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4.5 2
Young Adult Fiction 2379
A thrilling end to a dark historical romance
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"What darkness begins, only madness can end."

A COLD LEGACY is a fitting finale to an entrancing debut series.

"Curiosity shivered up my spine." Throughout the book, Juliet struggles with her very nature. Is she a madwoman, fated to become just like her father, a cruel and crazy scientist fueled by a dark curiosity? Or does she take after her caring, calm, and kind mother, with a penchant for generosity? In the end, Juliet realizes that fate is not in control of her life, and that she must make her own path in the world, but it is quite the challenge to get there.

As for the romance aspect of the series, Juliet is no longer torn between Edward, and his inner Beast, and Montgomery, the boy-now-a-man who has known her all her life. She has committed herself to Montgomery, and it is a bit unsettling to see Juliet to steadfastly dedicated to their relationship. Juliet has always been fiercely protective of both Montgomery and Edward, but now with her emotions strictly set on Montgomery it feels as if she is stifled and not quite herself. This is another aspect of herself that Juliet has to come to terms with, along with the fact that she isn't quite sure if Montgomery sees her as taking after her mad father or kind mother.

"Sometimes you remind me so much of your father it's frightening," Montgomery says early in the story. It's true, and it's honestly something that I really like about Juliet. She is strongly herself, and she is particularly honest about her own ruthlessness, her interest in science and medicine, and her itch to be experimenting in order to answer her own curiosities. Juliet knows what she wants, and while at times she is afraid of what she wants, she always ends up going after it without remorse.

"How do you ignore the voices in your head? The ones that won't let you just be happy. The ones that want more out of life. More like what men are free to do -- study what they want, go where they want, BE who they want," Juliet asks her mentor, Elizabeth von Stein. Juliet knows what she is missing from life. She knows how much better life would be if she could truly be herself and get her way. She struggles with accepting that about herself, and I recognize that struggle in myself, as I'm sure many other readers do, too.

What I loved: The Beast's return. The Beast is a dark, monstrous personality hidden in the recesses of Edward's brain. Edward poisoned himself with arsenic in an attempt to kill the Beast at the end of the second book. I was hoping so much that the Beast inside Edward would return in the final book of the series, and of course he did. Oh, it gives me chills just thinking about it. "The Beast had been a monster. He'd been a murderer. And yet on some terrible, deep level, he had been the only one to truly understand me," Juliet thinks in A COLD LEGACY. This fundamental connection between them is so powerful. I'm glad it had a chance to return in the final book.

The verdict: A COLD LEGACY is a perfect end to a dark, thrilling series. There are countless twists and turns that will keep you reading, many secrets revealed that you will not see coming. If you're a fan of the series I highly recommend getting your hands on the final book as soon as possible. If you haven't read the series I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a dark historical romance to keep you up at night.
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