I had my doubts about this book at first. (There was mention of a raven's call startling our heroine on the first page. I had to roll my eyes a little! It's always a raven... why can't anyone in a book be startled by a Guinea hen-- now there's a startling bird call!)
I had my doubts, partially because I did not enjoy the first book as much as I could have. I was delighted to have a new narrator, but skeptical that Anne would actually be different in tone from Portier. I was delightfully wrong!
Anne is possibly my favorite narrator in the series (I am in the second half of the third book as I write this review.) She's gutsy, yes, and smart-- but I don't love her for that. I love her because it takes her awhile to process things. The mystery stayed dark for me mostly because I was enjoying her process too much to want to "Nancy Drew" and figure it out before she did. Best of all though, she didn't like Portier at the start either. We were in cahoots and our opinions of the man changed together over the course of the book. I really needed that, especially if I am going to reread the series at a later date.
The fantasy elements in this book were amazing for me. I kept imagining what objects or effects would look like in a movie, as well as relishing in any explanations given along the way.
I flew through this book. Because of that, I can recommend the entire series now.