This novel suffers from an convoluted mystery, prickly characters and a romance that was lacking passion. It tried hard to be a gothic novel and succeeds in many ways but the author lets the romance simmer way too long on the back burner.
Kit and Sydony, (BTW Sydony is the heroine) Marchant have recently lost their scholarly father and have inherited from an elderly great aunt an estate. When they reach the mansion it is run down and spooky with no servants. Within days the Marchant's neighbor from their old home, Viscount Barto Hawthorne arrives.
There are several ties to Barto beyond the three being childhood friends, namely their fathers were riding to London and killed in a carriage accident. There is a mystery about why the Marchant's father was with Barto's father that terrible day and Barto is looking for clues from the siblings about his father's accident; he believes that an ancient book holds the answers to his sire's death. He reveals none of this to the Marchants though and quite frankly this is not explained to the reader very well either because it comes in bits and pieces throughout the story.
Sydony has always had an infatuation with Barto but she sees him now as a cold uncaring nobleman and she is rude and at times hostile to him. She wants him gone but her brother does not and this irritates her.
Sydony is intrigued by the huge maze behind the house and hears rumors of strange lights and other types of unnatural things happening at the house. She investigates this with her brother and Barto, sometimes rushing in foolhardily.
Her romance with Barto is practically non existent. They squabble and butt heads and even manage to engage in an embrace once or twice. Suddenly Sydony realizes she loves the man who stole a kiss from her when she was a young teen (she has never forgotten nor forgiven him for it). The epiphany of her feelings comes near the end of the book along with a mysterious stranger who holds the key to the mystery of the maze and her father's death. There are druids, sacrifices, skulls, scary mazes and bumps in the night but not much heartfelt words or deeds between the leads.