Friday, May 04, 2012

[Book Review] THE MAGICIANS AND MRS. QUENT by Galen Beckett

Science Fiction/Fantasy

Science Fiction and Fantasy were the genres discussed during the What's Your Flavor? session in April.

Angie reviews THE MAGICIANS AND MRS. QUENT by Galen Beckett (Bantam, 2008) 

Set in Invarel, an Austen-esque society with magic, the book begins with the Lockwell family: once prosperous, their prospects have now waned as their fortune has crumbled. The decline started with Mr. Lockwell, who has lost his mind, though no one knows exactly how or why; his forays into magic are the implied culprit. Now it is up to Ivy Lockwell, the oldest sister, to look after her family’s future – her two younger sisters, Rose and Lily, her somewhat feather-brained mother, and her ailing father – while also doing all she can to learn about what exactly happened to her father and why.

The book starts out light-hearted, introducing complex and engaging characters into Ivy’s life and revealing the convolutions of her society as they interact. Dark undertones grow as the plot progresses, however, and it becomes apparent that all are definitely not who they seem. Tones of Bronte permeate later sections of the book, and the presence of magic is manifested in some unanticipated and unusual ways.

The characters of this book were multifaceted and captivating, and I found myself surprised by several of the plot twists and revelations that occurred. Although it definitely utilizes other literary traditions and tropes, this is still one of the most original and appealing fantasy books I have read in some time.

This is the first of a series; the second book continues the story with The House on Durrow Street, and the third recent release, The Master of Heathcrest Hall.

You may also enjoy Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate quintet (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless) and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Angie Price, Central Library

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This was definitely the most captivating book I've read in a long time-- and I have you, Angie, to thank for recommending it!! It was such an awesome book that I reread it almost immediately!-- Lauren
This review definitely makes the book sound quite spellbinding; I am intrigued. I will have to give it a shot!
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