All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.
But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?
I quite enjoyed this! I liked that the witches and fantasy elements blended with the modern world, and I like the complicated nature of the relationship of Jasmina, Malina and Iris. I also enjoyed the take on how magic works in this world even if I struggled to quite envision it. I had a couple of little niggles – I spotted three typos or errors that threw me a bit and while I know this happens in final copies of books it is rare. And there was an Americanism (driving stick) that will work for that audience but doesn’t feel true to the setting of the book.
I also wasn’t completed sold on the side characters, namely the friends. It all felt a bit convenient.
I did however like the slow build, and felt it worked for the book, and the set up to the finale and all the stuff with witches. In fact, if anything, I felt the ending was a bit rushed, after the slow build, and we’re certainly left not knowing a lot of things sadly. I will definitely be reading the follow up.