Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 6 January 2015
Format: Paperback, 384 pgs
Greek mythology, Bulgarian folklore, and the taste of first love - this about sums up the story of Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova.
The story opens with the Bulgarian legends of the samodivi - forest witches who are believed to beguile and entrap men and then consumed them with vengeance by taking out their eyes and hearts.
Thea Slavin hears of this legend from her father, but only after her persistence and that she'd promise to let go of finding her elder sister's past; in which everyone believes Elza was dead but unsure of what happened and why. Her body was never found. Thea, however, is very curious about her sister and she intends to find out as much information as she could while in Princeton, the same college where Elza was studying before tragedy strikes.
Thea then knows of a mysterious guy called Rhys when she was playing Chopin music during a performance. She is intrigued by him, but she is also wary of his behaviour because he seems possessive although he admits he isn't a one-woman guy. To complicate matters, Thea later finds out that it was Rhys' younger brother, Jake, and not Rhys who left a stalk of rose for her during the performance. Who are these two brothers really, who have intrigued her and have her attracted to them at the same time? And as the more she finds out about Elza, the more she is convinced that Elza is connected to Rhys and Jake, and that is where she will learn of a shocking truth surrounding a myth which consists of the darkness of rituals and sacrifices.
Wildalone is a good read if you are into fantasy, myth and romance all in one. I enjoyed reading all of the above elements, however I felt something was lacking in this novel but I couldn't put my finger on it. Perhaps it is the characters, because I didn't really care about them. The two brothers, Rhys and Jake, are interesting but that is about them; Thea is one brave and determined girl but at times she just infuriated me with her indecisiveness. The positive side is, I thought the myth and the legends are nicely written and they blend in well with the atmospheric plot. As the back blurb suggests, this novel would appeal to readers who are into the characters as fascinating and compelling as those of Diana Gabaldon, Deborah Harkness and Stephanie Meyer.