Tag Archives: historical fantasy

dangerous magic banner

Book Review: Dangerous Magic, by Monica Fairview

I borrowed an audio copy of Monica Fairview‘s Dangerous Magic through Hoopla. It was narrated by Jennifer M. Dixon.
dangerous magic monica fairview

Elizabeth Bennet is stunned when the Royal Mages come to her peaceful country home of Longbourn to take her away. She is even more bewildered when she is commanded to marry a powerful mage by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy. She has always dreamed of marrying for love, and an arranged marriage with an arrogant stranger was never part of her plans.

But Darcy and Elizabeth have no choice in the matter. Uniting their two forms of magic is essential if the Kingdom is to defeat Napoleon’s mages. They may dislike each other on sight, but Darcy and Elizabeth have to overcome their differences and find common ground before it is too late. Fortunately, it is not long before the sparks begin to fly between them.

Join the author of ‘Fortune and Felicity’ in this enchanting Jane Austen Variation, a story of determination, love, and hope against all odds.

my review

I’m not entirely certain why I downloaded this book. I’m not a particular fan of re-tellings, be they fairy-tales or Jane Austen. I think maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention to notice the subtitle at the time.

I am of two fairly disparate opinions about this book. On one hand I think it would have been a perfectly readable story without the gimmick of tying it into Pride & Prejudice. And on the other hand I feel that if it hadn’t been ham-stringed by following Pride & Prejudice‘s plot (even loosely) it could have grown into a deeper and more compelling story.

My main emotion while listening to this book was boredom. I felt like nothing happened for the vast majority of it. Then suddenly Darcy’s feelings for Elizabeth changed out of nowhere and then hers did too. Then there was a fairly vague battle, some drama in the background, and ardent declarations of love. I didn’t feel engaged or engrossed in any of it.

Further, While I understand that as a re-telling Fairview was somewhat constrained in character portrayals, but I’d be thrilled if we could all stop writing stories where all the men are lovely and trustworthy and all the women (if there are any at all) are jealous and duplicitous.

The writing itself seems perfectly fine. It seemed to pass as Austen-like and was certainly easy to listen to. All in all, I think this will work for others more than it did for me.

dangerous magic photo


Other Reviews:

Dangerous Magic by Monica Fairview

“Dangerous Magic” by Monica Fairview, review + giveaway

Dangerous Magic: A Pride & Prejudice Variation (Mr. Darcy’s Magic Book 1), by Monica Fairview — A Review

Book Review: A Dance Like Flame (Of Magic & Machine #1), by Tammy Blackwell

I borrowed a copy of Tammy Blackwell’s A Dance Like Flame from the local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Unmarried at the age of six-and-twenty, Lady Elizabeth “Bits” Warner has become a burden to her family. Therefore, she isn’t surprised when they pack her on a train bound for Scotland and a fiancé she has never met. She’s not surprised, but she is terrified.

In Corrigan, a walled-off city that serves as refuge to those capable of using the aether to cast spells and concoct potions, Ezra Nash is devoted to healing the sick and injured. Between his work as a surgeon and caring for his sisters, he doesn’t have time for distractions.

When the train Bits is traveling on explodes, she finds herself inside the gates of Corrigan and under Ezra’s care. The two are drawn to one another, but it will take more than attraction to overcome the difference in their stations and the secrets they hide from the world.

Review:

I didn’t dislike this. I just felt like it had so much more potential than it lived up to. There were many moments I felt there must be a previous book because the story felt built on something the reader didn’t have access to. The hero’s resistance seems forced and then his sudden turn around seems out of nowhere. The villain is a caricature and his ultimate goal isn’t even revealed in this book, nor is the purpose of the event that brought the heroine to faery land in the first place. And it felt a bit like the author just brought in whatever elements she wanted willy-nilly. It felt disjointed.

Having said all that, I appreciated that the couple was a little older than normal. The blend of fantasy and aether-punk is interesting. And the diversity was welcome. I’d read more of the series. But I’m not in any hurry about it.