Tag Archives: witches

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

They’ll Put a Spell on You: The Once and Future Witches and Murder Most Fowl

6 Oct

Here are two of my recent reads that are sure to bewitch you too!

The Once and Future Witches
Three very different estranged sisters reunite to join their powers in Alix E. Harrow’s novel The Once and Future Witches.  I enjoyed the unique interweaving of women’s suffrage in with the idea of women’s magical power being suppressed by men who labelled their magic as a weaker branch of sorcery, just as women were labeled the “weaker” sex.  As the sister’s explore their heritage and create new spells they also discover their path forward in life and find hidden strengths that they will need to overcome the obstacles in their path.  This is Harrow’s second novel after The Ten Thousand Doors of January. It is available in print and as an ebook.

Inspired to make some magic of your own? Check out Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman.

Murder Most Fowl
Murder Most Fowl is the latest in one of my favorite mystery series centered on Meg Langslow, a blacksmith and mother of twins.  In this spooky edition perfect for the lead up to Halloween, Meg’s husband is rehearsing a performance of the “Scottish Play.”  Unsettling things keep turning up from oddly shaped mushrooms to a fragment of a creepy spell.  Although the book keeps to Donna Andrews light hearted touch it definitely has a much spookier atmosphere than many of her other works. You can borrow it in print from BCCLS libraries or as an ebook from eLibraryNJ (log in with your Hoboken Library Card for access).

Hunting for more fictional witches? Click on the links for our previous posts on magical historic fiction involving NY and books centered on magical family bonds.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

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