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. Continue reading

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Review: Jackdaw (A Charm of Magpies World) by K.J. Charles

JackdawI thoroughly enjoy this historical fantasy world, and I’m so glad that it extends beyond the initial trilogy. Part of what I loved most about this book in particular was seeing this world through new eyes, by a person who is neither magic nor cushioned by wealth and privilege. Continue reading

Review: Flight of Magpies (A Charm of Magpies #3) by K.J. Charles

Flight of MagpiesI found this series right before the previous publishing company it was being published with folded. I was devastated, because it meant waiting months until I could finish the trilogy. Luckily, it was absolutely worth the wait.

The conclusion to this trilogy brought together much of the story and plot elements from the previous books, showing us more of how the society of practitioners works in England, the growing power of the Magpie Lord, and multiple developing relationships. Continue reading

Review: A Scandal in Battersea (Elemental Masters #12) by Mercedes Lackey

Scandal in BatterseaThe novels of Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series take two forms. The first is re-imagined fairy tales set in Edwardian England (and Europe beyond). The second is a more of a traditional (historical) urban fantasy series that centers around a group of magicians, psychics, and mediums in London, starring two plucky young women and their avian familiars. They hang out with Sherlock Holmes sometimes, which is why his star-power gets him on the cover of the book.

A Scandal in Battersea is the latter style, which is not my preference of the two, but it was still a quick and enjoyable read. It was a solid, magical mystery adventure filled with comforting characters familiar from earlier in the series. Watching Nan and Sarah grow up has been a lovely ride, and I do enjoy checking in on them.  Continue reading

Review: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

jonathan strange mr norrellThis year, many of the contributors to my other blog, Speculative Chic, all set New Year’s Resolutions together. Some of them were to catch up on movies, others were to revisit an old favorite video game. Mine was to finally tackle the giant hardcover that had been anchoring my “to be read” pile since I picked up a used copy at a convention over 10 years ago.

And like all best-laid plans, some things work out, and some don’t. I finally got around to purchasing the ebook (because there was no way I was lugging that hardcover around), but despite this book being everything I love on the surface, I couldn’t make my way through it.

For a more in-depth review of how I felt about the first 25% of the book that I did read (much of which is actually quite positive), you can check out my thoughts over at Speculative Chic.

Per my review policy, I have marked this book as “abandoned” on Goodreads without a starred review. There is no review on Amazon.


Currently reading: Shattering the Ley by Joshua Palmatier

Currently writing: 23.5k/30k words

Review: A STUDY IN SABLE by Mercedes Lackey

study-in-sableI was excited by both the return of Nan and Sarah in Lackey’s Elemental Masters series and the introduction of this universe’s version of Sherlock Holmes and the Watsons. The aspect of this novel that I was most impressed with was that my brain never once tried to “cast” my mental images of the characters as Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Robert Downey Jr., or Jude Law. Lackey made these characters totally her own while staying true to the spirit of Arthur Conan Doyle’s creations. Continue reading

Review: ESSENTIAL MAGIC (Fay of Skye #1) by Cara McKinnon

essential magic

Disclaimer: The author and I attended the same graduate school program and participate in group promotional tours for our books. However, I purchased my hardcopy version of this novel for full price.

For a person who doesn’t claim to be a “romance book” reader, I seem to keep lucking out with some amazing speculative fiction romances. In this case, I enjoyed a lovely historical fantasy romance (or is that a historical romance fantasy?) that takes place in an alternate version of Victorian England. Magic is both real and expected in this world, and our heroine has returned to her English roots to find training for her supernatural gifts. Continue reading