Trope: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Pub Date: 8.20.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆.5
“Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.
However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.”
“I am many things, but I am not ashamed.”
Belladonna by Adalyn Grace is the best YA fantasy book I’ve read in a long time. It has a bit of romance, historical fiction, and mystery mixed into the storyline, making it a unique book. I never felt like I was reading something from the YA genre, either.
What I fell in love with first was the author’s beautiful writing. It was so perfectly atmospheric and provided some of the most beautiful details. There’s only one date given throughout the book, which kept me from associating it with a specific period – which I’ve found I often enjoy about a book.
The mystery aspect was hands down one of the most fun I’ve ever read. Because of the author’s attention to detail, I was right there with Signa as she attempted to figure out what was happening inside the mansion. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, another clue would be revealed, which sent me straight back to square one. It was so so much fun to read.
😍 Beautifully detailed
🔎 Gothic murder mystery
🤩 Gave me all the Addie Larue vibes
💯 Character development
🤯 Cliffhanger ending
I can’t wait for the next book, Foxglove, which will be published in 2023. I recommend reading Belladonna if you enjoyed reading The Invisible Life of Addie Larue or the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.
Format: 432 pages, hardback
Published: August 2022
ISBN 9780316158237 (ISBN10: 0316158232)