By Author / Illustrator
Hodder & Stoughton
Paperback / softback
For as long as Signa Farrow has been alive, the people in her life have fallen like stars . . . Orphaned as a baby, 19-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her wellbeing - and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy.
Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family's waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother's restless spirit appears, claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger, and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.
Signa's best chance of uncovering the murderer, though, is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he's made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful - and more irresistible - than she ever dared imagine.
From New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace, Belladonna brings to life a highly romantic, gothic-infused world of wealth, desire, and betrayal.
See also: The sequel to Belladonna, Foxglove
PRAISE FOR BELLADONNA: 'A deliciously deadly Gothic romance' Stephanie Garber. 'This book is a true pleasure to read from beginning to end' Jennifer L. Armentrout. 'A darkly romantic tale' Adrienne Young. 'Utterly original and completely addictive' Rachel Griffin. 'Darkly twisted and deliciously gothic' Renee Ahdieh. 'Decadently atmospheric' Kerri Maniscalco
Belladonna follows 19-year-old Signa who was orphaned as a baby and who has been raised by a string of guardians, each of whom has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at the gloomy Thorn Grove estate, whose father mourns his late wife, while the son begs for control of the family's waning business and reputation, and the daughter suffers from a mysterious illness.
When Signa realises that the Hawthornes could be in grave danger, she decides to hunt down the killer and is forced to consider an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow. Can Signa trust Death? Will Signa be able to save Blyth from this mystery illness?
Gothic fantasy novel Belladonna is a wonderful web of intrigue and betrayal, trust and loyalty, all wrapped around the forbidden subject of death and the growing emotions and feelings of a teenage girl. Belladonna would be great for book clubs due to the many discussion and further reading opportunities around the subject of death and the afterlife, which the story touches upon, and the beliefs of different cultures and religions regarding this subject.
I can easily recommend this as a must read for 2023 and hopefully, like me, you will be eager for the next book in the series, Foxglove, to see how these likeable characters develop.
432 pages / Reviewed by Linda Brown, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 14+