Review: Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran



  • Author: Marion Grace Woolley
  • ISBN: 9780957627161
  • Publisher: Ghostwoods Books
  • Genre: General Fiction

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran is listed as a Fantasy book, in addition to the general category of Adult Literature/Fiction, but it’s not Fantasy.  I suppose the publisher is choosing to market it as Fantasy because it doesn’t really fit into any other genre.  It’s not Historical Fiction, despite the fact that it takes place during the 19th century, and it’s not YA, even though the main character is 10 to 13 years old.  It does have some fantastical elements, and even a little bit of Magical Realism; however, just because the story is set in an “exotic” locale (read: not in the western world), and there happens to be a circus, and a character that is supposed to be Erik from The Phantom of the Opera, that doesn’t mean it’s Fantasy.

Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed in this book since I was expecting Fantasy.  I’m not taking away stars for that, though, since that’s not the fault of the author.  I doubt she had very little, if any, say in what genre(s) the publisher chose to list the book as being.  However, I hated the story, and the characters.  Afsar and Vachon are psychopaths, but not “Dexter” psychopaths.  No, they not only have no qualms about killing innocent people, they do it with a sick sort of pleasure, and that’s what this book is mostly about: who and how they murder.  At first, I felt sorry for Afsar.  I even pitied her.  The first couple of chapters show her as being a young girl who has been raised to hate, forced to be wiser than her years, yet is still clearly naive about how the world works.  My feelings changed as she became more and more cruel, petty, hateful, and jealous.  I waited, and continued reading, in the hope that something would happen for her to change, or she would do something that would be redeeming, even if only a little bit.  Unfortunately, she remains the same despicable person all the way to the end.

If you enjoy stories about psychopaths who discover each other’s love for toying with their human prey before brutally murdering them, then this book is the perfect one for you.  Otherwise, you might be better off reading a different book.  As much as I thought a story about Erik before he became the Phantom would be great, it just isn’t so.

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