The Twelfth Enchantment [NOOK Book]

Overview

Lucy Derrick is a young woman of good breeding and poor finances. After the death of her beloved father, she becomes the unwanted boarder of her tyrannical uncle, fending off marriage to a local mill owner. But just as she is resigned to a life of misery, a handsome stranger—the poet and notorious rake Lord Byron—arrives at her house, stricken by what seems to be a curse, and with a cryptic message for Lucy.
 
With England on the cusp of ...
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The Twelfth Enchantment

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Overview

Lucy Derrick is a young woman of good breeding and poor finances. After the death of her beloved father, she becomes the unwanted boarder of her tyrannical uncle, fending off marriage to a local mill owner. But just as she is resigned to a life of misery, a handsome stranger—the poet and notorious rake Lord Byron—arrives at her house, stricken by what seems to be a curse, and with a cryptic message for Lucy.
 
With England on the cusp of revolution, Lucy inexplicably finds herself awakened to a world where magic and mortals collide, and the forces of ancient nature and modern progress are at war for the soul of England . . . and the world. The key to victory may be connected to a cryptic volume whose powers of enchantment are unbounded. Now, challenged by ruthless enemies with ancient powers at their command, Lucy must harness newfound mystical skills to preserve humanity’s future. And enthralled by two exceptional men with designs on her heart, she must master her own desires to claim the destiny she deserves.
 
Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in 1812 Nottinghamshire, this delightfully original tale from Liss (The Devil's Company) combines the classic elements of a Regency romance with ancient magic and the machine-breaking of the Luddite rebellion. Now living with her miserly uncle, orphaned and impoverished 20-year-old Lucy Derrick—already with one failed elopement to her name—feels her only escape is via marriage to the unpleasant mill-owner Mr. Olson. That is, until the day the notorious Lord Byron appears on her doorstep, apparently under a curse, and warns her to avoid the marriage and "gather the leaves." Tutored by the mysterious Mary Crawford and courted desultorily by the rakish Byron, Lucy begins to unlock her own magical talents. In the process, she discovers the secrets of her own past, as well as an ancient evil that threatens England itself. Liss neatly tweaks the conventions of the genre, effectively combining the personages and political issues of the day with alchemical science and the ghostly mysteries of the barrow-mounds for a historical adventure with appeal well beyond fans of the Regency era. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Twelfth Enchantment

"David Liss takes readers on a light-hearted romp through Regency England in The Twelfth Enchantment. With an adroit mix of fact and fantasy, Liss casts heroine Lucy Derrick into a world of industrializing mill towns, mysterious enchantments, ghostly dogs, undead fairies, Luddites, and even Lord Byron and his legions of lovesick women. Charged with gathering the scattered pages of an alchemical manuscript, Lucy’s adventures teach her that appearances can be deceptive—and delightfully so. Liss’s deft touch with historical subject matter and his ability to craft tremendously appealing characters makes this a thoroughly enjoyable, satisfying read."
--Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches

PRAISE FOR DAVID LISS
 
The Devil’s Company
 
“Accomplished, atmospheric and thoughtful.”—The Washington Post
 
The Whiskey Rebels
 
“Smart, page-turning fun.”—St. Petersburg Times
 
The Ethical Assassin
 
“[A] page-turning thriller . . . a thought-provoking and highly enjoyable yarn.”—Baltimore Sun
 
A Spectacle of Corruption
 
“[A] wonderful book . . . easily one of the year’s best.”—The Boston Globe
 
The Coffee Trader
 
“Unusual and diverting . . . Sometimes, as the book demonstrates with a nice twist, sincerity can be the greatest means of deception.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
A Conspiracy of Paper
 
“Tremendously smart, assured, and entertaining.”—Newsweek

Library Journal
In many ways, Liss's seventh novel (after The Devil's Company) represents a significant departure for the best-selling author (A Conspiracy of Paper; The Whiskey Rebels). Readers accustomed to his stories of financial intrigue may be surprised to discover that he here delves into witchcraft and sorcery. As always, though, he has an eye out for the broader economic story, such as the rise of the factory system in early 19th-century England and its impact on his characters. The tale follows the life of Lucy Derrick, who is taken in by her uncle after her father's death. When her uncle tires of supporting her and arranges a marriage for Lucy, against her will, to Olson, a mill owner, she seems powerless to stop the marriage and gain control over her life. On the day of her first meeting with Olson, though, events take a fantastic turn: as Lucy is introduced to the power of witchcraft, she discovers a possible avenue of escape. VERDICT This book won't have the broad appeal of some of Liss's other novels, but it should attract fans of the supernatural.—Douglas Southard, Sharon, MA
Kirkus Reviews

