In this young adult fiction book, the author was inspired by the ballad “Scarborough Fair” and adds the element of family curse/legend. Overall, it is a good story as the reader follows 17-year-old Lucy on her quest to escape a curse regarding the females of her family. She must complete three tasks that seem impossible or she will fall to madness and continue to pass on the curse.
Lucy is a good, likable character even though she accepts her situation without much of a fight. (I supposed that in reality, all one can do is accept what happens to them and deal with it the best way possible, but still she is quite young to do so that easily.) Though I struggled with it and I feel almost ill saying this, having supernatural elements determining one’s pregnancy-from-rape as well as predicting future insanity kept me reading to find out how it would end.
Pradraig was the Elfin king who cursed the family (who reminded me of the Rumpelstiltskin character but more so an attractive devil.) He was cruel, raping Lucy and then living off the schadenfreude of Lucy’s situation. I enjoyed watching Lucy search for the solutions to the three impossible tasks to best him–it just felt right that he be vanquished along with the curse for his actions–supernatural jerks are still jerks.
The unlikely hero of this story is that of Zach, Lucy’s neighbor-turned-husband and sworn love. Suddenly, an older guy friend who finally declares his love for Lucy even after what has happened to her? That seems too good to be true for this story. And maybe it is. I mean, it is all so fast it is difficult to see as believable– he is supportive, accepts the baby, wants to help her through what happened to her, they marry, they get a car and rent a house, he looks for a job… Just–whoa. For a 19 year old, this is a cliche circumstance of knight in shining armor.
While Lucy is the protagonist, working her way through this curse and dealing with the horrible things that happen to her, Zach is truly the unsung hero. His being that devoted and responsible at such a young age shows great potential for what seems like will be a very complex future together, even after the curse is broken. I mean, they are so young, similar to Romeo and Juliet– and you see where that went. I am crossing my fingers for Lucy and Zach; if they weren’t in a fiction book and were my neighbors, I’d be tearful and on edge about their survival.