The Missing of Clairedelune by Christelle Dabos
Is there anything more magical than falling in love with a new book series? If you recall, A Winter’s Promise was one of my Page One Books surprises. I read it last year and was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I treated myself to The Missing of Clairedelune from Thriftbooks (and have already purchased the third book too), and jumped in as soon as it arrived.
When Ophelia is promoted to Vice-storyteller by Farouk, the ancestral Spirit of Pole, she finds herself unexpectedly thrust into the public spotlight. her gift—the ability to read the secret history of objects—is now known by all, and there can be no greater threat to the nefarious denizens of her icy adopted home than this.
Beneath the golden rafters of Pole’s capitol, she discovers that the only person she may be able to trust is Thorn, her enigmatic and emotionally distant fiancé. As one influential courtier after another disappears, Ophelia again finds herself unintentionally implicated in an investigation that will lead her to see beyond Pole’s many illusions to the heart of a formidable truth.
The Missing of Clairedelune is another great book by Christelle Dabos. I did a little bit of research on her, and this is her first book series. Ever. Her first books ever! I’m seriously impressed. I mean, they’re being translated all over the world from her native French. This world is just the best combination of young adult writing with old-world “proper” and also feminism.
The second book in the series picks up almost immediately where A Winter’s Promise left off. Ophelia is on her way up to meet the great Lord Farouk. Over time, she comes to find out that the purpose of her impending marriage to Thorn is so that he can read Farouk’s Book, with a capital B. The family spirit is notoriously forgetful and wants to get to the bottom of his history and things he’s forgotten.
Ophelia’s life continues to be put in danger, but there are nobles who are going missing at Clairedelune, Archibald’s famous safe haven. People are turning to him for refuge, and then they go missing. It’s up to Ophelia and Thorn (in their own ways) to get to the bottom of it.
Everything is made extra complicated by Ophelia’s family coming in from Anima for the wedding. They seem like a fun family though. Remind me of when my family gets together.
I’m not much for love stories. It takes a lot for me to enjoy them. There are, of course, stories that I will always love. However, I don’t often root for romance. (Maybe just Delilah and Kell in the Shades of Magic series…) I am rooting for Ophelia and Thorn though. In A Winter’s Promise, I convinced myself to dislike him, that it wasn’t going to be a relationship that would work out. The Missing of Clairedelune totally changed my mind though. Will it be a fireworks, passionate love? Probably not. But I really hope it’s just good love.
We also learn of a reference to God. It’s not necessarily a religious turn, but it is certainly interesting. This is one of the best twists of the book (yes, there are twists!), so I won’t go into it too much. You’ll just have to read The Missing of Clairedelune yourself!
As I mentioned, I’ve already purchased The Memory of Babel and am about halfway through it. I never want the series to end. I discovered that the fourth (and final) book won’t be published in the US until September 2021, so it’s just a waiting game now. I didn’t plan this very well…
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