The Recipe: Lady-in-waiting Kate is banished to the Perilous Gard by Queen Mary Tudor due to her silly sister's ignorance. Her likable, but distracted new guardian, Sir Geoffrey, leaves almost immediately leaving her in the hands of the menacing Master John. Kate hears mysterious rumors about the disappearance of Sir Geoffrey's beloved little daughter. While the people of the castle believe Sir Geoffrey's brooding and much-younger brother, Christopher, murdered his niece to protect his inheritance, the townspeople whisper secrets of mysterious Faery People with evil ancient traditions. Kate's investigation of these rumors leads her to discover a dark and dangerous new world. This book is a re-telling of the legendary Scottish ballad Tam Lin.
The Frosting and Sprinkles: Kate Sutton is a very likeable heroine- she's described as physically plain and gangly/clumsy, but smart, determined, brave, independent, practical, and compassionate. (Thank you, Ms. Pope for giving us a normal heroine!) She is not without her flaws, though. Her sharp-tongue is witty, but can make her impertinent. Her stubbornness can cause her good or trouble.
Christopher Heron is a likeable opposite to Kate. He is a brooding and a seemingly tragic hero (Kate even compares him to an ancient hero of King Arthur's days). He is principled, mild-tempered and has a wit to battle Kate's. Although he is sullen through most of the novel, you can't help but like him.
Kate and Christopher bring out the best in each other. Alone each is likeable but together they awesome.
The minor characters are well-developed too. I really like the realism in the characters-the antagonists are loathsome, but not fantastically evil.
I really enjoyed Pope's writing. The plot was interesting and I didn't want to put the book down, especially while reading the last 3-4 chapters. Pope weaves a delightful tail mixing fantasy fairy lore and history.
Pope's world-building is very descriptive and well-written. I could perfectly picture the castle and grounds and the faery underworld as if I had been there myself.
This books is an entertaining and well-written story with great characters, an interesting and compelling plot, adventure, romance, and mystery-in short, it has it all.
The Hair That Fell Into the Batter: None
5 Out of 5 Cupcakes!