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His Black Wings by Astrid Yrigollen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Claren Maidstone has been forced to flee her childhood home after the death of her parents and a vicious assault from a sadistic young man who intends to marry her. Claren changes her identity and finds employment as an assistant to the handsome Fredrick Lowood, a generous yet mysterious benefactor. However, she soon finds out his generosity comes at a price. Fredrick wishes for Claren to befriend his disfigured son who resides in seclusion at their estate, Westwind.
Fredrick Lowood knows what the history books do not teach, that the Grand Council built this new world of peace and beauty on hidden blood and greed. He has plotted for years to bring down the family that enslaved his own people. Suddenly, he has the last living heir in his grasp.
Etrigan Lowood rejects the world that forces him to hide. He is powerful, plagued with a terrible dark beauty: WINGS. It is these wings that carry him out only at night to watch the unwanted intruder in his home. A creature of refined instinct yet little social grace, he is strangely captivated by Claren but knows nothing of how her family’s dark past is intertwined with his own . Through their blossoming friendship, Etrigan realizes he still retains his human heart and yearns for Claren’s love.
Kurten Wandsworth is the only son of the Mayor of St.Marhen. Kurten lives his life fueled by cruelty and lust. Whatever he wants he takes and he wants Claren to be his wife even it if kills her. Scarred by Claren he hunts her down mercilessly until he can set a trap which she will never be able to escape from.
The following is my review I drafted in my head when I was about 100 pages in;

"The biggest surprise of the year, His Black Wings is a 5-stars-worthy book with unique opening and admirable heroine. Add a dash of paranormal element, some steampunk techies, and don't forget gorgeous balls and dresses, this book has the complete recipe to be the next indie blockbuster."

Here's the catch;

THAT IMPRESSION DIDN'T LAST FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE BOOK.

Actual rating 3.75 stars.

The characters were crafted beautifully. I adore Claren very much. She has a great sense of morale and virtue. I don't have any complains about her except for her lack of resistance in the climax. Although Etrigan meant to be the male lead, his character is somehow overpowered by his father, Frederick and Dekker and Horace, Claren's and eventually Etrigan's friends. There are so many colours to Dekker and Horace personalities and Frederick is an unpredictable and complicated character.

The star of the show? It's definitely Naza. And she's actually a dog! :) And what an awesome dog she is.

The biggest let down for me was how the story was plotted. That over descriptive and mildly spoilery blurb certainly didn't help. The chapters names! They uh, sound really lame, I'm sorry. Often, there are a few chapters that were fully dedicated as flashbacks and they sort of put the current story into halt. I was hoping for a more subtle way to throw in the backstories because seriously, my momentum went down rapidly as the story moved closer to the end.

What else... Oh ya, "My heart fluttered and felt like a huge fish was rolling over in my breast".



???

And it's on the first page. I...don't think that line helps in giving the readers the appropriate first impression.

And the insta love. How can I ignore it! Well, probably I can if Etrigan choose not to claim Claren as his;

"You will never have Claren, she belongs only to me. Do you understand?"

And Etrigan said this even before he knew Claren is harbouring the same feelings for him.

Folks, we've been through this before. And it's getting tiring too.

Anyway, would I recommend this book for you? If you'd like to read the first 100 pages and stop, that is.

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