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Neferet's Curse: A House of Night Novella    by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast order for
Neferet's Curse
by P. C. Cast
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Neferet's Curse (by the mother and daughter team of P. C. and Kristin cast) is a House of Night novella. It reveals the back story of the villainess of the series, Neferet. And, while it does not garner quite as much sympathy for her as we all felt for Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, it does reveal the path, that along with her personality, led her to the dark side.

Neferet's Curse opens on the 1893 death of her mother in childbirth, witnessed by teen Emily Wheiler (whose journal readers share), who before that had a normal, even privileged childhood. When he finally appeared at her mother's deathbed, her father noticed for the first time that Emily had her mother's eyes and announced that she was now to act as 'the Lady of Wheiler House'. Thereafter, when she dined with him, his eyes burned her.

As Emily's father treated her more and more as a wife rather than a daughter, he isolated her from her friends and childhood activities, trying to mould her in her mother's image. She did what she could to protect herself, in particular encouraging the attentions of handsome, wealthy, young Arthur Simpton. But the night she believed that she had finally orchestrated her escape from her father's clutches was the night it all fell apart.

The story is well done, showing how Emily's struggles to escape her father's control made her gradually more and more like him. And, though she was the victim in this story, she grew less and less likeable. Still, it made me wonder if the authors see any hope for redemption in the evil Neferet. We'll just have to keep reading House of Night episodes to find out.

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