Well, it’s day two of the Great Southern Snowstorm of 2011. Schools have been closed for the past two days, are closed tomorrow, and will likely be closed the rest of the week. While I’m not really looking forward to making those days up, I am enjoying this time off. And what am I doing with all of this free time, you ask? Reading, of course! (I’ve also taken several naps.) I finished a charming little children’s book yesterday. It was about a boy and his cow (Little Joe by Sandra Neil Wallace). Today, I finished reading Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan. This book was a great fantasy novel that put a different spin on what it means to be an immortal. I’m really looking forward to what happens to the book’s characters in future installments.
Nastasya is over four hundred years old. She’s seen and done things that would horrify “normal” people, but she’s grown numb to nearly everything around her…until her best friend does something that she simply cannot get past. After watching her friend take pleasure in using magick to torture and cripple an innocent mortal, Nastasya decides to break with her so-called friends and her party-girl lifestyle. She just wants out, but where can she go? Who can she turn to?
Nastasya turns to a woman she met nearly eighty years ago, a kind, compassionate soul named River. River operates a home for wayward immortals, those who want to overcome the dark magick swirling inside of them. At first, Nastasya is resistant to everything that River and the other teachers ask of her, but she gradually becomes a part of things at River’s Edge and realizes just how bleak her life was before. She is forced to confront the atrocities of her past, and she comes face to face with one who played a major role in her life.
Things are by no means easy for Nastasya. She is learning what it means to fight the darkness within, she’s facing her own demons, and she’s being humbled…a lot. On top of that, she’s got a crush on a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her, one of the other students wants Nastasya dead, and her “best friend” is doing everything he can to find her. Why? Why is Nastasya so special? She’ll find out soon enough, but, for every question answered, hundreds more will come up. Nastasya has much to learn about being immortal and weilding her power, but will she use this knowledge for good or for evil? Join Nastasya on her journey when you read Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan.
If you follow this blog at all, you’ve probably already figured out that I enjoyed this book. I especially liked Nastasya. Most of the time, she wasn’t an entirely pleasant character, but she had such a wonderful sarcastic voice. (You probably can’t figure out why I liked her, can you?) She’s just so wonderfully snarky. I also enjoyed how her relationship with Reyn, one of the other students, played out. That will definitely be a relationship to watch in future books.
I do have one complaint about this book–the title. As soon as I saw the title, Immortal Beloved, I immediately thought of Beethoven, but maybe that’s just the former music major in me. (By the way, Beethoven makes no appearance in this book.) I also didn’t see how the title really related to Nastasya’s character, other than the fact that she was immortal. It was the “beloved” part that muddied the waters. I really think another title could have been chosen that really captured the true essence of the entire book and, more importantly, Nastasya’s struggles.
Anyway, I really enjoyed reading Immortal Beloved, and I hope you will, too. The next book in this series, Darkness Falls, is due out in September of this year, and the third book, Immortal Light, will be released sometime in 2012. For more information on Cate Tiernan and all of her books, visit http://catetiernan.org/.