Thursday, July 7, 2011

FAIR MAIDEN by Cheri Schmidt: Review **SPOILER ALERT**


It's the Victorian era in England, but Tessa is from the medieval past. She awakens within a castle she has never seen before. Knowledge of her name also evades her. However, even worse than not knowing who or where she is, she cannot recall how she died or why she is dressed as a bride. 

Along with Christian, the earl of the castle she haunts, Tessa tries to discover who she is and break the spell holding her in a prison of death. They never imagined the curse keeping them apart is the only thing protecting her, until it's too late.

My Review:

I had fun reading this book and getting to know the characters. I was a big fan of Tessa, and I really liked her story. She was entertaining and sweet, the only thing that started to get a little old with her was the crying. She seemed to cry over everything! Obviously she was in a crappy situation, where she spent most of the book confused and not knowing who she truly was, but it seemed like she spent the majority of the time crying. She obviously was very emotional, and if I were a doctor I would probably prescribe her with some serious Prozac! 

The main plot of this novel was trying to figure out who Tessa really is. Christian, the young man who ‘found’ Tessa, is her sidekick turned love-of-her-life who helps Tessa to discover why she was sleeping for a couple of hundred years, and why she comes back in a ghost-like form. Together they are able to figure out how to change her to real flesh and blood, like a human, but they need to figure out how to break the spell in order to keep her from randomly changing back into a translucent ghost-like individual. This novel has kind of a mystery feel to it with the reader working along with Christian and Tessa to try to figure out her past, and why cannot stay in her human form.

Christian was an interesting character, and I honestly didn’t like him very much. He was a little bit ‘over-the-top’ I would say. He gets angry over everything, and he’s also extremely jealous! Christian is the Earl of Krestly Castle, so possibly he felt entitled to act like a jerk because of his status as nobility? Several times he flips at the drop of a hat, and he’s described a lot as making “menacing” faces, or screaming at somebody in the novel. I feel like he’s a little bi-polar (yes, I am diagnosing the emotional problems of these characters!) because one minute he’ll be talking to Tessa like you might talk to a little kid, calling her pet names all of the time, and clinging to her constantly, then the next minute he’s angry or jealous, and he needs to know where she is at, at all times. I understand he’s concerned for her, but acting like a clingy, over bearing woman wouldn’t score any points with me! I wrote a note to myself at one point while reading that said, “He might be a nice catch if he wasn't in serious need of anger management therapy!” And, at the end of the novel I still felt that way!

This book was directed towards readers at a younger age than me. I think that it would more appropriate for a middle school student or a student in early high school.  Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the read and the humor was definitely for older as well as younger readers, but the relationship between Tessa and Christian was a little too juvenile for me.

As I said, I did enjoy the humor and there were several parts where I laughed out loud while reading! In one part of the book Christian and Tessa are kissing, and as he leans forward to kiss her more, she goes from her solid, human form back into her translucent, ghost like form and he falls ‘through’ her and smacks his head off the door!

There was also the ‘evil’ character, who is Prince Dominic. He was alive with Tessa a couple of hundred years ago, and she escaped marriage to him by “dying.” I don’t want to ruin the story with spoilers, but Dominic is an evil guy, and the reason Tessa has the issues with her human form and ghost form has to do with him.

This was a fun adventurous story, and it has a sweet, innocent love story that builds between Christian and Tessa throughout the book. As I said, I wasn’t a fan of Christian, because I think he is a little crazy, but altogether it was a good read that I would definitely recommend, but I think that younger readers will get much more enjoyment out of it than older readers.

I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars!

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