Memory loss prohibits Izzy from remembering her life before age seven when she was injured in a fire. Jonathan Gudwyne and his head housekeeper rescued her and took Izzy in as their own, but who did she belong to before they took her in?
Crippling panic keeps Izzy from wandering beyond the stables but Tubs, the Gudwyne's young stable boy, encourages Izzy to go beyond the property's rock wall to a world that promises possible answers, but also great danger. A scorched castle in the woods and a mysterious cellar filled with secrets sets Izzy on a path to the New World, where she will not only have to face her own terror but face the people responsible for her scars.
It is here, in the untamed wilds of the seventeenth century that she finds love and a home in the most unexpected of places.
I really didn't know what I was getting into with this book, but it had some very lovely, meaningful themes. The mash of seventeenth century England and then frontier America was a little unexpected, but it came off better than I thought it might in the end again because of the themes that contrasted and blended the two at the same time. (Does that even make sense? xP) Overall I wanted to keep reading because I didn't know what was coming, but at the same time I always felt like I was missing some detail, so the unexpected ride was almost too unexpected ...
I have so many scattered thoughts that I think pros and cons is going to be easiest way to go with the rest of it. ;)
- Touching forgiveness and self-image arcs; such important themes!
- Good use of foreign language (honestly sometimes I hate this, but bravo)
- Good character development for Izzy that felt natural
- Excellent description!! Seriously. I'm not one for following bunny trails of description, but this was poignant and handled really well.
- Regency, pirate, and frontier feels all in the same book -- I don't know how she pulled this off but it was pretty neat
- Izzy's faith arc also felt pretty natural because it was progressive, but a con to that is that there was no real "salvation moment" which made me lose my place in her progression a little
- The author's note .... o.o Realizing just how personal the story is for Mrs. Lash made me appreciate the story and some of her author decisions more :)
- The cover fits really well which is pretty impressive since the book has so many different flavors
- A very cute character by the name of Tubs. I don't want to spoil anything but Maddie was really well done as well *applause* And honestly Avery was one of my favorite characters in the end hehe. The actual "villain" was also well done.
- I'm so proud of Tammy for publishing, especially since she's not under 20 like a lot of people I rub shoulders with on the blogosphere. I think her example of finding a story that you can't go of is really powerful!
- Too much exposition for my taste; there were many times where the dialogue and overall progression was discussed instead of shown. Personal preference here
- Even though I was pretty impressed with the dialogue, I often found myself wondering if I'd missed some more pertinent detail to the development which made my reading experience a little choppy and confusing sometimes. I think some more internal dialogue with Izzy would have solved that
- On kind of the same note, I was trying to figure out what POV and narration position the book was in for like the first half and I eventually let it go :P Izzy is definitely the MC but some things were told that she shouldn't have known and there was a bit of a narrator feel sometimes. I feel like this balanced out in the latter half of the book.
- Dialogue wasn't era accurate at all times, but I know just how hard that is! And actually come to think of it, I was picturing everything more in the 19th century than the 16th ... Victorian and Little House were kind of the eras I had in my head, not the Stuart period and Pilgrims.
- This is going to sound heartless, but even though the themes were well executed, I didn't necessarily connect emotionally ... until the author's note xP That sounds so lame but it's the truth!
- I didn't like Jonathan. *hides* He was fine at first--nice even! And then he got all distant trying to do the right thing and so as things continued to morph and change it felt inconsistent to me. I guess I just never pegged him, and Izzy's feelings were pretty back and forth but "always there" too which again just confused me a little.
- Not really my genre. This obviously isn't Tammy's fault, but I think that contributed to my lack of connection.
- Some typos and errors were also distracting.
Phew! Told you I had a lot on my mind xD Congrats if you made it this far! That list looks really unbalanced, but it was more pros I promise. Overall I did like the story; it just wasn't my favorite. So I would rate it 6/10 shrooms or 3 stars.
Tammy lives in Lower Michigan with her husband and her three children. Izzy's home in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (Munising) is where she and her family enjoy exploring. Tammy enjoys hiking, kayaking, beach wandering, "hunting" for birch bark and hopes to someday find a porcupine quill. White Wolf and the Ash Princess is her first novel. She is published in Keys for Kids and has been in children's ministry for over twenty years.
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And now for the giveaway Tammy is running!
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Did you enter the giveaway? If you've read this book, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it (or your thoughts of my thoughts hehe). Check out another review happening today by Kellyn over at Reveries!