Book Review: "The Twelfth Enchantment" by David Liss

Summary from Lucy Derrick is a young woman of good breeding and poor finances. After the death of her beloved father, she is forced to maintain a shabby dignity as the unwanted boarder of her tyrannical uncle, fending off marriage to a local mill owner. But just as she is on the cusp of accepting a life of misery, events take a stunning turn when a handsome stranger—the poet and notorious rake Lord Byron—arrives at her house, stricken by what seems to be a curse, and with a cryptic message for Lucy. Suddenly her unfortunate circumstances are transformed in ways at once astonishing and seemingly impossible. With the world undergoing an industrial transformation, and with England on the cusp of revolution, Lucy is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy in which her life, and her country’s future, are in the balance. Inexplicably finding herself at the center of cataclysmic events, Lucy is awakened to a world once unknown to her: where magic and mortals collide, and the forces of ancient nature and modern progress are at war for the soul of England . . . and the world. The key to victory may be connected to a cryptic volume whose powers of enchantment are unbounded. Now, challenged by ruthless enemies with ancient powers at their command, Lucy must harness newfound mystical skills to prevent catastrophe and preserve humanity’s future. And enthralled by two exceptional men with designs on her heart, she must master her own desires to claim the destiny she deserves....

This book is something I normally wouldn't have picked up so therefore it took quite a long time to finish reading it. This is not to say that it was a bad story or that I was dragging my feet to read it. It just wasn't something I can easily read and thus I had to invest my time while I read this story. There's a lot going on in the book so you have to pay attention if you don't want to get lost or miss out.

Lucy seems like your typical Austen heroine, a young woman of age who's looking for someone to marry but only for love. She's been in talks to marry a man older than her who has the means to save her family from destitution but it will not be a happy marriage. Just when you think that this is your average regency romance, think again. I felt like I was reading a Jane Austen book filled with magic and supernatural beings. Lucy discovers secrets about her family and the company that dealt with as well as the fact that she herself can see things not of this world. The culmination deals with trying to get back her true niece as well as rid her sister of her greedy husband. Well known characters of the time period also make appearances in surprising ways such as William Blake and Lord Byron.

I wouldn't call this book a mashup as it doesn't take the comedic tone that a lot of those types of books tend to do. This also isn't a well known story with a twist. However Liss does make the reader feel as if they are in an Austen inspired novel with the historical authenticity in place as well as how the characters act and the description of the setting. I didn't find myself confused throughout the book yet as I said earlier, due to trying to get a sense of everything it took me a while to digest everything in. Overall, I found the story very entertaining with a different twist on the same story. Even though I normally don't read books featuring paranormal-ish situations or characters, I had a good time reading them in this context. It's a unique read and I think fans of different genres will come together and enjoy it as well.

The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss is published by Random House (2011)

This ARC was provided for a blog tour with TLC Book Tours


  1. This sounds like it could be pretty interesting! Doesn't this have the same picture as another Jane Austen book?

  2. I just started this one and didn't realize this was based on Austen's stuff for some reason. I'll have to look out for signs while I read it.

  3. Anonymous12:36 PM

    I'm glad that this venture outside your reading-comfort-zone turned out to be a good one!

    Thanks for being a part of this tour. :)


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