The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles

The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles
The Magpie Lord Book Cover The Magpie Lord
Charm of Magpies #1
K.J. Charles
Fantasy, Fantasy Romance
K.J. Charles (first published by Samhain Publishing)
March 28th 2017 (first published September 3rd 2013)

Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn't expect it to turn up angry.

Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude... and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.

Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn't the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.

[Synopsis was provided by GoodReads for review purposes.]

The Magpie Lord:

Gay Victorian Charm & Magic

I’m a big fan of LGBT Romance; a big fan Historical Fantasy; and a Mystery fan. And having owned my copy for over a year, during which I’ve read it a half-dozen times. I can reliably say that K.J. Charles’ The Magpie Lord has all of that and much more.

And to top it all off? This book is a solid 4.5 stars and the first in a series!

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The World Building of The Magpie Lord

By far my favorite Gay Romance novel, K.J. Charles' The Magpie Lord kicks off the captivating Charm of Magpies series with an explosion of magic. #bookreviewI could write an essay gushing about the worldbuilding and the research that has clearly gone into this novel. But my absolute favorite part–it changes with every read–currently has to be the way the magic is set up. Not only is it believable, but it has rules. Clear rules that make it almost a science instead of a traditional magic system. And it fits seamlessly into the pretty damn accurate Victorian England represented in the story.

However, the historical accuracy does mean one thing that I’m not a fan of. Homophobia. By choosing to set the story in a real time and place with the addition of magic, Charles was unable to avoid the homophobia of Victorian Era England completely. And at the same time, as much as I hate it, it does add to the authenticity of the world. Fleshing out the worldbuilding in a way that helps the story.

The Characters Of The Magpie Lord 

What can I say? I absolutely love the characters. Lucien is so interesting. Stephen even more so. And the bad guys out to kill Lucien are interesting as well.

Yep, I said it. There are bad guys in this book and they’re out to kill Lucien for their own nefarious reasons. Something those who are less familiar with Romance books of any kind may be surprised by. And they were interesting. Not as interesting as Lucien of Stephen, of course, but that’s not for lack of trying. It is because we, rightly, follow Lucien and Stephen. The two men whose love story the book tells. And the characters we follow the most should be the most interesting as far as I’m concerned.

Speaking of which, the setting itself is almost a character in this. And I absolutely love that in a way I can’t quite explain. But I also have a weakness for settings that are characters in their own right.

The Plot Of The Magpie Lord 

If I was given only one word, to sum up the plot, I would have to go with mystery.

Because that’s what this story is. A murder mystery where Stephen and Lucien try to discover who is out to kill Lucien and why.

Since this is a Romance novel, they fall in love. But the story would be completely different without that mystery plot. It is the mystery plot that bolsters the romance plot, making it richer and more thrilling to read.

And though I’m sure you’re sick of hearing this. Yes. Yes, I do love the plot of this novel as well.

The Writing Of The Magpie Lord

If you’re convinced I love the writing like everything else, you’re right! I do.

K.J. Charles not only is great at the practical stuff. Punctuation, pacing, creating a compelling narrative. But she simply has a style all her own that I enjoy reading.

And the best part? She does not treat her LGBT characters like they’re there to just titillate readers. They’re real people instead of fetishized fantasies. I love that aspect of her writing.

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Looking for a great read for Pride 2018 or a trip to the beach? The Magpie Lord is full of magic, mystery, and the all-important happily ever after for those who love queer romance.

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