His Black Wings
by Astrid Yrigollen
Published November 2012
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.
"It seems like years ago, but it's only been a few weeks since I have gotten myself into this mess."
Claren Maidstone leaves her home after the death of her parents and being abused by the man that wants to marry her. While running she meets a man named Fredrick who obviously knows her and has a secret reason for taking her in. He takes her home to meet his son Etrigan. She believes she is safe from the ghost of her past at Westwind but those ghost will come to haunt her again.
Astrid Yrigollen did a fantastic job of of retelling one of my favorite fairy tales Beauty and the Beast. It's an awesome blend of steam punk and Victorian set in the future. It's written in first person and third so we were able to experience the story in more than one view which let us get to know the characters very well. I loved the fact that page upon page the story built and you felt like you were in the story with Claren an Etrigan. And the story all came together in the end and you felt happy for them and their "Happy Ever After". Oh and I do love Happy Ever After. :)
I loved each and every character as I got to know them. Claren innocent, kind hearted, and accepting of others. And Entrigan also innocent and lonely. Not realizing how much he wanted and needed friends. Their relationship started out with Etrigan's mischievous stunts to get rid of Claren. It then turned into a loving friendship and eventually a romantic relationship. The secondary characters were just as fun well, except for the abusive ex. Their openness and acceptance of Entrigan made me love them even more. Such kindness was a breathe of fresh air in our society now.
I loved everything about this book. Every sentence I read made me want to keep reading. As a mom and a teacher, I recommend this book to our young adults. It shows the kindness we need to have for others that are different from us. I loved the way the story built up and in the last few chapters the story finished unfolding and it all came together the way a fairy tale should.....Happily Ever After.
I give this story 5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
So you want to know a little about Astrid :) ...
Astrid started her writing career when she begun work for the international video game giant, Sega of America. Working her way up the ranks, she began writing companion guides for games. With a love for writing fiction since childhood, she took her short stories out of storage and had her first story ever written published. It was only after that she found out that first stories are never published!
She has resumed writing full time and has succeeded in putting out the titles, TheDoughnut Tree, Mysterious Pootkins , and The Mosswoods to name a few. Her short stories have appeared in the literary Threshold Press␣ and Shock and Awe Magazine.
She finds writing for young adults both refreshing and challenging. She always wishes to provide examples of positive role models, conflict resolving methods and communication for young adults with their parents or guardians.