In this change of literary direction, Liss mixes his considerable knowledge of 19th-century England and its industrialization period with a touch of literal magic.

Sweet Lucy Derrick's past luck has been anything but good. Her father favored eldest daughter Emily, but when Emily died, it brought him and Lucy closer together. Then her father also passed away, leaving Lucy and Martha, the middle Derrick girl, without money or prospects. Martha selflessly married the disagreeable Mr. Buckles with the hopes that he would provide for both her and Lucy, but Buckles forced Lucy from the family home. That is how Lucy came to find herself under the roof of a dyspeptic uncle and his rotten-to-the-core retainer, Mrs. Quince. Lucy's only suitor, a mill owner named Olson, makes hosiery in a dark, dirty place where women, children and the elderly toil under untenable conditions for slender wages. Olson, who has no redeeming qualities other than being one of the few successful businessmen in town, plans to marry Lucy, even though Lucy wants no part of him, although she acknowledges her prospects are dim. A youthful indiscretion with a much older man has tainted her in the eyes of many, although the runaway lovers were intercepted before anything could happen. Alone, relatively friendless and without resources, Lucy is amazed when the beautiful and mysterious Mary Crawford befriends her, and even more astounded when she finds unsuspected talents for practicing the art of magic. Through Mary, Lucy discovers an innate ability to understand and cast spells, but at the same time, Lucy's life is caught up in other things she does not understand: the burgeoning Luddite movement, a visit from a handsome, well-known nobleman and mounting fear engendered by shadowy dark creatures that others cannot see and do not realize are there. Liss writes in the almost formal style of that period and faithfully conveys England's atmosphere during the early advent of mechanization, but the convoluted story moves at a tiresome pace.

This odd mixture of industrial history and the occult world lacks charm and coherency, but it earns points for ambition and characterization.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588369628
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/9/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 56,226
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

David  Liss
David Liss is the author of The Devil’s Company, The Whiskey Rebels, The Ethical Assassin, A Spectacle of Corruption, The Coffee Trader, and A Conspiracy of Paper, winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and children.


From the Hardcover edition.

Biography

David Liss never received his doctorate. According to the tongue-in-cheek F.A.Q.s on the author's web site, this is the second most common question that Liss is asked in interviews. The first, of course, is "are you Jewish?"

Halfway through his dissertation on 18th century British literature and culture, Liss decided to take a shot at writing fiction. His extensive knowledge of early British culture and his Jewish heritage informed the world he would create -- an anarchic, corrupt economic playground in which Jews and Christians forge tenuous bonds in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

For the next few semesters, Liss wrote his dissertation during the school year and his novel during breaks. As time went on, the breaks became longer and longer. Liss found himself ignoring his dissertation and concentrating full time on his fiction, living off of a fellowship grant he had received to finish his studies. The gamble paid off; published in 2000, A Conspiracy of Paper was released to glowing reviews and brisk sales.

A Conspiracy of Paper introduced readers to Benjamin Weaver, the "thief-taker" who is also the protagonist of Liss's third novel, Spectacle of Corruption. Benjamin Weaver is "an outsider in eighteenth-century London: A Jew among Christians; a ruffian among aristocrats; a retired pugilist who, hired by London's gentry, travels through the criminal underworld in pursuit of debtors and thieves." Critics and mystery readers immediately took to this "Philip Marlowe done up in a wig and buckles," and A Conspiracy of Paper won Liss the Edgar award for Best First Novel.

The Edgar came as somewhat of a mixed blessing for the young novelist. Liss did not necessarily set out to write a "mystery novel," nor did he feel any particular leanings toward continuing to write in the mystery genre. By winning the Edgar, Liss feared that he would be pigeonholed as "the historical mystery guy." So for his second novel, Liss decided to take a step away from Weaver, further back into the 17th century.

