Tag Archives: witches

Fresh New Fantasies: Silver Under Nightfall and Bindle Punk Bruja

15 Sep

Borrow these new fantastic fantasies today!

Silver Under Nightfall
by Rin Chupero

I had been eagerly awaiting Rin Chupero’s latest novel, Silver Under Nightfall, set in a world where vampires and humans struggle for survival and power; it not only lived up to my expectations but surpassed them.  I had written about another book by Rin Chupero, Bone Witch previously.  Their latest novel shares some similarities such as intricate descriptions of monstrous creatures and a keen insight into creating diverse and unique cultures and exploring the way in which they interact with one another.  I found this book even richer in the emotional resonance that was created in the character of Remington, who despite being raised to hunt and destroy vampires feels himself drawn to a vampire couple who may be a source of happiness and love, which he has never experienced before or could lead to him losing all he has ever worked for.  Remington must work through his often abusive past, especially his destructive relationship with his father. Remi is given depth and emotional complexity often not found in male leads especially who have been cast in the “hero” role in the fantasy/horror genre.  Chupeco was inspired some by Castlevania, so fans of the game or the recent Netflix series will surely enjoy this novel greatly.

Bindle Punk Bruja
by Desideria Mesa

Bindle Punk Bruja is the debut novel of Desideria Mesa which combines historical fiction set in the Roaring 1920’s with a little witchcraft.  Rose has a secret identity hidden deep down just like her popular speakeasy, she is actually Luna who is pretending the Mexican half of her identity doesn’t exist so she can make a living since her immigrant family are thought of as “bindle punks” or bums.  Many of the other characters are also hiding secrets whether it be their religion or sexual orientation.  Luna’s earth magic is a metaphor for this, although her grandmother is a powerful bruja, Luna’s magic is weaker in comparison, she can make men fall in love with her but believes she lacks the power to do more, it is only when she opens herself fully and connects with her roots that she finds her magic blossom.  She’ll needed that magic to keep her and those she loves safe from harm.  The twenties slang throughout was amusing and there were many enjoyable characters; I particularly was charmed by the Luna’s business partner Heck.  I also appreciated that the novel brings light to groups who were often hidden and discriminated against during that time period.  Check out Bindle Punk Bruja and fall under its spell.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

Magical Romances: The Midnight Bargain, The Book of Magic, and Witch Please

13 Apr

Love always seems magical, but these three novels, where the protagonists are all witches, will have you spellbound.

The Midnight Bargain
C. L. Polk
The Midnight Bargain is C.L. Polk’s latest novel following their award winning Kingston Cycle Trilogy which also dealt with magic users.  The Midnight Bargain is a magical regency romance that will appeal to fans of Bridgerton series and Pride & Prejudice.  In the novel Beatrice is torn between her feelings for Ianthe, a wealthy suitor who would please her family, and her desire to pursue higher magic that is typically forbidden to women.  Magic users are able to communicate with powerful, but incorporeal spirits who sometimes can share their bodies and experiences.  Women are expected to wear a collar around their neck once they are married as a form of magical birth control that prevents spirits from entering them and taking over their children.  Ianthe’s sister Ysbeta also desires to become a powerful magic user and she and Beatrice become friends.  In contrast to Ysbeta and Beatrice, Beatrice’s own sister is obsessed with the parties and courtship rituals and looks forward to them and wants nothing more than making a good match herself.  The characters are diverse and compelling.  This was a page turner that had my nightly reading pushing past midnight!   

The Book of Magic
The Practical Magic Series, Book 4
Alice Hoffman

The Book of Magic is both chronologically and in the writing of, the fourth in the Practical Magic Series.  The first written in the series was Practical Magic followed by two prequels The Rules of Magic and Magic LessonsPractical Magic is one of my favorite novels from my 20’s and I’m always a fan of Hoffman’s beautiful prose and bittersweet magical realism.  She writes about sympathetic and spirited heroines who are impossible not to care about.  That said I had mixed feelings as a fan of the first novel since this one basically comes in and resets a family curse that has plagued generations of Owens women where they lose their true loves, which seemed to have been resolved.  While I liked seeing how the daughters in the original novel grew up into strong women and seeing their bond of sisterhood something that is a thread throughout the series, I wish that the novel could have been written without changing fundamentally what had happened previously.  In the end though I think it was worth the read to be able to spend more time with the Owen’s family.

Witch Please
Fix-It Witches Series, Book 1
by Ann Aguirre

Witch Please like The Book of Magic is set in current day; in fact it is described as “Practical Magic meets Gilmore Girls.”  Danica along with her cousin owns a repair shop where they are able to use their witchcraft to fix just about everything from a blender to a cash register.  In the novel, Danica’s grandmother has told her that their family line has a weakness that if the witches in the family marry a non-magical partner, it will weaken their witchcraft.  Unfortunately Danica is falling for the gorgeous baker who with his sister owns a bakery where Danica often goes to buy cinnamon buns for her book club/coven.  This novel feels much lighter and funnier than the other two.  Intimate moments are also more graphically depicted and may be a bit much for those who prefer the bedroom door be kept closed in their romances.  There is some diversity among the characters including lesbian and bisexuals being positively represented. I’m looking forward to reading the next two in the series Boss Witch which came out at the beginning of April and follows Danica’s cousin Clementine and October’s Extra Witchy.

For more books about witches you can check out some of my previous blog posts.  Love fantasy?  Check out HPL’s monthly Science Fiction and Fantasy Group!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

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