while I did cringe a lot at how Theodora acted, I think it was also pretty funny.
One thing that I normally have an issue with in fantasy novels is how the protagonist reacts or deals with the ‘great power’ that theyre presented with in the novel, but I actually really liked how Theodora handled it. I think that in the situations she was in, her actions were really the only possible ones to use, and her sacrifice for using it is realistic. The plot, while a little bit lackluster in some areas, was good in others, and overall I was pretty engaged in the story.
I’m not sure that I loved the book, but I definitely didn’t dislike it. The interesting concept, along with realistic characters and situations, made this book a 3/5 in my account. If you’ve read this, let me know what you think!
Thanks for tuning in ducks, I’ll see you again soon!