Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Review: Lady of Magick



Lady of Magick
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy! 

In an ancient kingdom full of secrets, unease and myth, Sophie and Gray Marshall are about to be ensnared in an arcane plot that threatens to undo them both . . .

In her second year of studies at Merlin College, Oxford, Sophie Marshall is feeling alienated among fellow students who fail to welcome a woman to their ranks. So when her husband, Gray, is invited north as a visiting lecturer at the University in Din Edin, they leap at the chance. There, Sophie’s hunger for magickal knowledge can finally be nourished. But she must put her newly learned skills to the test sooner than expected. All is not well in the Kingdom of Alba, and before long the Marshalls find themselves beset by unexpected dangers. When Gray disappears, and none of her spells can find a trace of him, Sophie realises something sinister has befallen him. Delving into Gray’s disappearance she soon finds herself in a web of magick and intrigue that threatens not just Gray, but the entire kingdom.
As we start the next chapter of Gray and Sophie's lives, we're two years on from the end of The Midnight Queen and understandably Sophie is super stoked to get away from Oxfords sexist University and head to this worlds version of Scotland for a better educational experience. 
I love this series, I know the pace is rather steady but I love the way clues are scattered throughout the book so that when everythings revealed, things start to click in to place and you remember little things you read that led up to whichever moment or reveal it is. I love the way the author builds everything up and really sets the scene! Like...in The Midnight Queen, I can't be the only one that thought there was something mildly suspicious if not plain odd about the wedding....well in this book you see what it is and I was like HELL YES! I love the way the books have been joined together despite the time jump! Little threads that link everything together, and such attention to detail. Which reminds me, we get to see just how hard Sophie works which I thought was a nice touch, there's no way you can't be sucked in to the world and lives of the characters because you learn so much about them and what they get up to! 
I really enjoyed getting to see another part of this alternate Britain, and this time we're in Alba which is Scotland and I was so fascinated by all the history and lore we learned via Sophie! I was also super impressed that Sophie was trying to learn the language because you know...not many characters bother! Buuut back to Alba/Scotland...it was fascinating! I can tell a lot of research has gone in to these books, and I love how the author weaves it all in to the plot! Hunter does a very good job of showing the politics, and the political tensions between England and Alba, and I liked that you got to see how the people felt about it all, and how it impacted Sophie and Gray's friends and in some cases friendship. Hunter makes everything so authentic and vivid that you easily slip in to the world of the book. 
Everyone's back, Gray and Sophie obviously! I continue to love the both of them both individually and as a couple. They're so cute together but I like how authentic the relationship is, they put a lot of work in to it all, it's not all unicorn farts and rainbows. I just love how they support each other so much. I thought we saw an interesting side of Sophie towards the end part of the book when Gray was missing. She was completely unlike herself and she had such a struggle, it was fantastically done as was watching her overcome it. I kinda missed Gray a little bit, because we didn't get much of him! The focus was on Sophie and Joanna. 
Ah Joanna. I liked her in the first book, even if I wanted to throttle her once or twice, and the same can be said for this book. She was being less stupid this book, and making better choices shall we say. She's growing up, she's working in politics and there's some romance for her that I was totally shipping way back from the start of the book and reading like YAAASSS! Much as I like Roland and am curious to see more of him...I was quite pleased the author didn't go with the obvious and put he and Joanna together. 
Speaking of Joanna's romance...Gwendolen was a great new character and I really felt for her. I love how Hunter brought in new characters, and we got to get to know them so they weren't just random new characters thrown in all of a sudden, I just thought it was a nice touch. Like I said, I like Roland, I'm curious to see what book three holds for him, and I'm so curious to get to know Sophie's brothers a little more! Aside from Gwen we have a few other new characters who I adored, Mor, Rory and Lucia and I'm hoping we'll get to see all of them again not just Lucia! They became such good friends to Sophie and Gray and really rallied around and helped Sopie! I love the relationships both romantic and otherwise in these books! They're so fleshed out. 
Lady of Magick has another complex plot with plenty of little threads throughout and clues for you to pick up on and try to put together. There's lots of twists that you don't see coming, and by the end of the book I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen and how it was all going to end! I read this in two sittings and became so engrossed in the book that I was completely oblivious to everything else. Seriously. Sam and Dean Winchester could have rocked up, baked me a pie and exorcised a ghost and I wouldn't have realised. 
Hunter expands on a world that she's created and brought to life brilliantly with rich history and intense politics, all while keeping it interesting so that you're intrigued rather than bored. You can really dive in to this world and get lost, at times it seems familiar but then you remember it's an alternate UK and we're in a different time period! I'd say Regency-ish. I was kinda sad not to see as much of Gray but I do love Sophie so I was excited that we got loads of her. Joanna is a mixed bag for me as sometimes I want to throttle her and I always found myself looking forward to Sophie's passages, but the longer the book went on the more excited I got for Joanna's. Especially as she was more sensible this book.
I will never, ever get bored of Gray and Sophie's relationship and how cute they are together, nor of how authentic the relationships and characters are. Hunter brings her story and her world and her characters to life so well, and you can really sink your teeth in to her books because she does her research and takes the time to set the scene, and set everything up with amazing attention to detail. I love it. I love her writing and her storytelling! 
Lady of Magick is full of betrayal, treachery, magick, action, adventure and romance, and once again there's a brilliant mystery that keeps  you guessing! I can't wait to for book three and I'm so intrigued to see which direction it'll go in, seeing as how we've had a 2 year time jump from the first book to the second, it's not the direction I thought it was going to go, but I'm so pleased with how it's turning out! I really hope book three isn't the last! 
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