In the Serpent's Coils

In the Serpent's Coils

4.5 14
by Tiffany Trent
     
 
Fairies can be downright dangerous!

In the Serpent's Coils marks the debut of Hallowmere, a dark, edgy historical fantasy series that teens won't be able to put down!

Ever since her parents died in the Civil War, Corrine's dreams have been filled with fairies warning her of impending peril. When she's sent to live at Falston Manor, she thinks

Overview

Fairies can be downright dangerous!

In the Serpent's Coils marks the debut of Hallowmere, a dark, edgy historical fantasy series that teens won't be able to put down!

Ever since her parents died in the Civil War, Corrine's dreams have been filled with fairies warning her of impending peril. When she's sent to live at Falston Manor, she thinks she's escaped the danger stalking her. Instead the dreams grow stronger, just as girls begin disappearing from school.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Trent's first novel-first in the projected Hallowmere series-borrows heavily from folklore themes used to better effect in other contemporary YA fantasy novels. Shortly after the Civil War ends, Corrine recovers from swamp fever only to discover that the illness has claimed her mother's life. Her aloof Uncle William shelters her for only a few weeks before she breaks every rule of his household (as well as proscriptions familiar to even the most casual fairytale reader) and brings about a violent raid on his property, apparently by fairies. Promptly packed off to a "reformatory school for young ladies," Corrine now sees visions, has strange dreams and feels haunted by "the Captain"-whoever he might be. At the school, girls have been disappearing; a classmate is possessed; servants either practice witchcraft or have second sight. Something dark is transpiring behind the scenes-but whom can Corrine trust as she tries to keep herself and the others safe? And surely she can glean some clues from the 14th-century correspondence she keeps finding (especially as it is in modern English and therefore easy for her to read). Even with so much action, the plot moves slowly, and the details slip in and out of historical accuracy. Some big loopholes in the plot (Corrine noting that she has no actual proof that her mother died, for example) leave openings for major reversals in the remaining nine installments, although readers may not wish to stick around. Ages 13-up. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Angela Carstensen
Fifteen-year-old Corrine wakes up on August 12, 1865, in her Uncle's house. She remembers that her mother moved them to Washington after her father was lost in battle. Now her mother is dead of the same fever that Corrine has barely survived. While she is convalescing, the Fey (and the Captain, their terrifying leader) convince her to steal a precious stone from her Uncle, prompting him to send her to the Falston Reformatory School for Young Ladies in Virginia for her own protection. From the moment Corrine arrives, the teachers and servants are cruel to her, and her peers are wary. She has trouble making friends and adjusting to the harsh conditions. Rumors of witches, voodoo, and the Fey abound. Each time she visits the library, she finds mysterious fourteenth-century love letters between a Brother Angus and Sister Brighde, and the Captain lurks outside the school grounds every night, staring up at her window. Students are disappearing into the forest. Corrine has intense visions, both waking and sleeping. If only the author had created suspense around Corrine's fate. The novel's somber tone and measured pace nicely limn a world recovering from the Civil War, but it is impossible to imagine how all of the disparate elements of the story might connect. By the end of this book, the first of a projected Hallowmere trilogy, the reader is no closer to understanding where the author is going with her story. This book is heavily reminiscent of A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (Delacorte, 2004/VOYA April 2004) but without the lively characters, clear sense of place, and compelling pace.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786942299
Publisher:
Wizards of the Coast
Publication date:
08/28/2007
Series:
Hallowmere Series
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.88(d)
Age Range:
12 - 16 Years

Meet the Author

Tiffany Trent teaches English at Virginia Tech. She currently lives in Virginia and is a member of the Class of 2K7 (www.classof2k7.com), a group of authors with first novels debuting in 2007 who have banded together to promote their books.

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In the Serpent's Coils 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
"I do believe in faries! I do! I do! "

So begins the chant in the middle of PETER PAN to save Tinkerbell from dying. In Tiffany Trent's first book of the HALLOWMERE series, IN THE SERPENT'S COILS, you had better believe in fairies or you may find yourself dead.

The book opens to find Corrine, our heroine, deathly ill at her Uncle's home. She finds out that her beloved mother has died, and her father had died a few years before while fighting on the side of the North in the Civil War. She hardly knows her uncle and she quickly gets on his bad side.

While there at his home she starts having nightmares of the Fey, which are very confusing. She doesn't obey her uncle and gets sent to Falston, a boarding school for girls. The girls here are mostly unwanted. They get sent to Falston for many reasons, but mainly because their families don't want them. At Falston, they are treated like they are criminals.

They are locked in their rooms at night and are escorted wherever they go. The dreams that Corrine had in Virginia are now intensified. She is haunted by the Fey and is confused about who to trust, the witches who run the school, the priest, the very handsome groundskeeper who keeps saving her, and, of course, the Fey.

Things are not as they seem and the action is plentiful. This was a well-written and quite enjoyable story. It gave me some nice shivers and is the perfect fall book.