The Coffee Trader tells the tale of Miguel Lienzo, a Jewish trader in Amsterdam who tries to corner the market on a promising new commodity known as coffee. Echoes of our current economic climate surface throughout, and the storyline carries a special poignancy in today's culture of multinational coffee chains.

A Conspiracy of Paper fans finally received their second helping of Benjamin Weaver in 2004, with the release of Spectacle of Corruption. This time around, Weaver escapes from prison and steps incognito into the world of 18th century politics. The setting gives Liss a fresh opportunity to flex his intellectual muscles, creating a fascinating and enlightening portrait of London's political scene.

Liss is currently putting the finishing touches on his fourth novel, which he promises will have nothing to do with the eighteenth century, stock trading, or men in wigs. As for that dissertation, Weaver is still listed in his official bio as a doctoral candidate. With three successful novels and a fourth in the works, however, Liss is not rushing to finish his degree. When asked whether he feels a need to complete the degree, he says, "Not at all. I'd quit again if I could."

Good To Know

A few outtakes from our interview with Liss:

"I once spent a spent a summer selling encyclopedias door to door."

"I am dedicated to the cause of animal rights."

"On my first day of college, I vomited on the dining hall steps in front of a timid young lady and her horrified parents."

"I don't have any especially interesting unusual hobbies. When not working or parenting, I tend to be reading, exercising (I'm told that fitness has replaced alcoholism for contemporary writers), and general socializing. I have a long-standing interest in, and appreciation of, wine."

"Also, I'm thinking of starting my own cult -- a small group of people who will give me all of their material possessions and worship me as the most powerful being in the universe. If you're interested in joining, shoot me an email."

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    1. Hometown:
      San Antonio, Texas
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 16, 1966
    2. Place of Birth:
      Englewood, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.S., M.A., M.Phil.

Read an Excerpt

1

The house was astir with activity, which was something most unusual, for its owner, Mr. Richard Lowell, preferred his home to remain a very dour and torpid place. Accordingly, what transpired was activity without delight-that of a graveyard in which the sexton erects a particularly large or novel tombstone. Metaphors of this sort came easily to Miss Lucy Derrick, on whose behalf this commotion centered, for it was her intended husband whom the house prepared to receive. Lucy had no wish to entertain that gentleman. None at all. It was not that Lucy did not wish to marry Mr. Olson, for she had no doubt that marrying him was the most practical thing to do. Nevertheless, she would very much rather avoid the necessity of making conversation with him.

Marriage, as Lucy understood it, involved only infrequent dialogue upon the most essential of subjects, but today her role would be to think of all sorts of engaging things to say, which would not be easy, for Mr. Olson was no great talker. She had not yet discovered how to hold his interest, for their previous exchanges had been at gatherings and assemblies, where dancing or the consumption of punch could stand in for anything resembling an actual exchange of ideas and sentiments.

Mr. Olson's social charms, such as they were, had no bearing on her decision to marry him. More than anything else, Lucy wished to be free of her uncle's house on Pepper Street-near, if not exactly in, the most desirable neighborhoods of Nottingham. She wanted sufficient money that she could feed and clothe herself without reminders of the burden presented by these encumbrances. She wanted to be free of prying and critical eyes, free of the perpetual fear of making an error for which she would be punished like a child. She wanted to feel as though her life were her own, that it was a life in which she belonged, in which she had choices, purpose, even some pleasure.

There had been a time when Lucy had hoped for the things all young ladies desire. She had been the sort of girl-which is to say a very ordinary sort of girl of the middle ranks, though perhaps more that sort of girl than most-who took it upon faith that she was destined for a great and adventurous love. She had two older sisters, and surely at least one of them would marry with the family's security in mind. Their practical unions would free Lucy to follow her heart, and she had longed to do just that.

Lucy no longer believed herself destined for anything in particular. Her life had come to feel alien, as though her soul itself were not hers, but a copy so clever in its construction that it very nearly deceived her own body. She had been thrust into a strange existence, and her real life had been lost in the misty past, like a favorite childhood toy whose features she could not recall even while her longing for it remained painful and vivid.

