Just finished reading Old Magic by Marianne Curley for the third time I think. Spoilers ahead…
I love this book. More so the last half than the first. I feel the story is a bit rushed at the beginning. Things move too quickly and it’s almost like we are thrown into the middle of the story without a true starting point. While you read the story though and get drawn into it you soon forget this. Especially once they travel back in time. This is where the story really gets good for me. I love the chemistry that is between Jarrod and Kate in this part of the book. Like Kate I’m a huge fan of history and love historical settings. These two factors combined make this part of the book my favorite.
In this time we meet Jarrod’s ancestors. While his uncle is a jerk to his people he is loyal to his family. This seems fitting to me. I can see many lords being like this in that time. I love that Marianne Curley stayed true to this. Also the other details of the time she stayed true to. Some stories try to make the time seem magical and beautiful, but this story holds true to the hardships of the time, for what little we see of it anyways. We see the lady losing her home. The way the pigs and other live stock live in the house. The way the smoke fills the Great Hall. The foods they eat. No soap for their baths that were not taken daily. We don’t see too much beyond these types of details, but it’s nice to see even these small parts being true to history.
I remember the first time I read the book I believed Malcolm was a traitor. Than when Jarrod reveals Malcolm was working for him I was relieved. It’s not that this character was one of my favorites before this and I was glad to see him still be a good guy, but the idea that he would turn on his family to work with a guy who he knows will kill him too is hard to take. I couldn’t believe he would be that stupid. Once the truth comes out though I did like this character more than I had. Out of his family members in the past Malcolm becomes one of my favorites for this act. He risks his life to help Jarrod and Kate and that makes him a good person in my book.
Rhauk. This guy was over confident and a psycho jerk. I didn’t like the way he just wrote off Jarrod and presumed his brother and family were just a bunch of idiots. He believed himself better than everyone else. While I can’t stand people like this in real life it worked well for this character. I feel like the curse and the need for revenge comes mostly from losing Eloise not from the fact that his dad never considered him a son and he was cut out of the family. Yeah that was part of it I guess and that’s what everyone wants to blame it on, but when you read the book and really pay attention I think it’s more. I mean he takes Kate to replace Eloise yeah, but he also does it to do the same thing to Jarrod that was done to him. He tells Kate at one point I lied and stole you just as Eloise was lied to and stolen from me. He wants Jarrod to suffer the same way he did. Than when Rhauk dies with his last breath he calls out Eloise’s name. He loved her till his dying moment. He wanted revenge yes but not on his father, he wanted revenge on his brother for stealing the women he loved. When you believe this it adds a layer to this character and makes me like the character a bit more.
Jarrod kinda gets on my nerves in the first part of the book. The way he treats Kate. I would never settle for that. Not sure I would have been willing to help him like Kate was. I would have wanted to tell him to take a hike cause he was a jerk. But Kate wasn’t perfect either. She was kinda pushy and just kinda annoying. I think she was annoying though cause she liked Jarrod even though she knew she shouldn’t. This was annoying cause I’ve been there and done that. Fall for the guy you know you shouldn’t fall for. Let’s be honest, I would’ve helped him too. I wouldn’t have told him to take a hike, if I liked the guy like she did I would’ve helped too. Girls do stupid things sometimes. Like agree to stay with a psycho sorcerer in attempt to save the love of your life. Yep that’s stupid, but Kate still does it. It’s like Meg says in Disney’s Hercules, “people always do stupid things when they’re in love.” True story. And can I just say that Kate and Jarrod are so in love way before she decides to stay and in order to save him. Jarrod wont admit it and is a butt but he’s still in love with the girl. I mean come on. Just look at the scene when they first go back in time and stay the night in that cottage. She curls up on his chest to sleep and he runs his fingers through her hair. They are so in love. Then when he has to introduce her as his wife. Loved it. Jillian wanted them together too I think, giving them the rings. I guess really it was because she knew they would need a cover and that was the best one to use, but I think she was also trying to play matchmaker. I think one of my favorite scenes is the bath scene. Where Kate is freaking out and Jarrod says that she likes to tend to his baths to get the maids to leave. That scene is so funny. I love it. Than the way she freaks out when he comes to bed and lays on the far end. This scene is just hilarious. I also love the scene when Kate gets taken by the crow. The way her and Jarrod connect with the mind probing and than she’s like you better kiss me. I love that scene. It’s the most romantic scene in the entire book. I love that we finally see them both acknowledge their feeling for each other. Than when the crow attacks and we see how protective Jarrod is. That he fights and is willing to risk his life to try and protect her. I love it. Than when he yells into the night that he will bring her back. Jarrod finally admits to having feelings for Kate and this is his driving force to defeat Rhauk. Yeah his love for his family and his want to protect them brought him back in time, but it’s his love for Kate that gives him the strength he needs to fight back and kill Rhauk.
I know the story is over and there will not be a sequel and ultimately I agree with this. Jarrod and Kate’s story is over. However I still want to read more. I imagine Jarrod and Kate get together and years down the road get married. I would like a little more proof of this though. At the very least show me that down the road he doesn’t go back to being a butt like he was before. We see him turn down Tasha and tell her he’s taking Kate to the dance. That’s good and all but I just wanted a little more. We have to take this one act to mean that he has changed and this is how it will be from now on. But this one act is no guarantee of this. I like to think that it is and will continue to believe it is, but I’d like to know for sure. I know this will never happen, but hey a girl can dream. That’s why people write fan fiction after all.