I have to say that I found this debut novel thoroughly enchanting. Initially, up to about a third of the way into the novel I couldn’t but help feel I’d read a this before in the far less well-crafted “The Paper Magician” Trilogy with which is shares a number of interesting parallels, especially in their treatments of how magic exists, the general setting and main protagonist relationships.
I really loved the concept behind the way that magic functions especially how it fits into a heavily class ridden society which I’m guessing is a version of circa 18th / 19th century England. The author has chosen not to specify the exact time period, with only one obvious clue, which I leave you to glean for yourself.
Both the main protagonists are fleshed out with their strengths, weaknesses, foibles and flaws. A slight bugbear for me concerned the portrayal of the suffering of the heroine. This could have been a bit more well explained perhaps as to what it was. I didn’t “get” what it was meant to be from the narrative itself and was left wondering. That might have been deliberate on the part of the author or possibly sufficiently foremost in their minds that they didn’t realise that it might need to be more obvious. The complex issues touched upon are important enough that if raised they could have perhaps been explored a little further.
The pacing was great, drawing you further and further into the tale that can only result in late nights at the hands of “just one more chapter” syndrome.
The merging of the black and white of the story into shades of grey with the progression of each chapter is brilliantly handled meaning it was never predictable with more than the usual two dimensions. Even when the point was reached where you were explicitly told one of two things could happen the result was a surprise. That is the mark of some very clever writing right there.
What I didn’t like? Well, from a purely personal view point the pacing of the end of the book was not to my taste, I felt it went on longer than needed between resolution of the main plot and end of the story. I kind of like the end of a story to be at the end of the book as it were and I think some of the aspects relating to the heroine’s situation could have been dealt with earlier in the tale and as previously mentioned in a little bit more depth and clarity.
So, in my desire to avoid spoilers much of my above review probably makes little sense or is disjointed, which really does not do the book justice. So, that being the case, I think the best thing that you could probably do is to avail yourself of a copy of this fine work and read it for yourself. It is a delightful piece of storytelling, especially as a debut novel and I eagerly await this author’s next offering.
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 6003 KB
- Print Length: 420 pages
- Publisher: Melodious Tear; 1 edition (11 August 2017)
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B073G8N6T3
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 11 customer ratings