In preparation for Mr. Olson's arrival, Lucy thought it advisable to make herself as presentable as her limited circumstances would permit, so she had no choice but to depend upon her uncle's serving woman for aid. Mrs. Quince was near forty, and once handsome herself, but was now faded in both beauty and color. In the three years since Lucy had traveled the near two hundred miles from Kent to Nottingham, she'd seen Mrs. Quince's hair turn from bright orange to the dull russet of an overripe peach. Her complexion, previously creamy in its pallor, had turned the befreckled sallow of old linen. Lucy did not take actual pleasure in watching the woman's last charms vanish, but she did experience a sort of grim satisfaction. The only advantage she had over Mrs. Quince, over anyone, was her youth.

Lucy owned little enough that was presentable, and what she had was purchased of her small annuity, resentfully provided by her sister's husband. Today she wore her best afternoon frock with a bodice en coeur, pale blue with white filigree-charming if one but overlooked the fact that it was suited to fashions popular three or four years past. This was Nottingham, however, and Mr. Olson would be disinclined to notice even if she presented herself in a costume of the second Charles's reign. Or the first's. Lucy doubted he would notice much at all, despite her looking quite well that afternoon. She was of slightly below-average stature, somewhat dark of complexion, and, if no striking beauty, she was, in the view of most men, certainly pretty with her long nose, arched brows over large eyes, and moderately, if not excessively, full lips. Mrs. Quince, who was very tall and slender, often called Lucy fat, but Lucy considered herself-in contrast to Mrs. Quince-to be shaped like a woman rather than, let us say, a boy.

It was no comfortable thing to put her appearance in such ungenerous hands, but Lucy thought it wisest to submit herself to the older woman's grim ministrations. Mrs. Quince had ever been solicitous of Mr. Olson's connection with Lucy, and had shown cheerless satisfaction with the proposal. Now she helped arrange Lucy's hair, pulling on it, Lucy suspected, harder than necessary. Still, she was dexterous at such matters, and Mrs. Quince arranged her charge's hair-just shy of black in its darkness-so that it appeared contained, and yet a few strands wantonly escaped from her bonnet to frame Lucy's round face. When she was finished, Mrs. Quince paraded her before her sepia-toned mirror, and Lucy flattered herself that Mr. Olson would be getting no frump for his pains. Perhaps if he would flirt, she might like him better.

Mrs. Quince made one last adjustment. "I've done what I can," she said. "Your hair is almost negro in its coarseness, and it clings to your head as though wetted by the rain."

"Thank you, Mrs. Quince," Lucy said in a fair approximation of gratitude.

"Thank you, Mrs. Quince," she repeated, imitating Lucy's slightly nasal voice. "You might attempt to be polite given that I am making an effort to present you to the world as something respectable." This she punctuated with a derisive snort.

When she was sixteen, Lucy had briefly run off with a gentleman nearly ten years her senior, but the scheme had been disrupted soon after their departure. Lucy marked this moment as the end of her childhood, the end of her happiness, for during her brief absence, Emily, her beloved elder sister, died from a sudden illness. A year later, Lucy's father died, and then Martha, the middle sister, entered into an unhappy marriage. One disaster after another, leaving the fabric of Lucy's life an unrecognizable tangle of thread, and all beginning with her own act of foolish defiance.

Then and now, Lucy could not help but wonder what role her elopement had played in the unmaking of her family. Had she not been so reckless as to run off with Jonas Morrison, would Emily have fallen so suddenly and devastatingly ill? Would her dear sister Emily today be alive? Would her father have died if Emily yet lived? Would Martha have still married their cousin, that horrid clergyman Mr. Buckles? Lucy had sacrificed more hours to merciless speculation upon this subject than could be reckoned. Four years earlier, Lucy had nearly run off with a man, and that remained the most significant thing that could be said about her.

