A Chalice of Wind, A Circle of Ashes, A Feather of Stone & A Necklace of Water (Balefire series, Books 1 to 4)
by Cate Tiernan
Synopsis: After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she's ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible — an identical twin, Clio.
Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into.
Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.
My Opinion: A bit disappointing!
After loving Cate Tiernan's Immortal Beloved series (HERE), I had to read her other YA series especially with such a synopsis, the twin thing totally caught my attention.
First of all, this book contains the 4 installments of the series and I'm glad I bought it because I am not sure I would have continued reading it after the 1st novel :s. To be completely honest, I almost stopped reading after a few chapters. I found the twins to be insufferable in their own way: Clio is a spoiled, self-centered, arrogant pest ; Thais is weak, narrow-minded and spends her time wallowing in self-pity which is so irritating! I really couldn't with them but after enjoying her 2 other series I chose to believe in the author and kept on reading.
Fortunately, starting from the 2nd book, the twins became much more bearable though they still never reached the level of awesomeness of Nastasya in Immortal Beloved.
The rest of the characters were interesting as well. I read some reviews of people saying they didn't care about the others' stories but I was actually much more interested in them and what happened in the past than in Clio and Thais' chapters.
As for the whole plot, it was nice though nothing really exciting or fascinating. Moreover, the whole twin thing should have been more developed, it had a lot of potential, it's too bad the author didn't go deeper into it.
All in all, the series was okay, I liked it enough but it was definitely lacking compared to Cate Tiernan's other works. I was especially disappointed in the ending that I found completely botched. A lot of questions were left unanswered and I was expecting something more epic after building such tension (but that was also one of the I.B's flaws in my opinion).
To summarize: If you have never read any of Cate Tiernan's novels, don't start with this one ^^"