Posts Tagged With: a charm of magpies

Bookish | Some Damned Help

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And this is just one of the reasons why I so love Lucien Vaudrey, Lord Crane.
I made the necklace there, you can see if it’s still available here: BLACKWOOD

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Rag and Bone by K.J. Charles | Rag and Bone 1

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Rag and Bone
Series: Rag and Bone 1
Genre: LGBT, Historical Fiction
Pages: 202
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

K.J. Charles just never fails me. Perfect books to get some quality rest, boost, and inspiration. A while ago I’ve read the half-book, prequel to “Rag and Bone“, and now I finished this one. And all I can say is that I’m happy I’m not done with KJC bibliography just yet.

About: Ned was already growing resentful of magic and practitioners. But that peaceful night he was spending with Crispin was faithful. He woke in the middle of the night with strange sound of singing coming from the other side of the building, where a different store was. So Ned got up, ready to roll up his sleeves and instill some manners into whatever hooligans were disturbing his, and his neighbors property and sleep, but upon opening the doors he found hell. There, on the floor, in what seemed to be silent hellfire, his neighboring store-keeper was burning to a crisp, with a disembodied voice booming in a song that no one else have heard. Crispin went to seek help among his colleagues, other practitioners, as reluctantly as ever, for they branded him an unsuitable practitioner himself, and a warlock to that. While Ned conducted his own investigation, left alone to ponder upon all the hardships magic has brought upon the people.

Mine: Oh damn, I want to know more about necromancy! And, if at all possible, I’d like it told by Stephen Day, for he and Esther Gold appear in this book too, with their hilarious banter, and terrifying powers. The detective plot was definitely KJC quality, meaning it was good, and twisted, and turned, and tossed you right off the track enough times to make you believe things that didn’t happen. A damn fine read with scary monsters, and scary magic!

This was a good read. Loved the characters, loved the magic, loved the system from within that we didn’t get to see in Magpie Lord books. 5 out of 5, no less.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

K.J. Charles – Jackdaw

34861586I miss A Charm of Magpies so much. So, of course, I went ahead and took the “Jackdaw” by K.J. Charles (ISBN13 9780995799059; 222p.; Goodreads), for it is set in the same world, has familiar characters, and the family of four that we love turns up too. And I loved it, I very much did. But now I miss them even more, dammit!

Jonah is the infamous windwalker thief, who worked for the bad guys in the final book of Charm of Magpies. He was blackmailed to help them capture Stephen Day, or his source of power – the Ring of the Magpie Lord, and Lucien Vaudrey, tho it is unlikely anyone knew that one didn’t work without the other. It worked as a trap for Stephen, and that’s all that mattered. That’s how Jonah made sure Ben, his beloved, lives.

Ben, due to his relation with the infamous windwalker thief, and their relationship, ended up in prison for a few months. Worse than the experience was his false belief, that Jonah used him, and then discarded of him. He walks out determined to settle the scores. Time for Jonah to taste the prison bread. As a practitioner he will have to be restrained, of course. As a windwalker, he’ll likely get hobbled. He’ll never walk, let alone fly… And the more Ben thinks of this, of that charming, smiling being, the time they spent together, the more he doubts his plan as fair. So he arranges to meet the man before hand. Next thing you know, they’re escaping justice together, over the rooftops, through the air!

This was a lovely book. Almost idyllic, tho nothing goes through butter. It reminded me how much I love Lucien and Stephen. For that alone I could give it all the points. But luckily, the story was good too, so it’s a 5 out of 5, for more fair and less biased reasons.

Categories: 5-5, Alternative History Books, Books of Occult, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Diversity // K.J. Charles // LGBTQ+

Often, at least in gay men literature, characters who identify as homosexual tend to hate themselves, no matter how society views them. It’s one reason why I really like K.J. Charles, for there’s little to absolutely no self-loathing due to sexuality there, even thou the settings of these books are often placed in times where homosexuality in any form was considered a crime.

The first books I ever read by K.J. Charles was A Charm of Magpie trilogy. Now that I’m reading another one, I’ve noticed that’s not the only peculiarity she has. Author likes her characters, the ones doomed to fall for each other, to be as different from one another as possible

Lucian is tall, blond, all the way from exotic China where his father exiled him due to his homosexual nature. To London he returns a wealthy merchant, tattooed, handsome, and mighty unusual, flashy even.

Stephan day is short, red-haired, and the only oddity about him is his magic. With a high position in, what I’d call, magical police, he still barely makes the ends meet, and in general prefers staying unnoticed.

These two end up together, prepared to maybe fight a little, but end up figuring they both loathe Lucian’s father, and they both would rather keep the last living Vaudrey alive. The rest is just beautiful, adventure filled, and well paced story.

While in Shades of Magic character orientation was a matter of fact, here – the pair can’t even hold hands in public due to outlash they would receive, the danger they’d be putting each other into.

So, when your straight friends complain about Gay Pride parades, or wonder what’s there to be proud of, when you were born this way, do remind them these little facts: straight people were never ever persecuted due to their orientation, so they can celebrate it every single day, really, and you’re proud, because you’re alive, you survived, you’re here, and you’re awesome.

Categories: Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Friday: Diversity, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

K.J. Charles – Flight of Magpies [3]

21529170Well, this ended way too soon. I wasn’t prepared for it to end! But at least it did end well. So, the third K.J. Charles book in A Charm of Magpies trilogy “Flight of Magpies” (ISBN 1619224291; 212p.; Goodreads), and the last one so far… (I say “so far”, because there’s a willing answer of “maybe” in author’s page)

Lucian’s nagging to leave for China sounds more and more appealing to Stephan, as his world is slowly but surely trying to choke him. His only able co-worker takes a maternity leave, thus making him the only witch present in the battlefield. Someone steals his Magpie ring. His student is suspended due to suspicions of thieving! And worst of all, he can no longer put up with all the harassment. London is being plagued by gruesome deaths that leave no magical trace for him to follow, and most of the dead people are police officers. Those still alive demand justice to be given to the law, to them, and the only one they can demand this from is Stephan. The pressure is on, and all of it is on him.

