An electronic copy was supplied by NetGalley for review purposes.
Trigger warnings: childhood abuse, attempted sexual assault, drowning, murder, suicide. Not very graphic but read at your own discretion.
Byrd Nash created a family that I wanted to dive into and investigate in A Spell of Rowans.
I wanted to understand the motivations of Rachel Rowan. I needed to know why Victoria Rowan abandoned Grimsby. I had to see how Liam was involved. I desired a picture of who Phillipa was and had become. I wanted answers about the murder in Grimsby. I needed to unravel the mystery of witchcraft and the Rowan magic.
Some of my demands were met and others have been sadly disappointed.
A Spell of Rowans dives straight into murder, conflict and mayhem when the cruel Rowan matriarch dies and her children reunite to manage the estate. It is quickly clear that Vic is returning to more than she bargained for when she encounters her childhood love, Reed Easton, on the train home and her brother is taken in to be questioned over the murder of their Mother’s business partner. Worse, Reed, now FBI, is sitting in on the interview and witnesses both Liam and Vic use their powers.
A magical murder mystery, A Spell of Rowans dives into the murder of Patty Maxwell, it’s links to the death of Rachel Rowan and the unsolved cold case of Victor Rowan, unsolved for fifteen years.
Nash unravels the investigation slowly and carefully, revealing family secrets, dangerous magic and painful memories. As the past comes to light, the bonds between the Rowan siblings are tightened and love blossoms despite the danger.
I was completely drawn in by the characters, the mystery and the magic in A Spell of Rowans but I am disappointed by how magic was managed. Their is no explanation of the mechanics of magic and a lot of it was just accepted by characters who existed outside the magic – I was desperate to understand how it worked and it was a very small part of the story despite being integral to the plot and characterisation.
I was most disappointed by the resolution – the events of the epilogue seemed to come out of nowhere, were set eight months after the conclusion of the main story, and was neatly tied-up outside the narrative which made it feel forced and incomplete.
That said, if there is another story about the Rowan family and their adventures in Grimsby – I will definitely add it to my to-read pile.