Magpie LordNow that I’ve discovered a newfound love for queer historical romance, it was really only a matter of time before I made the jump to the urban fantasy variety. This novel was an excellent introductory choice that I devoured in the space of one airport wait + flight to Florida, and I had to resist the urge to immediately purchase the rest of the trilogy (that urge has since been sated). 

This book took two romance tropes that I already dislike, despite being new to the genre, and delightfully turned them on their head. On the surface, Lucien Vaudrey is suicidal, and Stephen Day must “fix” him. Before I could be too irritated by this ridiculous view of mental health, the urban fantasy element quickly came into play to excellent effect. Charles could also have easily gone down the “enemies to lovers” road, but her characters’ depth and maturity prevented this trope from also coming to fruition.

I’m fascinated by the magic system presented in this world, and I’m eager to learn more about it in future installments of this trilogy. Hopefully, the hints of greater diversity in this book are also explored later as well.

Some of the secondary characters were difficult to keep straight, but all of the primary characters had excellent voice and characterization. I look forward to following their continued adventures.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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