October 12, 2014

Book Review - A Matter of Magic

A Matter of Magic
Patricia C. Wrede

Mairelon the Magician - 1991
The Magician's Ward - 1997

ORB, paperback, 448p.
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2632-4


When a stranger offers her a small fortune to breeak into a traveling magician's wagon, Kim doesn't hesitate.  A hard life and lean times as a waif on the streets of London have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you.  But then Kim is caught in the act and to her dismay discovers that magic isn't just smoke and mirrors.

If that weren't bad enough, the magician seems to like her and suggests she become his apprentice.  That's when the real trouble begins.  Kim finds herself entangled with murderers, thieves, and cloak-and-dagger politics, all while trying to learn how to become both a proper young lady and a magician in her own right.

Magic and intrigue go hand in hand in Mairelon the Magician and The Magician's Ward, two delightful tales of mystery and romance set against the intricate backdrop of Regency England.

Hi there all you lovely readers!  Today I'm just going to do a very quick round-up of a book that has taken me oh so long to finally get through (but actually took about 5 hours in total).  First let me just say that the cover is absolutely gorgeous - and part of the reason that I caved and bought it! - but once it was in my hands.... it feels soooo good ;-D.  It's got an almost suede feel to it which I do love and I've caught myself more than once just rubbing my fingers on the cover while I'm reading.

But onto the review.  I did have trouble getting into this book.  Perhaps I was just not in the mood for this genre but I read up till page 99, put in a bookmark, and the book then sat on my TBR bookself until last night when I decided enough was enough.  After getting in a funk about re-aquainting myself with the world, character and the slang used, I found much to my chagrin, that I really enjoyed the last half of the first story.  It is not the fastest paced story out, but it does set up the second book, The Magician's Ward, beautifully.

I enjoyed the use of the Regency era, and there is just something about mixing 19th century English settings with magic that really works for me.  It doesn't have to be Steampunk per se, but I do love the juxtapositions {yes, I know big words too!} of fantastical elements being found in the seedy underbelly of London.

In Wrede's version of Pygmalion, Kim is a girl who has taken on the guise of a boy so as to move around unfettered, and not to fall prey to the unpleasant elements of her home streets.  Orphaned, and with the woman she looked upon as a mother-type figure dead, Kim has found her niche in the local hierarchy as a thief for hire.  Until the night she is caught red-handed by a magician.  This starts a series of events - oh, how Lemony Snickets ;-D - that will take Kim away from the only life she's ever known and into the drawing rooms and ballrooms of London's elite.

I really did enjoy this bind up of both books.  The language is very easy to digest once you get into the rythm of things, and with no graphic violence, sex or very salty language, it is a refreshing change.  The world building is minimal, relying I think on the readers knowledge of this time period to construct there own ideas of the cityscape.  In all, I can't believe that it took me 4 or so weeks to pick this book back up and finish it as it is a great bit of escapism.

If you love paranormal romance, Regency romance, or like your historical fiction spiced up with a little bit of magic, then A Matter of Magic might just be what you're looking for.

I hope you've enjoyed this review.  If you have and questions or comments you know what to do.

Until next time,

No comments:

Post a Comment