Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

When I first read the description of this book I was a little skeptical. It touted the book as "a bewitching blend of Twilight, The Secret History, Jane Eyre, and A Discovery of Witches." Now I've read most of those books and really enjoyed them, so my interest is piqued. Anything compared to Jane Eyre must be good. And you know what, it really was!

The book is a masterpiece of intrigue, innocence, the paranormal, historical, and mythological all in one. It centers on Thea Slavin, a piano prodigy from Bulgaria starting her first year at Princeton. But she is also there to uncover the secret of what happened to her sister, whom she didn't even know existed until shortly before leaving, while she was at Princeton several years before. That curiosity pulls her into a world unlike any she has ever seen before that presents a combination of Greek and Bulgarian mythology.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the book was its sensuality. It was rich, dark and mysterious that wraps around the reader, adding a little spice yet still being below the line of full on erotica. It is difficult to achieve that kind of balance, and I think the author did it splendidly.

I also loved the descriptions of Princeton. I've never been there, but through this book I felt like I was really seeing it. She placed me at the scene and with Thea I went to the landmark buildings that make up this stunning campus. I think a little visit may be in the cards soon. Who knows, maybe I'll find my tall, dark and handsome stranger too!

History lesson!
the story of Orpheus in Greek mythology. The tale of Orpheus features prominently in this book. It is the tale of a musician so gifted that the Gods would sit up and pay attention. He could charm all animals, trees, and even stones with his lyre. He shows up in Greece around the 6th century BCE, although noted writers of this period such as Homer don't mention him.

One of his most famous stories stems from devotion to his wife, Eurydice. When she dies Orpheus travels to the underworld to bring her back. He charms Hades who tells him that he can have Eurydice back, but must lead her out of the underworld without once looking back at her. Unfortunately, the temptation proves too much- he looks back, and Eurydice dies all over again. Orpheus is devastated and never gets over it. He meets his end at the hand of Maenads (servants of Dionysis) because he has betrayed his god. Or is that really the reason? Read Wildalone for another perspective.