Friday, October 9, 2009

Prophecy of the Sisters: Michelle Zink

SUMMARY (Courtesy of

Sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans, and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her. Debut novelist Michelle Zink takes readers on an unforgettable journey where one sister's fateful decision could have an impact of Biblical proportions. Prophecy of the Sisters is the first of three books.


I loved this book- especially that it was a tale that could be set in any time but is being done in the 1800s. Zink has set up the world nicely and rarely did I fall into the comforting lure of modern times and imagine the events taken place in 2009. The dialect and way things were said made it clear it was not modern times, along with passing references to having hot water brought, stable boys and even travel by a carriage. Though I cannot explain why, somehow the era in which this story was set made it even more fulfilling to me.

There were plenty of twists thrown into this tale- some of which I predicted and some that I didn’t and others that were painfully obvious but I simply didn’t put any thought into them. And I have made a revelation while reading this story which again is likely ostensibly blatant but I chalk it up to the fact that I am actually working on my own trilogy now. Several of those twists, in retrospect, are completely logical and you can even go wow, that makes sense. And yet, as a reader who has no idea of what is coming- I find myself grinning and gasping and falling more into the story with each revealed caveat and facet. As a writer, however, I find myself planning things out for my own trilogy and rethinking it, wondering if it’s too blatant and too easy and too, well, logical. But reading this book- now that I am starting to look more at plot lines and how things tie together and hints early on that become something later- I realize that things are often supposed to be logical and make sense. What seems obvious to me as the writer is not necessarily obvious to the reader and perhaps I have just been delayed in such a realization but it has only made me appreciate such twists more and I wonder if perhaps the reason I find myself grinning so much after finishing this novel is for this reason- that newfound appreciation- or if it is just that it is a well written, well thought out novel.

Whether everyone else knew it or not that this is the first in a trilogy, I didn’t prior to reading it and only when I finished it did I come to know that. In a way, I think that made me love the story more. Although there is no huge blow out in this book, the pacing was great and the way the reader followed each clue and each step- learned more about the prophecy right there with Lia made it even more amazing in my opinion. Many things I didn’t consider happening because Lia didn’t consider it. It was as shocking to her as it was to me and I love writing styles such as that. I am now very much looking forward to the next installment in this trilogy and am actually glad to know it isn’t going to be over yet. I have a better idea of what the next book is meant for, and now know to expect the final bang in the third and final book.

Overall, I actually really did like Lia. She is confused and scared but she is not dim witted or a coward. She faces her prophecy and everything around her as bravely as she can and she cares immensely for those around her. She loves book and she takes comfort in her family. She is protective of her brother, and a friend to her sister even if that same sister stands on the other side of this prophecy- if that sister is something more sinister and damaging. Her actions make sense- I never found myself questioning why she was doing something. In ways, I could relate to her (as much as you can relate to someone living 200 years before you). I also think this story is made even better because while it very much centers around both Lia and Alice, it is in Lia’s perspective- the reader is inherently biased towards her side of the story, her plight- but it gives me plenty to think about. To wonder about the events we don’t know about- the things even Lia is in the dark towards- that have led Alice to where she is.

I give this book 4 stars only because while I did enjoy it and fell into it, it didn’t absolutely grip me and make me think about nothing but it, where I lose sleep staying up to read and where I pull it out at every chance I get. In all truthfulness, I think that is just because this book centers around unraveling the prophecy and understanding both it and Lia’s place within it. It is a good mystery- a great puzzle to figure out- but it also lacks mind stealing action. I would not ask for that high volume of action to be in this book- it does not belong there- but unfortunately, I believe that is why it didn’t totally grip me. Am I going to get the next book as soon as it comes out? Absolutely. Do I see the next book and especially the third being full of action and gripping me to it? Definitely.

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