Historical fiction is a tricky thing to write at times. So can first person... especially first person present. Combine the two, and you can either get a failure to either capture the voice of the time, or something magical.
Add a dash of dark fantasy to the latter, and you get Prophecy of the Sisters
by Michelle Zink.
My favourite thing about Prophecy
was the writing, and the voice of narrator Lia. As I mentioned above, first person present can be a difficult tense to write in, but Zink manages to do so with excellent charm. The prose is lush and delicate, but not purple, and through the use of the present tense we learn everything as Lia does - there is no sense of greater understanding that comes from hindsight here, and it works really well with the idea of a mystery that needs to be solved.
As a protagonist, Lia is calm and reserved, but not weak. It might have been so easy for her to simply go with the flow, accept what appeared to be her destiny, but Lia does not. She continues to quest the real truth, and to me is determined to prove that life is about choice as much as fate - if not more so. As more pieces to the mystery are revealed (even if they are not particularly clear) she makes a decision and goes with it. Her identity comes from within, not from the role(s) placed upon her. And as for the tale, the suspense and threat of darkness grows a bit like a psychological (horror) film, creeping up on me slowly like a bit of a mystery. What exactly is purpose, and what does it mean if everything says you're meant for darkness, when all you want to do is stop the one you love from walking down your so-called destined path?
I guess when it comes to Lia and her purpose, we have to wait for the next books.