Clara Eden is a history professor and her specialty is the lost world of Nektopolis. Her dreams of gaining tenure don’t seem to be a reality and Clara wishes for a little more out of life. She thinks that wish is coming true when she is offered a job at the Montague Estate cataloguing Nektopolian artifacts that shouldn’t exist. Clara’s most intrigued with a romantic correspondence that is thousands of years old.
Clara’s contract doesn’t allow her to discuss any of her findings and the estate is mysterious, as is her employer, Agatha Montague, who she has not met yet. But it’s Agatha’s assistant, Fiadh, that captivates Clara the most and, soon, Clara finds herself thinking of ways to get Fiadh’s attention and spend more time with her. But Fiadh is just as mysterious as Agatha and, when Clara’s suspicions start to increase, it may already be too late for her.
In the Roses of Pieria starts a new series that, while set in a contemporary world, speaks more about an ancient lost world. That’s Clara’s specialty, the lost world of Nektopolis. The book has two love stories that are presented simultaneously—the one that is developing between Clara and Fiadh, and the one that is presented in an epistolary format from letters that Clara finds during her cataloguing and translation of artifacts. The letters detail a forbidden and longing relationship between two women and their story is complicated.
Their story is further complicated as I found it difficult to get absorbed in the translated letters. When Clara would tell Fiadh of her findings and piece the story together, I was interested, but when reading the letters I didn’t always come to the same conclusion that Clara did. The letters that were supposed to depict an enduring love story were dry, which made part of this story difficult for me. I did like Clara’s reaction when she found out exactly who and what her new boss, Agatha, was. Many times in books characters are too accepting when they encounter the paranormal world and, even though Clara thought some of this was her lifetime goal, the reality hit her hard.
Fiadh’s character was underdeveloped and the more that we learned about her, the more unclear her character became. She has a lot going on with her and none of it is described or developed well.
The story involves paranormal creatures, “plant horror,” issues with spores, and characters that are not well developed or explained well. The book does not fully end as the larger story continues on to future books. While this book sounded interesting enough for me to pick it up, it did not fulfill that interest by the end enough to continue on with this series.