Which is getting on Lucian’s nerves. Watching his beloved come in overworked, irritated, and sometimes even bruised, and battered is a torture in itself. Every time he leaves, Lucian is afraid he’ll never see him again due to the danger of justiciars work, doubled by him doing it all alone. On top of it, some nasty truths come to surface, his magical enemies are closing in, still dreaming of Magpie Lord power, and this time they have a superb advantageĀ up their sleeves, a huge weakness in Lucian’s defense: the lonely soldier, Stephan, now so very weakened by the missing ring, and lack of allies…

Truly, a beautiful piece, these stories. Magic in Victorian London, law-forbidden love, refreshingly honest too, detective, and horror elements, yes, all that. To each book I gave fours, since something was missing, and this one would get a four too, if not for me wanting to allow it a high-note end. I give it a 5 out of 5, for all the intriguing ways people got killed in it, all the odd, funny, sarcastic, stubborn, smart-ass, cheeky characters it had, and the awareness they had of themselves.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

K.J. Charles – A Case of Possession [2]

18074870I am the worst, I know. I finished the book probably a week ago, but here I am, only now making up some kind of a review. K.J. Charles book “A Case of Possession” (A Charm of Magpies 2; ASIN B00D89QGW8; 159p.; Goodreads) is the second book in the trilogy, and I must admit, I am more than half way done with the third by now. And not that this book wasn’t as good or anything, it’s just… I get lost in comparisons, I guess.

Peter S. Beagle taught me that there’s no force more dangerous, than a magician who found no peace in death. When giant rats start flooding London, coming from no where, going hell knows where, killing mercilessly – Crane finds himself able to help his magical lover, and point him in the right direction. No matter how modern you are, how deeply you abandoned old beliefs, and how much you don’t care for superstitions, if a Shaman dies in your care, you’d want to make sure they found peace, just as a precaution… For giant rats is a myth told in Shanghai, that is proving to be very real, and very hard to stop back here, in London. And if that didn’t get under the Lord Vaudrey’s skin, the next best thing over fluence is coming when the magic in his blood is noticed by the very worst…

This book was pretty intense, I’d say. Blood and gore is just as present here, as it was in the previous one, but add the unappealing idea of dog-sized rats inflicting the gut-tearing. It’s not too badly detailed, I’d not dare call this a horror story, but author really knows how to dash the dark colors into the lines. I’ll give this one another 4 out of 5, for while better than the previous one, it still fell short… And maybe that’s the problem: it was short.

To those curious, yes, there’s smut here, fairly rough but absolutely consensual sex between two similar age guys with severe size difference (Stephan is short and red-haired, while Crane is tall and blond). Njoy the ride!

 

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lord Vaudrey

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K.J. Charles – A Charm of Magpies; full size available at http://patreon.com/Blackwood

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K.J. Charles – The Magpie Lord [1]

17730586Ah, what a wonderful transition from a fantasy world with realistic history similar to our own, that of Captive Prince, to this. Our very England, filled with warlocks and what not. “The Magpie Lord” by K.J. Charles (ISBN 1619215764; 200p.; Goodreads) was yet another recommendation I took from Bonnie Burton (not personally, but the book club she’s in, and her goodreads are good sources for curious, open minded, and ever searching people), and once again, it did not disappoint.

Lucien Crane Vaudrey was the bad and rotten son in his father’s eyes. Thus, when this became possible, he packed the boy off to Shanghai, informing his servant that there’d be no tears if the lad fell over board during the journey. It says nothing good of Lucien, especially knowing what the rest of his family is like. Folk already learned to avoid the Vaudreys, and expect no justice from them. In fact, they’re realizing they might have to take justice in their own hands, for otherwise innocent blood will continue to flow as the father and son pleased. We could imagine here a mob, pitchforks and torches. But why the bother when there’s a witch at hand?…

After whole Vaudrey family took their own lives due to sudden madness, Lucien has no other choice but to return and take care of all the legal matters one has to take care of when one is the new Earl. He didn’t plan to stay long in the country, and at best – stay in London, up until first nuisance, attempt to arrest him for his orientation (being gay was illegal in those times, and thus the reason he was exiled too), or such, then he’s off, back home, to Shanghai. It’s just that the madness that pushed his father and brother to suicide seems to be lurking in his blood too. Dark spots in his memory, and vision, voices. Getting back to your own mind, with your servant trying to take away the knife that you didn’t use all that delicately in attempt to carve your life out of yourself. This can’t continue. Either he’ll go mad, or… Merrick, with his lord’s blessing, went out to the darkest places of London in hopes to find help that would’ve been at hand in an open-minded Shanghai. He needs a Shaman. After all, all England cannot hate Vaudreys, can they?

I love how they used magic, how magicians a.k.a. practitioners are like vampires here: they need energy, and can very well take it from a person, even if it means taking their life in the process. I loved how Merrick reminded me lightly of Sebastian Michaelis (Kuroshitsuji), allowing little slips in courtesy towards his master now and then. And I loved how it all reminded me of the intense adventures I had with Bartimaeus, where walls shook from the power of those entities summoned. Oh, and not to forget, I loved how “prince charming” was a tiny, thin, redheaded man with crooked teeth. 5 out of 5, no less.

Categories: Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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