Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

London, April 1812. Lady Helen Wrexhall is set to make her debut at the court of Queen Charlotte and officially step into polite Regency society and the marriage mart. Little does Helen know that step will take her from the opulent drawing rooms of Mayfair and the bright lights of Vauxhall Gardens into a shadowy world of missing housemaids and demonic conspiracies.

Standing between those two worlds is Lord Carlston, a man of ruined reputation and brusque manners. He believes Helen has a destiny beyond the ballroom; a sacred and secret duty. Helen is not so sure, especially when she discovers that nothing around her is quite as it seems, including the enigmatic Lord Carlston.

Against a backdrop of whispered secrets in St James’s Palace, soirees with Lord Byron and morning calls from Beau Brummell, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club is a delightfully dangerous adventure of self-discovery and dark choices that must be made … whatever the consequences.

(via Harper Collins)

I purchased this novel as part of my YA reading group.

Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (or just The Dark Days Club for those overseas) is a magical, mysterious snapshot of life in the Regency times as our titular character is exposed to a dark world of demons, alchemy and occultism. From the moment we meet Lady Helen in her Regency world, we are taken on a vivid and exciting adventure. For those who haven’t been exposed to the Regency times, you can expect female oppression, outdoor plumbing, and meat markets disguised as soirees. Major political and social upheaval was going on at the time, and Goodman has done a wonderful job in bringing this too life without taking over the story.

I adored this book. The writing was succinct and eloquent. The world building was phenomenal and a lot of research has obviously gone into each fine detail. The characters are alive and engaging. Our heroine, Lady Helen, is wonderful and strong, without being too overt (which I think would have gone against the times).

There was romance in this book, but it was not overstated.  It was a delightful departure from the typical YA fare of love triangles, high school and scene queens (not to say that isn’t good, but it is a formula…)

I am a little disappointed (okay a lot) that I have to wait for the next book, but that’s my fault for breaking my golden rule – don’t read series until they are finished…unless the movie is coming out…and you can’t wait…

I had hoped that the character of Delia was explored more but I am hopeful that she will appear in book two.

Goodman did such a wonderful job of this novel and it is obvious she was very passionate about it. I highly recommend you checking it out.

5/5

 

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