Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Magicians and Mrs. Quent

by Galen Beckett

Grade: Good
Story: Ivy Lockwell gets drawn into mystery, magic, and love. Plus there's a magic forest, a cryptic riddle, a Mr. Rochester (complete with moors), and an insane asylum.

Review: This was a little uneven for me. Firstly because of the way the book was divided up. The first third was totally Jane Austen, the second third was Bronte, the last third was...I don't know, Charles Dickens? Or more likely just pure Galen Beckett. Whatever it was, it was not as obvious as the first two thirds. Anyway, it was also divided up between view points. There was Ivy Lockwell, poor and eldest of three sisters; Dashton Rafferdy, dashing (what do you know) and rich and bored; and Eldyn Garritt, poor and desperate and strangely attracted to a particular angel statue which hangs out outside the church. So I actually rather liked the interspertion of Rafferdy's and Ivy's points of view. It worked well, especially with how their story lines worked out. But Eldyn? He totally had nothing to do with the story. Ok, so he saved the life of somebody's father, and he met with Rafferdy once or twice, but really he SO did not deserve his own story line. Plus he annoyed me a bit, so there was that. And he was so mean to his sister.

But the story itself was interesting. I like the magic system in this book. I loved all the "umbral" and "lumenal" stuff--the varying lengths of nights and days. It poses a lot of questions, though. What about seasons? Do they have them at all? How on earth do they know enough to have an almanac? I liked the way the Romance turned out, mostly. It was somewhat unexpected in some ways. I liked the characters: Ivy was awesome; her sisters were great too; I started out not liking Rafferdy at all, but by the end I loved him; I didn't like Eldyn, but I already mentioned that.

Besides all this, I think I can really say that historical fantasy really is one of my top genres. "Historical fantasy" as in historical fiction, but from some alternate universe where magic is as common as technology.

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