Blackwell: Alexandria Weis and Lucas Astor
Loyalties and friendships are sometimes more sacred than the family relationships in some cases. As you enter a world filled with opulence, violence, distrust, hate and revenge you will learn what happens when one man vies for the love and attention of a woman named Frances and another wins her hand in marriage. Magnus Blackwell rich, arrogant, affluent and self-assured with no qualms about flaunting his money and his haunting good looks finds it hard to understand that a young woman a graduate from Radcliff would dare to choose someone beneath his status and hers over him. Jacob O’Connor is smart, and handsome and is studying at Harvard to become an architect. But, Magnus will do anything to satisfy his male needs at any cost to the poor female that he engages with. Going to whore houses and taking these women anyway he wants, he finds himself wondering what he has to do to get Frances for his own and when he loses the battle how he will take action to get her back no matter what he has to do or who gets hurt or worse as a result.
The setting is New Orleans as we meet one of the most revered writers and authors of all times Oscar Wilde who befriends Magnus, takes him under his wing and introduces him to the world of voodoo magic, women and the powerful methods of cruelty and corruption that becomes his life. Unable to deal with the realities of what happened he buries himself deep within this world, learns the power of the juju cane and steals it right out of the hands of the woman who tried to make him understand the power of hate and the benefit of goodness and forgiveness which eludes him throughout the novel. When money and wealth come into play sometimes people loose their perspective and find themselves under the spell of another person’s guise as they slowly and methodically want to take you down although on the outside they are pretending to give you support, money and much more.
Frances goes to town and instead of buying Jacob something from one of the shops she spies a store with beautiful ribbons and enters meeting Regina someone that is also attached to Magnus in a different way. When she enlightens her about her story and how she got the shop Frances immediately breaks her confidence by telling Jacob and this might be the downfall of not only Jacob and Frances but an innocent victim too. As he refuses to believe what she is so certain about, accepts more invitations from him knowing he is still in love with his wife and rather than distance himself and listen to Frances he gets buried even more by Magnus. Voodoo, magic, demented behavior and one man so obsessed with one woman he is about to blindside himself as both Magnus and Jacob vie to keep Frances within their sites but which one will succeed?
Our guest author in this novel Oscar Wilde wrote the picture of Dorian Gray and it focuses on the changes of a man so vain, so self-absorbed and no longer good and kind. It is a battle between good and evil as the portrait of this man hangs on a wall and as his inner soul deteriorates so does the picture and the outer soul of the man. At the end the once handsome face becomes hideous and grotesque. Comparing Magnus to this main character in his book fuels the fires within him even more and the fact that he has the juju baton or cane to help him with his quest to conquer Frances does not change the fact that his portrait might change the same way Dorian’s did. When Jacob leaves Frances do to something for Magnus what happens next will alter his world forever. Evil strikes, death is within his reach and the end result only one will remain but which one and who?
When the truth about what happened to Frances comes out will Jacob understand what really occurred and when the end is finalized and the funeral is done where will he go and what happens that sends Magnus on a path to further destroy him? Things change for Jacob as he goes to work for the Railroad and then decides to return to Boston and accepts Magnus’s offer of a job and home. But, with the juju baton now his will he put his anger aside or will he use it for revenge. Getting to know Katie Blackwell you realize that she is no different than Magnus as the author’s created a carbon copy of him to make his own peace in the world.
As Jacob gets to know Katie and lives with Magnus for a while she decides to summon the spirits and do a séance that will not only change how Magnus views her but Jacob will learn the harsh truth about the night his wife was killed. Revenge can happen at any time but will it bring someone peace? Will revenge and hate consume Jacob or will he use the juju baton for good? As Magnus learns more about Katie’s powers and finds himself angered that she wants Jacob to remain in their home until she feels he is well enough to leave and stay for their one year anniversary party, the authors throw a curve or deadly curve you just won’t anticipate or forget.
As the dancers are enjoying the food and the drinks and Katie and Magnus are about to celebrate their one-year nuptials something happens that will put more than just a dark cloud on the event but will the guests realize it? What snaps within Jacob? Will he ever find peace or will he turn out to be another Blackwell? Enter the room as Katie conjures up the spirits. Find out who she sees, Magnus, Mrs. Mann his own special assistant and Jacob all see someone that night. As Katie explains it is someone close to each one of them but when she wants to read more about the spirits and gathers her books from her old room the reactions she gets from Magnus us frightening. Submission to his every whim and will is the only way to survive with him but what happens at the end will allow readers to wonder if the author’s are going to write a sequel. Is what we think happened final? Two men, one woman a Victorian society, a curse, a baton, changeling stones like mood rings that change with her disposition and mood: The eyes of the dragon on the stone changed but to what color? The authors created a plot that is filled with revenge, redemption, hate, justice but of a different kind, sadness, despair and one man named Jacob O’Connor that will stop at nothing to take aim at the one man who took away his Frances but will that be enough?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine