Book Review: The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
Title: The Beautiful and the Cursed
Series: (The Dispossessed #1)
By: Page Morgan
Author Info: Website | Twiter | Goodreads
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre Type: Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Gargoyles
Publication Date: May 14th 2013
Pages: Hardcover, 341 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson has gone missing.
No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.
Some Nightmares Walk In The Light
The Beautiful and the Cursed is the first book in Page Morgan's series The Dispossessed. I was immediately drawn to this story with its beautiful cover and exciting paranormal take on Gargoyles. Combine this with the fact that it is set in early 19th century Paris, in a abandoned abbey that oozes Gothic tones, add to that some serious mystery and romance and I was sold. I love reading stories rich in atmosphere as much as ones with fantastic plots and fully developed characters, and Page Morgan delivers them all in her book The Beautiful and the Cursed.
What I found so unique about this book is the world building and mythology in it. It is one of the first books I have come across in young adult literature that tells the story about cursed gargoyles, and combines it with the angel and demon lore. I was utterly fascinated by the mythology created around the gargoyles. Known as the Dispossessed, they are exiles and outcast. Their duty is to keep humans from harm who live within their realm, forming a bond of protection and acting as guardians to them. The story follows mainly one young gargoyle, but Page Morgan also has created unique caste/classes between them, each one with its own unique characteristics and features.
The story immediately opens with a brutal murder of a young society girl and an introduction to the Waverly sisters Ingrid and Gabby, who are traveling with their mother to Paris after a bizarre accident forces the family to leave London. They are to meet Ingrid's twin brother Grayson who was sent ahead to secure a house for them. Instead they find an abandoned abbey in near ruin, seemly protected by the stone gargoyles that line its roof and a missing Grayson. As Ingrid and Gabby decide that it is up to them to find their missing brother, sensing he is in grave danger, they enter a hidden world within the folds of Paris. Its many Gothic structures protected by gargoyles who in turn protect the humans within their realm. But a new danger has entered Paris and the Waverly family is right in its path.
The characters were all so unique and well developed, making it easy to fall into this story. The story alternated main between Ingrid and Gabby's point of view, but also included Luc's and Grayson's occasionally. Both girls are strong characters and intelligent. Ingrid seems at first the more prudent and rational sister, while Gabby is impulsive and daring. But I was delighted to see a reversal of roles at times where each sister shows another facet that I did not expect.
Luc, mysterious and very compelling, resides at the Abbey and knows all about the gargoyles and seems quite taken with Ingrid. Through his point of view were are given a unique look into the world of gargoyles and the Dispossessed. There's also Nolan, a handsome and very cheeky Scot that arrives on the scene who uses his detective skills to help the Waverly girls find their brother. I enjoyed his easy banter. Although small, Grayson also has his perspective in the story leading us straight to the heart of the mystery and some fantastically, dark and scary supernatural creatures.
There's some really swoon-worthy romance that brews between these characters, each couple has their own conflicts within the story making it such an interesting read. As far as the mystery goes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was surprised about the many layers to it, and I was turning the pages furiously one moment and then next forcing myself to savor the beautiful and descriptive writing.
The Beautiful and the Cursed has a lot to offer the reader: a scrumptious Paris setting, yummy Gothic writing, an intriguing mystery, supernatural creatures that are both captivating and horrifying, and let's not forget some swoon-worthy romances! I'm captivated with this series, and with its cliffhanger ending, I'm anxiously looking forward to some answers in Page Morgan's upcoming The Lovely and the Lost.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars. I really liked it!