Flight of Magpies, KJ Charles
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I noticed this was the third of a trilogy after I’d requested it, so read the sample of book one a case of Possession, and was hooked so bought that and book two The Magpie Lord prior to reading this one. Its a great escape from reality, a world you can lose yourself in, back to a time when homosexuality was against the Law. Even Crane’s money and title can’t protect him if it gets out in the wrong quarters about his sexuality. Of course prior to meeting Stephan he’d just have shipped back to China before the law caught him, he loved it there and would return in a flash. Indeed that was the original plan…. Lord Crane has lived there for the last 20 years, since his banishment by his father at 17, only returning to England after his father and elder brother died, so he could sort out the legal affairs of his inheritance. China is far more relaxed and he’s not used to hiding what he is. Here though he’s got to take care, and he’s struggling with hiding the relationship with his recent lover, Justiciar Stephen Day. Stephen is a most unlikely partner for the tall, wealthy and titled Lord. He’s no family, few friends, and only his team of four others connected to or part of his Justiciary affairs are in any way close to him, and they don’t know about his sexuality. As someone with magical talent he’s even more forced to hide what he is as most of the population regard it with deep mistrust, so a few back street one offs is what he’s used to. The two have a long way to go to learn to accept each other. Love ought to conquer all but theirs is compounded by the times, the magic and the differences in their social scale. That doesn’t bother Crane but Stephen struggles with his wealth. In this final adventure they are fighting for their right to be together as well as their lives yet again. Things happen that make them doubt each other, and it seems like the whole Justiciary council are out to get to Stephen. Sadly he’s one of the very few moral Practitioners, certainly the rest of the council and some of his few colleagues don’t seem that way. The stress of coping with an ever reducing team is getting to him and Crane as he’s working longer and longer hours, struggling with the workload and things are losing control for him. I love this short series, and its one that will be in my keeper files. Its full of magic, the sort that seems possible if you can open your mind a bit…I can Winking smile and Stephen is a great man. I love the contrast between him and Crane, physically, mentally and socially and the way they work so hard to make their love come through. Although they seem so opposite they are perfect for each other. Stephen is small in stature, but very strong in power and could kill Crane with just a thought, so when he lets Crane have control Crane knows just what Stephen is allowing him – trust along with his love. Of course I can’t forget Merrick – here in all three books, long time friend and ostensible manservant of Crane. They’ve been through much together in China and he’s a great and much needed person to make the stories work. Stars: Cracking read, full five. ARC supplied via Netgalley and publishers
Out of Control, Alexandra Ivy,
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
This is book 0.5 – a sort of introductions to the world and characters in a new series I guess. It makes sense now why it was so light – when I read it I was surprised it was so short and simplistic, just an uncomplicated plot centred around a few main characters. As a book on its own it didn’t do much for me, well written of course and the romance is sweet – I’d have liked a bit more friction, sensuality, angst from it but space is limited. Its one of the reasons I don’t often read novellas, and I hadn’t realised this wasn’t a full novel. I just saw Alexandra was the author and assumed I’d enjoy it as I love some of her books. My mistake.
Anyway it works well as an introduction to the series, but its very unsubstantial, being a light easy read so bear that in mind when you buy. I think I’ll enjoy the series more as full length novels
Stars: three, good start but too light on it’s own.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.