10 November, 2018


Title: Rag and Bone
Author: K.J. Charles
Series: Rag and Bone 1
Genres: LGBT, Historical Fiction
Publisher: KJC Books
Release: April 17th, 2017
Source: ebook
Pages: 202

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It’s amazing what people throw away…

Crispin Tredarloe never meant to become a warlock. Freed from his treacherous master, he’s learning how to use his magical powers the right way. But it’s brutally hard work. Not everyone believes he’s a reformed character, and the strain is putting unbearable pressure on his secret relationship with waste-man Ned Hall.

Ned’s sick of magic. Sick of the trouble it brings, sick of its dangerous grip on Crispin and the miserable look it puts in his eyes, and sick of being afraid that a gentleman magician won’t want a street paper-seller forever—or even for much longer.

But something is stirring among London’s forgotten discards. An ancient evil is waking up and seeking its freedom. And when wild magic hits the rag-and-bottle shop where Ned lives, a panicking Crispin falls back onto bad habits. The embattled lovers must find a way to work together—or London could go up in flames.

This story is set in the world of the Charm of Magpies. Previously published by Samhain.


EXPECTATIONS: Not so long ago I've read the half-book of this one-book series, a prequel to this one, and it was pretty darn great. With KJC I know to expect nothing plot-wise, only that it'll be a quality read that'll steal my sleep away. This did not disappoint.

THE WORLD: This world is set in the same place as A Charm of Magpies, and we even meet a couple of same characters, like Stephen Day and Esther Gold. So, somewhere London-wise, by the Thames, in the teeming magic no one is aware of. On a lovely night Ned was spending with Crispin he had a taste of that magic. His lover is magically-deaf, even if he is a practitioner or a magician. But Ned, being a flit himself, can hear magic full well. And the song he heard from behind the locked doors was nothing if not supernatural in nature. He got up, woke Crispin up, and was ready to roll up his sleeves for a fight, but upon opening doors he found hell: the neighbor in the store behind the locked doors between them was silently burning on the floor, alone, with a booming voice with no body singing in the dark.

CHARACTERS: Crispin is more than unwilling to deal with his fellow practitioners. They marked him as a warlock from the start, and nothing seems to be shedding the title away. To add to that, he's a graphomancer, and no one seems to know how to teach someone like him, meaning a teacher after a teacher drop him, leaving him with less and less options. Ned, in the meantime, is growing ever more resentful of magic and magic users, since they seem to cause a lot of trouble, and are of little to no help. For instance, Crispin's colleague found no trace of magic in the store, while both him and Crispin knew there was magic conducted there. What's the use of them anyway? It only gets Crispin study all day, and then return to him unhappy, if at all.

ROMANCE:  This is not a love without storms, but both men love each other plenty to fight for it, and fight through it. And both are men enough to apologize when they're in the wrong, so in the end, it's beautiful to see guys so different find joy together.

GOOD: NECROMANCY! Oh boy, how I wish Stephen would tell us a tale of necromancy in this world, for it sounded amazing, and so very different from any other tale I've ever read. It was interesting to watch magic of that scale rise up, and even more interesting to watch idiots try and tell they shouldn't have done what they done, even if it saved lives, countless, and stopped a monster. And best of all, Stephen Day and Esther Gold were there, with their hilarious banter, and amazing minds.

BAD: Nope.

OVERALL: This was a great damn read, with magic, monsters, more magic, and annoying officials! I'm real happy of the fact that I've not finished everything by KJC just yet, for I don't know where else I'd find such quality easy-read.

What do you think about RAG AND BONE?



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