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the book of shadows


In this debut novel, Reese explores the dark world of obsession and magic in 18th-century Brittany. Orphaned Herculine has grown up in the narrow confines of a French convent. She knows that she is different and is both ashamed and afraid of these differences. Shocking events at the convent cause her to reevaluate her identity, as she is drawn into a web of sorcery and betrayal. Befriended by witches, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures, Herculine struggles to find a place for herself in the world. Should she help these new friends or run away as fast as she can? This novel shows potential that is, alas, unrealized. A confusing setting and plot are complicated by Reese's insistence on developing minor characters at the expense of his protagonist. Lengthy tangential chapters serve only to muddy the waters further.

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