"I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dholland08 More than 1 year ago
In the Serpent's Coils was a scary fairy story set in post Civil War America. We meet the main character, Corinne, as she wakes up in her uncle's house with no idea how she got there. Soon she is told her mother died of a fever that almost claimed her own life, leaving her an orphan since her father was lost in the battle at Petersburg. Corinne's Uncle William is stern and after she defies his strict rules too many times he packs her off to Falston Manor, a girls' reform school. Falston is everything her life in Maryland with her parents was not. The teachers are stict, the food is bad and the girls are locked into their rooms when they aren't in classes. The book slows here for awhile, despite Corrine's numerous nightmares filled with fairies and witches and her discovery of love letters a monk sent to a nun in the 1300s. But the plot picks up again. Corinne is trapped at this harsh boarding school. She believes the fairies or Fey to be her friends and the witches and their captain her enemies. But among the students and teachers, who is there to trust? While this book isn't completely original, it is enjoyable and often compelling. The story is like a nightmare in many ways, with the prison-like Falston Manor, mysterious cloaked figures that are always there, always watching, and sinister adults who don't believe you're in danger. I wouldn't call this book fast-paced but it was good. I couldn't help comparing it to A Great and Terrible Beauty, because the stories are similar- a brooding boarding school, a Victorian era setting, disturbing magical goings on, and a band of misfit girls who join together. Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty is the better novel, but I still reccomend this first installment in the Hallowmere series.
trinityjade More than 1 year ago
I cannot recommend this book enough. It's gothic and spooky in it's own way. Far from your typical read, too. I have actually met Tiffany Trent. She's quite the character, as is every character in her story. I'm a big fan of Victorian imagery, so it was great.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
In the Serpent's Coils is a wonderful new fantasy book that I read just a little while ago. It is filled with disaster, secret love letters, confusion, secret meetings, and the mysterious Fey. At the beginning of the story, Corrine is sent to live with her uncle. There, she finds out that her mother is dead, and she has her first encounter with the people under the hawthorn bush. It seems like the hawthorn people are helping her, by curing her of her illness, but something isn't quite right. By helping the hawthorn people, Corrine is sent away, although she isn't quite sure why. Throughout the book, there are a lot of secrets held by the adults, which often lead to trouble. There is more trouble in the form of a boy names Rory. Soon, Corrine doesn't know who to trust. This leads to even more disaster. I found this book interesting and easy to read. It was also very educational because it takes place right after the civil war came to a close. The mystery and secrets involved held me intrigued until the end of the story. I can't wait for the sequel, By Venom's Sweet Sting, to be published. I would recommend this to any fantasy readers who haven't found any new and good fantasy books to read, because this is a fantastic choice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first it was alittle slow to get into but once you get into the book you can not put it down! & the rest of the series look AMAZING! The second book was even better than the 1st! Read bo0th books in 3 days! Def read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
the book starts slow but i promise it gets better. the second book is even better than the first. and there are 10 in the whole series sooo....there is a lot to the story wonderful storyline and i love that it is set post civil war lots of good stuff there
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a fan of Libba Bray's series (A Great and Terrible Beauty, etc.), I fully expected to love this book. I was disappointed. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't great. The characters are predictable, the setting is odd (something about gothic horror in post-Civil War America doesn't quite work), and the scary bits aren't all that scary. Hopefully the sequel with be better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'I do believe in faries! I do! I do! ' So begins the chant in the middle of PETER PAN to save Tinkerbell from dying. In Tiffany Trent's first book of the HALLOWMERE series, IN THE SERPENT'S COILS, you had better believe in fairies or you may find yourself dead. The book opens to find Corrine, our heroine, deathly ill at her Uncle's home. She finds out that her beloved mother has died, and her father had died a few years before while fighting on the side of the North in the Civil War. She hardly knows her uncle and she quickly gets on his bad side. While there at his home she starts having nightmares of the Fey, which are very confusing. She doesn't obey her uncle and gets sent to Falston, a boarding school for girls. The girls here are mostly unwanted. They get sent to Falston for many reasons, but mainly because their families don't want them. At Falston, they are treated like they are criminals. They are locked in their rooms at night and are escorted wherever they go. The dreams that Corrine had in Virginia are now intensified. She is haunted by the Fey and is confused about who to trust, the witches who run the school, the priest, the very handsome groundskeeper who keeps saving her, and, of course, the Fey. Things are not as they seem and the action is plentiful. This was a well-written and quite enjoyable story. It gave me some nice shivers and is the perfect fall book. 'I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!' **Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
Guest More than 1 year ago
I met Tiffany Trent, the author of this fantastic book, at the World Fantasy Convention last November. She did a reading from the book at one of the sessions I attended, and I knew I'd like it. It was finally released this past Tuesday (8/28), and I got a copy of it last night. Wow! I liked it even better than I had expected. And trust me, that's saying a lot, because I had high expectations for the book. Set in postbellum Washington D.C. and Virginia, Corrine's father is presumed dead after a battle. She and her mother had gone to Washington where her mother was working as a nurse. Corrine wakes up to learn that her beloved mother is dead, and the locket that bears her parents' pictures is gone. She is her uncle's home, from whom her mother had been estranged, and her whole world has turned on end. She's still recovering from a serious illness, and she wants her mother's trunk that her uncle refuses--for the time being, at least--to give to her. But one day the mysterious creatures under the hawthorn tell her that they will grant her wish if she brings them a stone that reposes in her uncle's study. She complies, and is given in return two doses of something that resembles a dried sparrow's heart. Not only does she recover from her illness, but her uncle's den has been ransacked and her mother's trunk forced open. When Corrine tells her uncle about the creatures under the hawthorne, he is shocked and angered, and sends her away to a reform school for young ladies. The school is like nothing Corrine could have imagined, and she very slowly begins to make some friends. But she's also having dreams and visions. She doesn't know who she can trust, and when her missing locket is returned to her, she makes a choice. The repercussions of that decision send ripples of shock throughout the school and Corrine's life is altered in ways she could not have imagined. This is the first volume in a series of ten the next is due out in December of 2007. I can't recommend this any more highly.