I first read this short story in "Kissed by Venus" magazine, and while I enjoyed that version very much, this new "extended" version is so beautiful that it blows the old one out of the water. The story we find here is not only a touching love story, but a poignant coming-of-age tale. I thought the way Meriel grew as a character throughout the story-- as she began to challenge the things she'd always believed in, and find herself as her own person rather than just her mother and grandmother's successor-- was very nicely done. I really felt for both Meriel and Nor, and, surprisingly, even for the "villain," Galo, who came to life very movingly in an assortment of new scenes not found in the "Kissed by Venus" version. The final resolution had me smiling through tears. This is a wonderful, bittersweet story and I loved absolutely every minute of it.
I'm so happy that this series is continuing! I absolutely loved the first Benevolence Tale, One Solstice Night - it's one of my all-time favorites! It was so wonderful to see Isabella, Emily and Alice again, and their trip to the haunted Lunarose Abbey was great fun. I really loved the mystery in this story; I couldn't stop reading, I just had to know the secrets! The resolution was amazing. I also enjoyed exploring the world these characters live in, learning the mythology and about all the magical creatures that inhabit the land. All in all, I loved One Imbolc Gloaming, but my favorite part was the "to be continued" note at the end! I simply can't wait for One Ostara Sunrise!
This was an insta-buy for me-- the Benevolence Tales is one of my all-time favorite series, and I always am counting down the days until the next one releases. This story was a sweet tale about the coming of spring that introduced us to more of the people and customs of the town of Benevolence, which we first encountered in ONE SOLSTICE NIGHT. I loved learning more about the mythology of the world and about characters we'd me briefly in passing before, such as Mr. Ox and Lacey Turtle. I get more attached to the little town, its residents, and especially Isabella, Emily and Alice each time we meet them. I highly recommend ONE OSTARA SUNRISE to anyone who's looking for a sweet, lightweight fantasy read.