Review: “A Queer Trade” and Rag and Bone (A Charm of Magpies World) by K.J. Charles

This connected short story and novel take place in the world of A Charm of Magpies. A reader will get the most of these stories after reading the initial trilogy and Jackdaw.


This story looks at yet another side of the magic world established in the trilogy A Charm of Magpies. Crispin and Ned are thrust together in a race to save London from the magic of Crispin’s former master. This leads to a meeting of kindred souls, and I’m excited to see where this burgeoning relationship takes them!

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


I love overlapping stories, and Rag and Bone uses the action of the first half of Jackdaw to perfect effect. In addition, Charles does an excellent job of expanding the dimensions of her world-building by introducing additional types of magic without ever diminishing what has come before.

Crispin and Ned are well-crafted and three-dimensional characters, and class issues become a wrinkle in their relationship without ever feeling cliche. Both men go through subtle character development that only becomes obvious at the end of the story.

Stephen Day continues to be utterly terrifying, but he never becomes the hero of the story despite his power. I’m crossing my fingers for more stories of Crispin and Ned in the future, along with more books set in this fantastic world.

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

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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