Monday, April 15, 2013

Dragonmede by Rona Randall

" Dawn sliced through the curtains as the ghostly edges of a hoar frost," says Rona Randall in her Gothic mystery ' Dragonmede'. Eustacia Rochdale, the female lead in the story also experiences similar fate. Though she married the man she loved and wanted, it sliced her life as the ghostly edges of hoar frost. When she married Julian Kershaw , little did she know that her yearning for a marital bliss would be a bane of her life. 

The story was set in the London of 1800's, when every doors opened for the nobility. It was this privilege which brought Julian Kershaw to Luella's ( Eustacia's mother's )gambling house. A born nonconformist, Luella never wanted her daughter to have a bohemian life which she was indulged in. She gave anything and everything to her daughter which was required for a girl to be a lady. Luella's efforts also did not go in vain as  Eustacia grew up with everything needed to be a lady though born to a bohemian mother.

Luella was overtly delighted when Julian, the heir of Dragonmede reached her threshold. Gambling on his passion for cards and his attraction for Eustacia, Luella realised that the time had come for Eustacia to tie the knot. Unaware of her mother's manipulations, Eustacia married Julian and reached Dragonmede, her husband's home which offered her nothing but a house full of mysteries.

Though I am a die hard of Gothic fiction, the story initially failed to lure my interest. As any other mystery fictions, I was expecting a twist at the very outset which was completely absent in the story. The only cue, the writer leaves is that there is some mystery but not easy for the reader to identify it. No murder, stealing, kidnapping, murder attempts, deaths but an all pervading sense of mystery. But when the story progressed, I could feel my pulse raising and closed the book only when I finished reading it. The reader could definitely identify the culprit but only at the very end, with just two or three pages to complete.

 I felt a sense of satisfaction after reading 'Dragonmede'. The moment I finished it, I saw four stars shining. Yes, I am giving it 4/5.