The Secrets of Wilderfort Castle - Reviewed by Jo Lucre | Regional News Connecting Wellington

The Secrets of Wilderfort Castle

Written by: Jessica Jayne Webb

Pegasus Publishers

Reviewed by: Jo Lucre

The Secrets of Wilderfort Castle by Jessica Jayne Webb is a fantastical tale where nothing is quite what it seems.

Agatha Wilderfort’s world implodes with the sudden death of her aunt and subsequent inheritance of the looming, mysterious, and dilapidated Wilderfort Castle, where she instantly becomes lady of the house, master of the castle, and at first, most unwittingly, the knower of nothing.

Quite unprepared for the change – from being the hired help to the one responsible for hiring – Agatha hires several workmen and an assistant, all previous employees of her aunt. They soon become her allies in a world that gets more bizarre by the minute; one driven by immortals, daemons, and beings possessing special powers. She is immediately drawn to Charles, sensing a deep connection, and an all-encompassing desire to be together ensues.

Riled by the haughty arrival of Lord Caspian at her door, Agatha is at first repelled by his aura – he has seemingly (but quite impossibly) been a thorn in the side of many generations of Wilderforts before her. His mere presence alone threatens her inheritance, and soon her life, as Wilderfort Castle slowly but surely gives up its secrets of another world.

As I read The Secrets of Wilderfort Castle, I found myself wanting to re-write quite a few sentences in my head. Mostly because of the author’s tendency to describe what might have easily been understood by inference. For me this was a little distracting, as was the occasional jump in tense. Despite this, Jessica Jayne Webb developed her characters well, giving each one unique characteristics and special powers. They lend the entertainment and suspense crucial to bringing this hidden world and fight for survival to life.

Filled with gripping characters that are a little more interesting than your standard fare, often common in fantasy novels, The Secrets of Wilderfort Castle has enough mystery and suspense to be a wondrous read. Not to be a killjoy here, but the ending is not tied up in a neat bow, shall we say. I’m hoping there is a book two lined up.

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