With inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman's Daughter trilogy—perfect for fans of Libba Bray—explores the things we'll sacrifice to save those we love . . . even our own humanity. After killing the men who tried to steal her father's research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet's secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor's own walls. Then she uncovers the truth about the manor's long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—which forces her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. Juliet must decide if she'll follow her father's dark footsteps or her mother's tragic ones—or make her own.
A Cold Legacy (The Madman's Daughter #3)Featured
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.
I loved The Madman's Daughter! Her Dark Curiosity was a bit of a letdown, but this book most certainly wasn't!
On the run, Juliet, Montgomery, Lucy, Edward (who is deathly ill), and Balthazar, make it to a very remote Scottish home (thanks to Elizabeth von Stein). But both the home and Elizabeth's family have secrets. Shown by the secret passages, the servants with non-matching appendages, and a creepy little boy. When Juliet finds out about the experiments going on in the house, she has to fight whether she wants to continue into her father's footsteps.
What I really like about this series is how each book is a retelling of classic gothic literature, yet all of the books are connected and have the same characters! And I am still able to see how it connects to the original story!
Juliet is such a complex character and she goes through so much character growth throughout this series. I had issues with her in the first two book, mostly due to the romance, and she still has her flaws, but I actually liked how this book addressed those flaws. In this book, she struggles with the fact that she actually liked killing those men in the last book. She also struggles with the idea that she might be becoming her father, by doing these experiments and playing god. She learns so much throughout this series and especially in this book! It makes me so sad how she has to learn, but I am so proud of how strong she has become.
There is romance in this book and it really takes a backseat in this book. I am quite happy about the romance in this book! There is no more love triangle (as Edward is dying and Juliet is now engaged to Montgomery), so there is no more annoying back and forth between men! Doesn't mean everything is all happy and dandy. Juliet and Montgomery do have to work things out in this book and it is very heartbreaking seeing them fight at all, but it is all part of Juliet discovering herself and I am satisfied with the ending.
I adore this series and I am sad to see it go! This book was dark, like the others, but it was even more tragic. Really, if you want to read an amazing gothic retelling series, this is the series to pick up! Now I am highly anticipating Megan Shepherd's next book, The Cage!
This book picked up immediately after Her Dark Curiosity and had the same dark feel of the first two books, though maybe a little less dark than the first two. The three books had such different settings(a private island, London, and now an estate that acted as a haven for girls running away) but I think the estate turned out to be my favourite of the three. It was creepy, remote but still within reach of the people Juliet was trying to escape, it had the feeling that something was always lurking and about to jump out.
Juliet has been a favourite protagonist of mine since the first book and she didn't disappoint in this one. I enjoyed her overall growth and struggle through the whole series, trying to discover who she was, wondering if she was too much like her father, if she was 'tainting' Montgomery with her darkness. A Cold Legacy brought even more struggle to her desire to leave her father's experimentation behind her and added in Juliet struggling with Elizabeth's new expectations of her, which didn't flow with what Montgomery expected of her. On top of her personal struggles, she wanted to keep her friends safe and alive. There was never a time, really in the whole series, that I felt each decision Juliet had to make wasn't high stakes. Sometimes she made the wrong decision and had to deal with the consequences, sometimes she made the right, and hard, decision and also had to deal with the consequences.
I really enjoyed Juliet's relationships with the other characters. Each one was so different. Elizabeth was like a surrogate mother who had her own vision of how Juliet's future should turn out, Lucy was as close as a sister who Juliet wanted to shield from the darkness and keep as innocent as possible, Edward was wonderfully complicated with the Beast inside him and a connection that Juliet couldn't deny, as was Balthazar and him being just awesome and sweet and a reminder that good could come from her father's crazy mind.
The only relationship I wasn't completely sold on was the main romance of Juliet and Montgomery, but I actually kind of liked that I wasn't sold on it. Montgomery was a little(okay, more than a little) controlling over who he thought Juliet should be as a person, always reminding her of her darkness even when he was trying to be supportive, and really, he just rubbed me the wrong way in his interactions with her but I do think he cared for her. It felt like Juliet thought she should want to be with her and love him, so she did.
There were new characters introduced that really added to the story, and previous characters were a little more fleshed out. Elizabeth's connection to the Frankenstein myth was brought into the forefront as Juliet discovered more about the truth of the mansion and the loyal servants. Every new character seemed to be a potential threat and it helped keep the suspense through the whole book.
Like the two previous books, there was a lot of information that was slowly revealed but it was done in a way that the book never felt slow. There was always that danger lurking, the mystery of the mansion, the feeling of who can Juliet truly trust. The twist on Frankenstein was one that I really enjoyed. Knowing this book would be a re-telling of Frankenstein, I thought I knew where it would end up going after the second book, but there were more twists to discover and it was great.
I liked that the series wrapped up in a way that left me wanting and hoping for more. It was satisfying and I can be happy with it that way, but if some characters were to later to get their story, I wouldn't complain.