Title: Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova
Genre: Fiction – Fantasy
Publisher: William Marrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Page count: 374
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Rating – 4/5
In this darkly imaginative debut novel full of myth, magic, romance, and mystery, a Princeton freshman is drawn into a love triangle with two enigmatic brothers, and discovers terrifying secrets about her family and herself—a bewitching blend of Twilight, The Secret History, Jane Eyre, and A Discovery of Witches.
Arriving at Princeton for her freshman year, Thea Slavin finds herself alone, a stranger in a strange land. Away from her family and her Eastern European homeland for the first time, she struggles to adapt to unfamiliar American ways and the challenges of college life—including an enigmatic young man whose brooding good looks and murky past intrigue her. Drawn to the elusive Rhys and his equally handsome and mysterious brother, Jake, she ventures into a sensual mythic underworld as irresistible as it is dangerous.
In this shadow world that seems to mimic Greek mythology and the Bulgarian legends of the samodivi or “wildalones”—forest witches who beguile and entrap men—Thea will discover a family secret bound to transform her forever . . . if she can accept that dead doesn’t always mean gone, and love doesn’t always distinguish between the two.
Mesmerizing and addictive, Wildalone is a thrilling blend of the modern and the fantastic. Krassi Zourkova creates an atmospheric world filled with rich characters as compelling as those of Diana Gabaldon, Deborah Harkness, and Stephenie Meyer. (Goodreads)
Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Wildalone! Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Krassi Zourkova for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book for the tour!
Wildalone was a very unique read and I rather enjoyed reading it. It is about a young, gifted pianist who leaves her native country of Bulgaria to attend university at Princeton. This all sounds normal but it is far from it! She has unearthed secrets from her families past that ultimately drive her to America and Princeton. But what she finds awaiting her there is not only a whirlwind, complicated romance but also, the secrets of her family tragedy and heartache whose foundations lie in Greek mythology. Fascinating right?
This was definitely a unique story and didn’t end up going at all where I thought it would. I love how the narrative is propelled by these tragic myths and I loved travelling with Thea as she connects all the different facets of her experiences and the myths together to create the story of what happened to her family. That was definitely my favorite piece of this story.
I was, however, not really a fan of the romance between Rhys and Thea. I do think that there were some great moments there but I just didn’t like Rhys at all. He was so possessive and that just didn’t jive well with me. I did, however love the Jake romance angle. I was rooting for Jake the whole time and I just felt like they were just so passionate about each other…I felt like their connection was special…the Thea and Jake scenes were awesome but I did feel bad that they all got caught up in this terrible love triangle, although it really wasn’t a triangle at all now was it? The romance between Rhys and Thea reminded me a lot of the Twilight romance between Edward and Bella. Edward sometimes comes off as possessive and Bella just plays into that and lets him and that’s exactly what Thea did and that just annoyed me a little but that’s really the only thing about this book that I didn’t love.
Also, I have to mention that the writing was extremely beautiful and I commend the author for her superb storytelling and writing skills. The language was beautiful and the book is full of some of the most beautiful sentences I have ever read. Sometimes I would get to a passage that was just so beautiful that I had to write it down and save it. Do you ever find those sentences in books that just squeeze your heart and leave you breathless? I felt that quite a bit in this book. I will also say that this book kept me up ALL NIGHT. I was literally up until 5 o’clock in the morning reading this book because I couldn’t put it down. I love books like that, don’t you?
I wanted to share a few quotes from this book that I absolutely loved, so I hope you enjoy these as much as I did because WOW they are beautiful.
“Something about his voice got to me. I wanted to keep hearing its sound. Warm. Quiet. Disarming like the sound of a piano when your fingers are barely pressing the key.” (38)
“Hushed, delicate sounds filled the room with a haunting fragility I had never heard in music. Each tone drifted up and died in the air almost instantly, leaving behind a silence that made one’s heart fold in on itself with aching.” (91)
“I had imagined it so many times, but he erased everything. No one had kissed me before him. No one had touched me, or looked at me, or known that I existed. I began and ended there. He found me. Tasted me. Lost himself in me, as if I was the universe.”(279)
Swoon. Beautiful right? That’s only a taste!
I ended up giving this book a 4 out of 5 star rating which means that overall, I loved it. I feel like this book fits comfortably into a few genres so I would recommend it to anyone wanting a good mystery, fantasy or romance…I also think elements of this story can be classified under supernatural and historical fiction! When I first read the synopsis, I leapt at the chance to be a part of the blog tour because it sounded so intriguing and I hope you feel the same way. If you decide to pick this book, please stop by and let me know what you thought of it!
Have a great Monday everyone and thank you for spending time with me! You can purchase a copy of Wildalone at Amazon, IndieBound, and Barnes & Noble. Also be sure to add it to your TBR list at Goodreads.
About the Author
A natural born storyteller, Krassi Zourkova grew up in Bulgaria and moved to the US to study art history at Princeton. After college, she graduated from Harvard Law School and has been practicing finance law in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles where she currently lives. Her poems have appeared in various literary journals, and her essay, Book Collecting in the Absence of Books, about compiling a personal library under Communist censorship, won first prize in essay contests at Princeton and Harvard. Krassi is an accomplished musician and was inspired by her love of Chopin and her national folklore for Wildalone.
You can connect with her via @zourkova on Twitter!