Book Review

Review: The Last Heir of Blackwood Library

The Last Heir to Blackwood Library

Written by: Hester Fox

Graydon House

2023

A gothic tale, The Last Heir to Blackwood Library brings the magic of reading alive with unforeseen side effects.


The Last Heir to Blackwood Library continues Hester Fox’s historical fantasy theme, weaving the strange and unusual into a gothic tale. However, compared to previous novels, this one fell a little flat.

Storytelling

Ivy was a great character; I loved her and her love of books. Hester Fox is very good at building good characters and usually very good at building up those romantic dynamics. But here, it faltered. Many reasons connect to the way the plot is structured.

The books at Blackwood Library are magical. When someone reads one of them, what happens in the book comes alive. A raging storm or a swarm of bees, they come alive. But there is a cost. Ivy begins to lose pieces of her memory without realizing it.

And what’s worse is that some of the servants, Mrs. Hewitt especially, know about the power of the library and the magic behind those doors. In my opinion, Mrs. Hewitt is the worst because instead of telling the truth to Ivy, she chastises her and treats her like a child. It would be one thing if they had a conversation that Ivy repeatedly forgot, but Mrs. Hewitt doesn’t even try.

Moreover, the fact that she loses her memory makes the plot and story go in circles. While this does make sense, it makes the story feel tiresome.

However, the sinister plot twist gave the story its edge. It added to the rising tension and strengthened the gothic feel behind the novel.

Final Thoughts

Overall, The Last Heir to Blackwood Library was a good but slow read. I wanted more magical realism that I am more accustomed to with her storytelling and a stronger, more defined romance between the characters.

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Slightly Lackluster | The Last Heir to Blackwood Library Review

A gothic tale, The Last Heir to Blackwood Library brings the magic of reading alive with unforeseen side effects.

7
Character Development:
7
Couldn't Put It Down-ness:
7
Writing Quality:
7

Cynthia Ayala-Bujnicki majored in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. Editor-in-chief of Cyn's Workshop, she loves to read and write while tending to her pepper plants. She currently lives in South Florida with her husband, two kids Dante and Selene and two furbabies Mr. J the Kitten who Thinks He's Batman (yes, that is his full name) and Nyx.