She had believed she truly loved Jonas Morrison, the young gentleman who had once enchanted her, but he had now become the worst of men in her mind. Jonas Morrison, with his easy conversation and his good humor and wit, with his endless card tricks and parlor illusions- pulling brightly colored scarves out of seemingly empty cups or making coins vanish, only to reappear across the room. He had seemed to Lucy the most delightful of men, but his charm had all been a trick, like one of his clever artifices, an act of sleight of hand and misdirection. He was a monster who had encouraged a youthful Lucy to believe his wanton urgings were right and just and dignified, and all these years later, the mere thought of him set her to clenching her teeth and muttering under her breath. All of Lucy's life had been a game then, with her fine home, and many friends, and loving sisters, and her distantly protective father. She'd been safe and free to indulge her fancies and think nothing at all of consequences. Perhaps she had not truly believed in consequences at all.

She believed in them now. The exposure of her scheme had taught her all about consequences and humiliation and regret though, thankfully, not full-fledged scandal. She had been spared that at least, for while word of running off with Mr. Morrison soon became general knowledge, so too did the fact that Lucy was safely brought home without having given up her virtue. She may have been widely regarded as a foolish, impulsive girl, but at least she was not thought a whore. Perhaps her actions would have had more damaging consequences at the time had her family not been torn asunder by her sister's death, and so the wagging tongues of gossips made little impression upon Lucy or her father at the time. But Mrs. Quince would not permit her to forget what she had done. Early on, she had divined Lucy's antipathy to the name Jonas Morrison, and so she loved to use it freely. When Mr. Olson had begun to show an interest in Lucy, Mrs. Quince delighted in comparing him to the great Jonas Morrison. The teasing had abated somewhat once it became clear that Mr. Olson's attentions were serious, for she wanted Lucy gone from the house as much as Lucy wished to depart.

Mrs. Quince now adjusted Lucy's posture in the mirror and took a step back and examined what she saw, placing a finger to the corner of her mouth in a pose of thoughtful scrutiny. "I feared you would look the whore, as can often happen in these cases. Happily, I was, in the main, mistaken."

Being the sort of man who held punctuality as a cardinal virtue, Mr. Olson arrived at the appointed hour and, upon entering the parlor, bowed stiffly to Lucy. He then turned to Mrs. Quince, as if to say something, and then decided against it. He could make no sense of Mrs. Quince's standing within the household and so found it convenient to ignore her entirely. During this awkward moment, his eyes lingered for a second or two on Lucy, particularly, she believed, in the area of her neckline. Once he had taken note of her, his eyes did not return to take pleasure in what must soon be his. There was little to be gained in reevaluating merchandise whose quality he had already established.

Like his manners, his dress was plain and without affect. He wore a brown jacket of a somewhat antiquated cut, though he showed his fashion sense by wearing trousers rather than breeches, and a fine blue ascot hung clumsily round his neck. His limp brown hair hung slightly long and had been brushed forward in the front, as was the fashion. There was something intense in his sunken eyes that some women found arresting, but Lucy was inclined to find unnerving.

Upon invitation, Mr. Olson sat down in a chair across from her, his posture exceedingly upright. Lucy found her attention to be unusually sharp. It was as though she were seeing Mr. Olson clearly for the very first time. His rigid manner, his mechanical gait, his hooded, appraising gaze, and-at five-and-thirty-his extreme age. There was a faint, and not entirely unpleasant, scent of sawdust and tobacco about him. She had many times told herself that being married to him would not be so very bad, but though she recalled believing this, she could not take hold of the belief now.

To distract herself, Lucy did her best to make amiable conversation. She inquired how he did, and Mr. Olson assured her that he did well. She asked how the work at his mill proceeded, and so discovered that it proceeded apace. She asked after the health of his mother, and he reminded Lucy that his mother had been dead for several years. Perhaps, he speculated, she thought of his Aunt Olson. Lucy, who had not been aware that Mr. Olson had an aunt, conceded that he was quite right.

Theirs had been a cool courtship, with more awkward silences than bright exchanges, so it was perhaps unsurprising that there was so little to discuss now. They had traded a few stiff words and danced at various social events about town over the preceding year. After asking her to dance three times at the assembly last month, Mr. Olson had contacted Lucy's Uncle Lowell and proposed the marriage to him. Uncle Lowell accepted on her behalf, and, in turn, passed the intelligence along to Mrs. Quince, who related to Lucy the happy news. So it was that without ever having been asked, or having accepted, Lucy was now engaged to marry a man to whom she had little to say. It was therefore much to Lucy's relief when Uncle Lowell made his entrance into the room, and in her current mood, the irony of these feelings were not lost on her. What wisdom could there be in marrying a man whose conversation was so awkward that the arrival of her uncle must be regarded as an improvement?

