I’ve been eagerly anticipating this one after finishing CeCe’s story about a year ago. I kept it on my Kindle as a reward for finishing NaNoWriMo (which also explains why my blog has been even deader than usual) so only got around to reading it in December.
If you do not know the 7 Sisters series, I recommend looking at my review of the first book, if you’re interested in the background story.
In this book we get to meet the 5th sister, Tiggy or Taygete who is working with animal preservation in Scotland. She gets a job on an old Scottish estate looking after some wildcats and has also been charged with finding other species it might be suitable to bring onto the land. The current owner is very keen on bringing back balance and undoing some of the damage his forebears have done to the land. And he also happens to be a handsome doctor – but alas, he’s married.
An old gypsy lives in one of the cottages on the estate, and it just so happens that he’s a brujo (a medicine man/witch) and he knows who Tiggy’s ancestors are. And so we are transported back to early 20th century Granada, where Tiggy’s grandmother Lucia was born in the caves of Sacromonte.
From a young age Lucia is an incredibly talented flamenco dancer. She is also very stubborn and a little selfish, and determined to make her way in the world so everyone will see her talent. For I think the first time in this series, I didn’t really connect with the past story. It always takes a while because I’m usually really hooked into the present story at the time we make the jump to the past, but this time I felt like I kept waiting for something that never really arrived. I can’t quite put my finger on why that was. It has gypsies, seers, curses, civil war, poverty, fame, dancing, love and loss – all the makings of a good story, but somehow it just didn’t really grab me. Perhaps it was a little disjointed, and I also had a problem connecting to Lucia as I found her hard to empathise with.
Like I mentioned Lucia is kind of selfish and while I definitely think she had the right, like everyone, to pursue her dreams and live the life she wanted, it didn’t seem to matter much to her what her family or loved ones wanted or thought. Though she’s not uncaring or unkind she does remind me a little of Kathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights in that I felt she brought certain things upon herself by being stubborn or selfish and it was hard to feel for her then. I did however feel for her mother, Maria. And I guess I didn’t really find it that well structured a story. There was a lot of war and poverty and travelling around and dancing, but where is the narrative? And the part about Tiggy’s actual parents was rushed and seemed sort of “tossed in at the end”. I definitely enjoyed parts of it, but it was not as captivating as I had hoped.
However I was very into Tiggy’s story. I always marvel at how real and relatable the sisters seem even though they lived this fairytale life with the mysterious Pa Salt, and how I always find there is something – some common interest, some bond, with each sister no matter how different I initially think we are. I already expected to get along well with Tiggy as we have a common interest in animals and I also consider myself to be quite spiritual/alternative. It’s interesting also that this book comes to me at a time when I’m looking in the direction of alternative therapies as part of a future career.
Without giving away too much I’ll just say that Tiggy’s story involves trying to save the Kinnaird estate where she works in Scotland, it involves a certain Zed Eszu – who seems to be popping up with some frequency, a white stag and a trip to Granada to visit her living relatives and learn about her past. And of course there’s also more hints to strange things surrounding Pa Salt’s (supposed) death.
All in all this was a very enjoyable read though because Lucia’s story didn’t appeal that much to me it’s for me probably the weakest link so far. Now I’m looking forward to seeing what common ground I can possibly share with supermodel Electra in the next book..