31 January 2011

Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Tessa Brody doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there is definitely something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry that she discovers in a box of old books. The wild, handsome creature woven within it draws Tessa, and frightens her too.

Soon after the tapestry comes into her possession strange things begin to happen. Tessa experiences vivid dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible secret-one that has been contained for centuries. She also meets William de Chaucy, a young sixteenth-century nobleman with gorgeous eyes, an odd accent and haughty attitude to spare. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. "His Lordship" is pretty hard to get along with but equally hard to resist.

Together with Will, Tessa must correct the wrongs of the past to defeat a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.

But what is she willing to sacrifice in order to do it?

I was really happy in my choice with this book. It turned out to be good in all the right places. I don't really know why that was so surprising. Maybe it was because the summary sounded like a formulaic bodice-ripper romance complete with Fabio cover. The resulting book, though, is more fantasy-thriller than romance book. In fact, I would say that the romance is the weakest part of the plot. The characters are great, and the plot idea of mixing the Fates and a witch who confounds their plans is a wonderful creation. I love the twist of why the witch has the tapestry, which is surprising and yet makes a ton of sense. The characterization is confusing at first, with the time travel dreams and the confusion over identities, but after the first third of the book it solidifies pretty well into a cohesive whole. I do kinda wish the book was another third longer, because it seemed the author really hit her stride in the second half and I would have liked more of it, but as a whole the book was convincing and amusing as contemporary fantasy.

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