Uncle Lowell was a relation by marriage, not blood-the widower of Lucy's mother's sister-and demonstrated perhaps more than the inevitable resentment toward an orphaned niece come to live with him. In his middle fifties, Uncle Lowell was a lean man, tall with an unyielding posture. He had some, though by no means much, of his hair, and that which remained was very white and cut short so that it rose up in a comical way at odds with his dour affect. The long, bulbous shape of his nose made his dark eyes appear deeper than their already considerable natural depth. His suit was of the same brown color as Mr. Olson's, but of a more antiquated cut, with breeches and stockings, and its heavy material gave the impression that any jostling might well liberate a voluminous cloud of dust. Lucy thought that if one but disregarded his quintessentially English attire, her uncle looked remarkably like a picture of a mummified corpse from the Americas she had seen drawn in one of the monthly magazines.

"Yes, yes, you are come, Olson. I've kept you waiting, but what of it?" Uncle Lowell demanded, daring Mr. Olson to object. "These affairs of mine could not be put off. A man of business like you will understand."

What these pressing affairs could be Lucy could not guess, for her uncle had been long disengaged from all serious business. If there was one thing Uncle Lowell prized above money it was quiet, and so having made a fine fortune in the Levant trade, he had retired ten years earlier to his ancestral home in Nottingham. The house on Pepper Street was then in a state of disrepair, the Lowell family having not the means it once possessed. Mr. Lowell had altered the family means, but not the family home, and the building remained much decayed from neglect. The very room they sat in testified to that with its uncomfortable chairs, its scratched tables, its dusty, faded pictures, and a Turkey rug so stained, torn, and bleached with sun and age that the original pattern could scarce be divined.

Mr. Olson rose to take Uncle Lowell's hand with the brave determination of a schoolboy who knows his master's critical eye is upon him. "A pleasure, sir," said Mr. Olson, who appeared to derive no pleasure at all.

"The pleasure is mine," said Uncle Lowell, whose puckered mouth suggested that he derived even less.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

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(19)

4 Star

(12)

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(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a strange yet engaging Regency fantasy

    At sixteen Lucy Derrick eloped with Jonas Morrison, but their running away was never finished though it partially wrecked her reputation as being foolish but not a whore. She believes her aborted elopement destroyed her family. A few years later, her oldest sister Emily died just before her father passed. Her middle sister Martha married Mr. Buckles who rejects having Lucy in his house as he obeys his patroness Widow Lady Harriett Dyer. Lucy lives as the poor relation of her resentful martinet Uncle Richard Lowell and his towering abusive housekeeper Mrs. Quince. She is forced to accept a marriage offer from Mr. Olson, owner of a mill with brutal working conditions.

    The poet Lord Byron arrives babbling she must not marry before collapsing. Medical man Mr. Snyder arrives and says he cannot help the cursed Byron; he suggests they consult with Miss Mary Crawford. Lucy and Mrs. Quince visit Mary. The "witch" guides Lucy as she lifts the curse haunting Byron. The strangeness turns weirder as Lucy becomes the foci of a colossal conspiratorial collision between the ancient and modern times. Lucy must find a mystical tome to save her country while two enigmatic males court her.

    The Twelfth Enchantment is a strange yet engaging Regency fantasy starring a charming heroine struggling with being the unwanted relative fostered off to an engagement she does not remotely accept when her vision of the world is shattered. The storyline is leisurely paced especially towards the beginning to establish time and place (through Byron) and the laws of Liss magic. Readers will appreciate this twisting coming of age historical fantasy as Lucy Derrick tries to save a world she never knew existed until Byron arrived.

    Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

    Couldn't put it down!

