Another weekend, another recommendation.
There are times when I derive great delight in poking around the darker corners of the not quite M/M genre for things to read but there are others were I happily follow on with all the other readers in the pursuit of excellence. This is one of the latter cases.
K J Charles’s Magpie Lord series is taking us all by storm. Set in a Victorian England where Dickensian excesses of luxury, decadence, rectitude and squalor vie with the extremes of magical power, K J’s heroes straddle the all the lines. Lucien Vaudrey is an unrepentant remittance man, set out to China by his family to remove the embarrassment of his existence and left to sink or swim with only the assistance of his manservant Merrick. Over the years Lucien and Merrick have done anything and everything to stay alive – rent boy and cage fighter to name but two lucrative professions – but are back now with money to burn and more attitude than you can shake a stick at. If you did shake a stick, Lucien would sneer at you then Merrick would break both your arms – they are WONDERFUL!
Also wonderful is dear little, shabby genteel magician Stephen Day. He’s a genuine magical policeman dedicated to the pursecution* of warlocks, who gain their power by draining the life force of weaker magicians or the general public. Stephen has a very big grudge against Lucien’s family but also has a cash flow problem. When Lucien needs magical help to deal with a family curse, Stephen is in no position to refuse.
Ghosts, curses, family houses, locked room mysteries, predatory females, sneering villains – yep they are all there. Two diverse but loveable heroes – yep. The most memorable secondary character of the year – oh MERRICK.
If you don’t like a well thought out magical theory, you don’t like historical periods described with pinpont precision, you don’t like angsty boundary-crossing romance and you don’t like tense and exciting plots, well you may then enjoy what I’ve been told are red hot sex scenes. I found them to be plot relevant and character building, but that’s just me.
The books also have the most gorgeous covers.
A little bird told me that Book 3 in the series is now with editors so I’m curbing my impatience to get at the next instalment. Can Not Wait.
* pursecution = chasing, catching and clobbering