Oh, ducklings, my sweet and precious ducklings, Natasha Knight has taken us on a roller coaster in Taken. One word of warning before I proceed, Taken is part of a duet, so it ends in a cliffie. The second part will be out in 2 weeks, so it’s not like Natasha is making us wait for a long time for the resolution. So, if you are interested in this one but you don’t like cliffies, wait a couple more weeks. Now, on to the review.
The Willows and the Scarfonis have a centuries-old relationship. That’s not a good thing here. For centuries, the Willows have always had quadruplet daughters and the Scarfonis have had sons. It used to be that they had 4 sons, but now they only have 3. Well, they still have 4 sons, but one son in each generation dies. Anyhow, once every generation, when the Willow daughters turn 21, the Scarfoni sons go and reap one of the daughters. They choose one, and keep her for 3 years, each brother getting their year with her, from oldest to youngest. The 3 sisters who don’t get chosen go on with their lives, get married, and one of them has quadruplet daughters, and the cycle begins again. The Willow Girl, the one that the Scarfonis choose, doesn’t always fare well. Their life expectancy after their 3 years is rather short, with a number of them committing suicide. There is one who seemed to survive her 3 years of service well, and that is Helena, the great-aunt of this generation’s Willow daughters.
Helena is also the name of one of the current generation of daughters. She actually looks like her great-aunt Helena. She’s dark to her sisters’ light. They are golden dolls, but Helena has dark hair, with a silver stripe. Ever since her 16th birthday, when her mother told her and her sisters what was happening, Helena has hoped that she wouldn’t be the one chosen. In fact, she went and got rid of her virginity, just so that she could knock herself out of the running.
Sebastian, Ethan, and Gregory as this generation’s Scarfoni sons. Along with Lucinda, who is Ethan and Gregory’s mother and Sebastian’s step-mother, they have come to the library at the Willow estate where the 4 women are standing in transparent shifts and on blocks so that they can be chosen. Helena has had to be bound and gagged while she is standing there with her shift that has a smear of blood on it, marking her non-virginal state. Sebastian is the one who gets to choose which of the 4 women standing in front of him is to be this generation’s Willow Girl, and by all rights, it should be one of the golden girls, but that would make our story really short now, wouldn’t it? Of course, Helena is the one that Sebastian wants.
There’s a lot going on in this book. I don’t know if I like Sebastian. I mean, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. That’s OK, that’s how Helena feels about him too. She likes parts of him and she likes what he makes her feel, but she really basically just hates him. He’s told her that he wants to break her, she’s told him that he might have her body but can’t have her soul. There are things going on with Sebastian that we don’t understand or have access to, as of yet. I hope we find them in the next book. I’m interested in them. Helena, I like her a lot. She’s strong and fragile, broken and whole, all at the same time. She has to keep being rebellious because that’s the only way that she can be, the only way she can survive. Ethan and Lucinda deserve to burn in hellfire and lava, or to be cast into the center of a sun. I hate them, a lot. Gregory is… an unknown. I’m looking forward to finding out more about him too.
Aunt Helena’s ring, OMG, I love her ring, and especially love how she got it. But yeah, I agree, Auntie Helena didn’t come back all that sane. But, you gotta wonder, what exactly happened to her to make her do what she did? It had to have been bad.
I’m kind of thinking that maybe Sebastian’s mom didn’t commit suicide, maybe she was helped along by someone near and dear to her. That person seems like they would do that to me.
And fuck, that ending. Ugh.
OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. I may not survive the wait. Happy reading!