Once I fell in love with the Fay of Skye series, I could no longer claim to dislike romance, historical romance, or paranormal romance. But I definitely fell in love with this series because of the incredible twist McKinnon puts on her tales, setting them in an alternate universe and focusing on both diversity and strong characters.
Today I’m pleased to present the newest installment on its release date. Memories of Magic is my favorite of the series yet!
Her visions could save English magic…if he can teach her to control them.
Olivia Seward never developed the magic of her elder siblings, but now she’s plagued by visions of the past. Etta, Duchess of Fay, asks her to use those visions to discover the source of the drain on English magic. Unfortunately, the visions draw too deeply from Olivia, leaving her weak and vulnerable.
Savitendra Reilly, a half-Indian, half-Irish historian, is hired by the duchess to research the origins of the Aegis Spell, but it is the magic of his birthplace that Olivia needs to learn to control her visions.
The only problem: Savit is an ascetic, performing magic by honing his mind and ignoring the needs of the flesh. Olivia is a hedonist, and accesses her power through pleasure. And every time they do magic together, Savit’s desire for her grows.
If he succumbs to their mutual passion, he believes won’t be able to protect her from the ravages of her unpredictable gift. But Olivia is convinced the only way to access the truth of the past is to immerse themselves in each other–sharing bodies, minds, hearts, and souls.
Disclaimer: I read an early draft of this novel prior to publication. I fully intend to purchase a hardcopy version of the book to add to my collection of this series.
Often, fantasy-romance novels (or romantic fantasy novels) are romance novels with a dash of the magical or fantasy novels with a more-or-less strong romance subplot. Memories of Magic blends genres seamlessly by using the relationship, including the sexual aspect, between the two main characters as a basis for the magic without ever crossing that thin line into straight-up “sex magic” for the sake of titillation.
One of the things that I particularly like about this series is that while each book tells the story of a meeting and an evolving relationship, none of these evolutions are the same. While I have faith that there will be a happily ever after, the road to get there is completely unpredictable and exciting, in contrast to other romance authors who I’ve found follow the same general plot formula in each book. Most of this, I think, is a result of McKinnon’s highly detailed (and exquisitely researched) characters, and it is a testament to their uniqueness. It was especially refreshing, in this case, to experience a hero and heroine who are not typically represented in the traditional Victorian romance setting, due to Savit’s ethnic background and Liv’s gender fluidity.
It’s easy to follow a series and separate recurring characters into the “good” and “bad” sort, even when they’re all working on the side of the protagonists. One aspect of this novel that I thoroughly enjoyed was that McKinnon took multiple characters I’d already categorized and made me see them in an entirely different light. This is a great way that the world keeps growing, and a pleasant surprise for readers.
I fall more in love with McKinnon’s world with each book in this series, and not just because of the romance and character aspects! She bring her characters to life through obvious research (without ever resorting to the dreaded “info dump”), but this book in particular shows how extensively crafted her entire world is — AND its entire history, which is perhaps even more impressive. Memories of Magic delves into more of the overarching plot to this series, and things are coming to an exciting head.
Readers, both faithful to the series and newcomers, will love this latest offering in the Fay of Skye series, which continues the exciting adventures of the Fay clan and their quest to save magic in England.
Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon.
Cara McKinnon wrote her first fantasy romance at the age of six, about a unicorn couple that falls in love and has adventures (there is also pie). Now she writes about humans falling in love and having adventures, and she can’t stop adding magic to all of her stories.
Cara earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University, where she found her writing tribe. She lives on the East Coast of the US with her husband, two kids, and an oversized lapdog named Jake.
Visit her on her website caramckinnon.com, where you can find more information about the Fay of Skye series, writing and romance, and ways to get in touch!
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