22 April, 2018


Title: The Magpie Lord
Author: K. J. Charles
Series: A Charm of Magpies #1
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, M/M Romance
Publisher: Samhain
Release: September 3rd, 2013
Source: eBook
Pages: 222

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BLURB: A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.
Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn't expect it to turn up angry.
Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude... and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.
Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn't the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.


EXPECTATIONS: I expected a bulky tattooed shaman, and a fragile lord in need to be saved. Got the complete opposite!

THE WORLD: Victorian England, with some magic to sweeten the nasty pot. General idea is that some high families have magical blood in them, and that homosexuality is very much a crime.

CHARACTERS: Stephen Day, the magician. He has magical hands that feel like champagne is coursing through them, or at least that’s how they describe him. He’s very much a working mouse, trying to blend in. Underpaid, short, with bright red hair, and enough self-control to blast the occurring troubles back into oblivion they came out of. Lucien Vaudrey is the last living Vaudrey, other than, probably some distant cousins or whatever. He was exiled to China for being gay. But now all of his family is dead, apparently due to some kind of a curse. His plans are to tidy the legal papers, pack up, and leave on the first boat back to Shanghai if any trouble due to his sexuality occurs again. Lucien is tall, handsome, rich, and oh so very charming. And of course, Frank Merrick, loyal servant of Lucien Vaudrey, his best friend, and the only man who gives his master shit if he deserves it. Other than that, he’s our proxy, the man who passes on the sarcasm, and jokes.

ROMANCE: Admittedly, it started bad. Stephen had every reason to hate all of the Vaudrey family, and was prepared to spit in his face when Lucien, or rather mister Merrick, asked for magical help. But Lucien turned out to be an honorable man, exotic with his magpie tattoos, his upbringing if you please, and all that adventurous history. It was easy to allow himself to like the last Vaudrey after all. Far easier than finding how to stop the curse that befell him.

GOOD: Oh come on, magical adventure, doesn’t that sell the book right away? It was a bit scary, and pretty intense too! And the love these two developed was beautiful. I like to be able to like the characters who pretend to be unlikable.

BAD: Well, it was very short.

OVERALL: This has changed the game for me. I loved this book to bits, I loved the characters to bits, and I love the author for making them all.



EXPECTATIONS: Our good collaborator here, Nosferatu, recommended this book and I didn't even know what it was about but hey I trust friends so here I am!

THE WORLD: England, UK. Around the time of Victorian era so mid 19th century until early 20th century.

CHARACTERS: The main character is Lucien Vaudrey, also known as Lord Crane, who was sent away to China by his father when he was 17 years old. Apparently his father hated him for being "too rebellious." Ha! Nobody buys that. We all know it was because he considered Lucien to be unmoral *massive eye roll* Anyway, our second main character is Stephen Day, a magician or shaman. He is a quite powerful magician but it doesn't really show because he's the typical man you never look at... short, skinny, poor, looks like a simpleton. He's all the opposite of Lucien who is described as a tall, muscular and handsome lord with blonde hair and blue eyes. How do theses two meet you wonder? Turns out Lucien's family has died and he is forced to return to England where he finds himself being a victim of a curse, that's when Lucien's servant and friend, Frank Merrick, comes in and decides to call Stephen to help. From there on it's all adventures and mystery solving.

ROMANCE: There's m/m romance and it's explicit. Just saying.

GOOD: It gave me Sherlock Holmes vibes but with magic and much gayness. I like, I approve. I also liked the plot a lot and I enjoyed the rapid pace of the book. If the next books are a bit longer or dwell more on the characters themselves I think the series could turn out to be a favorite!

BAD: Like Nosferatu said, the book is very short and even though it's very enjoyable I think sometimes it also feels rushed... the mysteries are not maintained for long. Everything gets solved in the end so there's not much tension in the middle.

OVERALL: I'll give the first book 4.5 stars only deducting because of the rushing feeling. It's an easy problem to solve so I'm looking forward to reading the second book! If I like the ending of the series I will probably add it to favorites too. Whoop whoop!

What do you think about THE MAGPIE LORD?


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