Review of A Drop of Magic (The Magicsmith, #1), by L.R. Braden

I won an audio copy of A Drop of Magic, by L.R. Braden.

Description from Goodreads:

The war isn’t over . . .

With the world clinging to a fragile peace forced on the Fae by humanity after the Faerie Wars, metalsmith Alex Blackwood is plunged into the world of the half-fae who traffick in illegal magical artifacts. Her best friend’s murder and his cryptic last message place her in the crosshairs of a scheme to reignite the decade-old war between humans and fae.

Worse, violent attacks against her and the arrival of a fae knight on a mission force Alex to face a devastating revelation of who and what she is. To catch a killer, retrieve a dangerous artifact, and stop a war, Alex will have to accept that she’s an unregistered fae “halfer” with a unique magical talent—a talent that would change everything she believes about her past, her art, and her future.

Her world is crumbling around her, and Alex will have to decide who to trust if she and the world are going to survive.

Review:

I thought this was ok, not great, but not bad either. I liked the main character, but I had issues with most of the side characters. The book passes the Bechdel test (it does feature at least two women who do talk to each other about something other than a man), but not by much and honestly, it didn’t feel like it should. It felt very much like all the important side characters were male. In fact, it started to feel like a reverse harem, though there is no sex and the only whisper of romance comes in the last pages. (It could have been one of several male characters and worked just as well, so I can say it wasn’t impactful to the story.) Actually, very little in the book is impactful. I think that’s why I’ve finished it with a mental shrug more than anything else. I won’t remember it next week.

The writing was fine, though I think there were a few editing mistakes. It’s hard to tell with an audiobook, but I’m fairly sure it said ‘we’ll find out who killed your father,’ at one point when they were investigating the death of her friend. All in all, I don’t think I’ll be rushing to continue the series, but I didn’t hate it either.

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