    Generally I don't read a lot of fantasy but I really enjoyed Liss's previous novels and I didn't read the plot summary on this one. I am glad I didn't as I may not have read it. I stayed up half the night to finish this- it is the best book I have read in quite a while. His books have such high quality plots and are thoughtfully written.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 1, 2012

    Highly recommend. Brilliantly wove in Byron, Blake and elements

    Highly recommend. Brilliantly wove in Byron, Blake and elements of mythology. This one is for people who love historical fiction and like to learn something new along the way.... Loved it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2012

    not the usual David Liss book

    While this was an enjoyable read , it was not the book of previous David Liss's style. If I had known its true nature, I would not bought it. It was not awful, just not what I was expecting from the author.

    Whereas the others were bit more political and set in years gone by, this one dealt with witches and fairies and had some political statement
    about factories and what they do to workers.It is set in almost medieval times as well, but the tale is much different then his previous work.
    I had enjoyed the others more as they dealt with more historical values and also some facts about how monetary systems and trading evolved.
    I was a bit disappointed that his usual characters were not in this story.
    If you like tales of witches and spells etc, buy it. If not pass this one up.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 19, 2011

    The Twelfth Enchantment

    Nice read. Written more for a young audience.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic...but feels similiar

    It is a fantastic book. I couldn't put it down. I read it on the treadmill and it made me want to go back for more pain. It is earily simililar to Mr. Norrell and Dr. Strange, but Liss with his increadible ability to twist an ending did it again. I loved the book and hope he does more. I have read all his books, but Coffee Trader, which I couldn't get through. It is smart and fun. You can put some of the parts together as you read, but if forces you to be patient. I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend. Liss continues to leverage his uncanny knowledge of history to fashion a story that is believable and fun. He could of tightened it up a bit, but as a first attempt was really well written. I would recommend next time to make the parts harder to put together as in his other novels. I was impressed and he did have me confused until I got near to the end. I do hope he writes more novels like this one and applaude his attempt to do something different. Thanks again for the incredible novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Exciting tale of mysterious magic and worker rebelion.

    Fast paced and a fun story of a woman struggling for independence.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I would best describe this novel as satisfying. It took me a lit

    I would best describe this novel as satisfying. It took me a little bit of time to fully get into the story, but once my interested was sparked, I enjoyed it. The story is exciting, and very unique from other books I have read. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy and entertaining read.

    There were a few faults I had with this book, even though I enjoyed it overall. If you're interested in history, and have a love for historical fiction (as I do), this book may not be for you. Although it's a historical time period, the book lacked any type of history (other than fashion descriptions). It could have very easily taken place in modern times.

    My second complaint is the way the author made the characters. The good characters were practically perfect, and the bad characters were pure evil. It was somewhat hard to believe them, as they were extremely unrealistic.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Not his best

    Not quite what I would have expected from Liss! Although a quick and entertaining read, it perhaps is more a fantasy novels. I would have enjoyed hearing more about Ludd and the drama of the industrial revolution.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    A must read

    Great story that grabs your attention from start. I couldnt stop reading to how what will happen next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    Loved it!

    Couldn't put it down. Loved every page.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    Great book for those who enjoy fantasy with a dash of history added in.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    MAGNIFICENT

    A magnificent tale with twist and turns at every corner--or page. Supernatural magic and forgotten lore entwine this tale throughout. Mr. Liss has done a great job at creating a maze of words that delights the senses. Keeping the pieces to the puzzle, puzzling to a truly remarkable ending. Enjoy this one!

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Loved this Book!

    The best compliment that I can give a book is that I can't wait to get to the end, but at the same time I don't want to get to end because I don't want to leave the wonderful world the author has created. This is such a book. I have never read another book by this author and I picked it up by chance. This author writes beautifully. Such formal and rich language, but it still manages to be exciting and fast paced. You grow fond of the main character as she slowly grows in confidence and magical ability. If you like regency romances you will like this book. I you like fantasy and the paranormal you will like this book. If you love a book with a rich vocabulary and poetic turn of phrase you will love this book. By the way this is the 1rst review I have ever written for a book. I just had to share how wonderful this book was.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    What a crazy concept

    Not really sure what the author was thinking when he wrote this novel. I kept looking up events and names to see if they were fictional or real. Poor Lord Byron must be rolling in his grave to have been dragged into this tale.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Loved it

    Truly surprising Regency!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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