02 June, 2018


Title: A Case of Possession
Author:  K. J. Charles
Series: A Charm of Magpies #2
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Publisher: KJC Books
Release: March 28th, 2017
Source: eBook
Pages: 211

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BLURB: Magic in the blood. Danger in the streets.

Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. He knows Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician is doing his disappearing act more than seems reasonable—especially since Crane will soon return to his home in China. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, there's only one thing stopping Crane from leaving the country he loathes: Stephen.

Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes on him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.

The rats are closing in, and something has to give…


EXPECTATIONS: Well, since I loved the first book so very much, I jumped into this one with high-hopes and no patience for savoring. I'm sure that if by the time I was reading there was an audiobook out I would've swallowed it whole. And, yes, expectations were met!

THE WORLD: Victorian London, the same dark and hostile place Lucien Vaudrey had to return to to deal with the unpleasant legalities after his father's death, is now plagued by giant rats too. Creatures move, appear, disappear, seemingly unnaturally. It's hard to figure how they get in or how they get out, or how can any amount of regular rats maul a person the way they do. For murders they leave after themselves are gruesome. And since these attacks seem oddly specific, it is justiciars, magic police, who have to try and figure it out, before more people got killed, or London got dubbed Sumatra. 

CHARACTERS: Lucien Vaudrey, Lord Crane, continues to suffer the insufferable England in hopes that Stephen, his beloved witch, justiciar, will come around, quit his job, and leave with him for China, Shanghai, where they could live free of fear of being persecuted for their love or Stephen being a magician. His manservant, Mr. Merrick agrees whole-heatedly, for his lord already had bump-ins with the blackmailers.  

ROMANCE: Lucien's love for Stephen is just adorable. He hates everything about the place where he is, and yet he'd rather be there with Stephen, than back in his beloved home, Shanghai, without Stephen. Stephen, in the meantime, can hardly believe a man like Lucien could love him enough to not abandon him, so there's a bit of that kind of dilemma. 

GOOD: Love the familiar high-fantasy vibe. I couldn't help but remember Peter S. Beagle book "The Innkeeper's Song", where a magician who died without peace would become a juggernaut, wrecking anything that got in the way, with magical havoc rampaging. Something among those lines has happened here, and the feel it draped over the night London, the little Chinese flags, the sense of dread, oh how beautiful that was.

BAD: I don't know whether it's really all that bad, but the bloody book got very scary at some points. 

OVERALL: I loved it. I loved the Sumatra myth included, the one on the giant rats. I loved the shaman stuff too. Magic in this book is very interesting, and very different from anything I've read before. These books are truly very easy to read, and there's enough entertainment to come back to them time and again. 

EXPECTATIONS: I liked the first book a lot and I had read Nosferatu's reviews so my expectations were high.

THE WORLD: Same world as in the first book. Victorian era London but with magic and warlocks.

CHARACTERS: The main character is, of course, Lucien Vaudrey. Our other main character is our beloved Stephen Day. And then we have Merrick, who we barely see too, and we meet Stephen's justiciar partner, Esther Gold. I must say I was quite impressed with Esther's character as well as Lucien's friend, Leonora Hart! They're both very strong women and by strong I mean they have  a strong character and know what they want. They're not afraid of voicing opinions. Actually, none of the characters are afraid of voicing their opinions which feels great.

ROMANCE: There's romance action towards the end of the book but in this book there isn't that much.

GOOD: At first, I was very curious about the rat invasion thing going on. I thought it was a very interesting Sumerian myth and I hope for a different hmm end... I thought it wasn't going to be that simple but anyway, I enjoyed the plot.

The characters kept evolving as people and were never stuck in a cardboard-like stage which I appreciate a lot. It made the read more enjoyable and realistic.

I also liked the deeper touch onto Lucien's life in China. I wish we were given a bit more though. Now I wonder if we will get a full background on the third book.

BAD: There were some parts (very small parts I must say) that were slow. It was strange... for example the beginning was the slowest and then suddenly everything got rolling but at the same time there was suddenly 2 pages of slowness again hehe. Like I said, it felt strange but not bothering.

OVERALL: 4 stars. I liked the first book a bit more but this is a pretty solid second book, no "second book syndrome" here! I can't wait to read the third!

What do you think about A CASE OF POSSESSION?


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