Fantasy, Fiction, romance

Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

Themes: YA fantasy, mystery, romance

The synopsis

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.

However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine. 

The review

I’ve heard great things about this book and I’m so excited to present it to you today!

First things first, this book is absolutely perfect for the spooky season and to launch in autumn. The writing style manages to create the perfect spooky, dark, gothic atmosphere to go along with the mystery of the plot. I think this success is partly due to the fact the author is using all the tropes of the gothic genre while adding novelties with fantasy elements. So, this story follows one young girl who seems to be followed by Death. Once again, she has to move in with strangers, hoping that this time they will not be after her fortune. But she soon realises that the old, creepy mansion she has moved in and the family she now lives with have more secrets than it first seems and that Death might once again steal all her chances to finally find happiness.

I loved the heroine and the idea of her allying with Death himself to solve the mysterious death of her relative. The mystery was really interesting, laced with poison and betrayals, and I didn’t manage to find the culprit (which is always a good point). I also enjoyed how the characters were written, all very human in their reaction to the events happening in their life, such as the death of a loved one. The variety of characters surprised me, also by their precision. You go from the selfish aunt to a family trying to deal with their grief, without forgetting Death, who is presented in a way humans don’t often think of when evoking him. I loved his humour to react to Signa’s being outspoken and how she simply isn’t afraid of him or scolding him.

In brief: I absolutely loved this book which combined many of my favourite things I can find in books: fantasy with a mystery which is as important as the romance, complex characters and a great dynamic between the main characters. The relationship between Signa and Death was also really well dealt with, Death having a lot of respect towards her and respecting her age, choices but also humanity.

My rating: 5/5

5 thoughts on “Belladonna by Adalyn Grace”

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