Betraying Season, the second entry in Marissa Doyle’s entertaining series featuring 19th-century English twin sisters Penelope and Persy Leland, takes readers to Cork, Ireland, where eighteen-year-old Penelope travels to study magic and improve her skills as a witch. A good witch, that is. But from the moment of Pen’s arrival, she is courted by Lady Nuala Keating, a sorceress of the first order, who immediately spots Pen’s extraordinary powers. Add to the mix Lady Keating’s son, Niall, a handsome and charming fellow who, through some tricky maneuvering on the author’s part, convinces himself it is all right to follow his mother’s orders and make Pen fall in love with him so Pen will do anything for him.
“Why?” he asks his mother. Told that in good time all will be revealed, Niall decides flirting with a beautiful young woman can’t be all bad. Although we know where this is going, getting there is highly entertaining, due in great part to the author’s skillful and imaginative handling of the story details. There are surprises along the way. Magic abounds, both light and dark, as Pen is drawn into Lady Keating’s evil plan to use Pen’s powers to kill young Queen Victoria. Readers might like to begin with the first book in the series, Bewitching Season, Doyle’s debut novel, featuring Pen’s sister, Persy, as Persy and Pen save Victoria from an evil enchantment. Young adult and up.