Author: Debbie Viguié.
Published: April 6th 2004.
Publisher: Simon Pulse.
Sort: Part of the ‘Once upon a time’ series.
Ruth's grandmother lives in the forest, banished there for the "evil" that the townsfolk believed she practiced. But if studying the stars, learning about nature, and dreaming of flying is evil, then Ruth is guilty of it too. Whenever Ruth took food and supplies to her grandmother, she would sit with the old woman for hours, listening and learning. When she wasn't in the woods, Ruth was learning the trade of her father, a blacksmith, now that her brother would never return from the Crusades. Amidst those dark days, a new man enters Ruth's life. William is a noble with a hot temper and a bad name, and he makes her shiver. But the young man is prey to his heritage, a curse placed on his family ages ago, and each male of the family has strange blood running in his veins. Now Ruth must come face-to-face with his destiny at Grandma's house.
Ruth is bitten by a wolf when she was little. She is now scared all the time, but she is still going IN THE DARK to her grandmother, who was living deep in the forest. When you are so afraid of the big bad wolf, why the hell do you go to your grandmother in the middle of the night? Ruth works together with her father as blacksmith after her brother left for the Holy War in Jerusalem. I can see that her life is pretty busy, but I think her father would give her some free time to visit Granny.
In an attempt to make the story a little bit interesting – a failed attempt, mind you – William enters the story. He has a bad name and he is plagued by a curse. Yep. Mystery solved. He is immediately crazy about Ruth and he can’t stop thinking about her. When the two of them spent SOME time together, he proposes to her and of course, she says yes! After this there is some “I’m too dangerous for you”, “please stay with me” “no, you should go!” drama. In the end she gets her father approval – huh, what? He doesn’t even know him, only his bad reputation. I also need to point out that the ‘love’ is creepy.
1. He attacked Ruth when she was little. Not very attractive to me.
2. He knows that he is dangerous for Ruth, but he can’t live without her. That is no love, that is being selfish and egoistic.
3. He watches her when she sleeps before they really know each other. HA, kidding, but it wouldn’t surprised me if he did.
Ruth’s cousin Peter returned from the war and he has some serious issues. I was hoping to get something exciting out of this, but he constantly says “that he doesn’t want to talk about it” So, what is the use of being mysterious when you don’t want to reveal it in the end of the story? It felt like a poor excuse for his attack on Ruth’s grandmother. He is forcing the old woman to teach him her magic, but she denies it. This makes the ending even more lame. The curse is cured with the blink of an eye and I just had to roll my eyes. It was a very pathetic attempt of a happily-ever-after.
The only reason this book got 1.5 flowers instead of 1; Ruth is a blacksmith despite everyone's disapproval. She stands up for herself and she even starts a fight with a man because he insults her - and she was winning. But the disconnection from all the characters, the fact that the story builds towards nothing and the horrible ending make me recommend to you: please, don’t read this book.