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The Raven Spell: A Novel (A Conspiracy of Magic Book 1) Kindle Edition
In Victorian England a witch and a detective are on the hunt for a serial killer in an enthralling novel of magic and murder by the Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of The Vine Witch.
After a nearly fatal blow to the skull, traumatized private detective Ian Cameron is found dazed and confused on a muddy riverbank in Victorian London. Among his effects: a bloodstained business card bearing the name of a master wizard and a curious pocket watch that doesn’t seem to tell time. To retrieve his lost memories, Ian demands answers from Edwina and Mary Blackwood, sister witches with a murky past. But as their secret is slowly unveiled, a dangerous mystery emerges on the darkened streets of London.
To help piece together Ian’s lost time, he and Edwina embark on a journey that will take them from the river foreshore to an East End music hall, and on to a safe house for witches in need of sanctuary from angry mortals. The clues they find suggest a link between a series of gruesome murders, a missing person’s case, and a dreadful suspicion that threatens to tear apart the bonds of sisterhood. As the investigation deepens, could Ian and Edwina be the next to die?
An Amazon Best Book of the Month: Science Fiction & Fantasy
“This fun, atmospheric outing is ideal for fans of C. L. Polk’s Kingston Cycle.” —Publishers Weekly
“Smith wraps up the plot neatly while leaving a clear hook to entice delighted readers back for the next book.” —Booklist
From the Publisher
Witch sisters Edwina and Mary Blackwood run a curio shop full of items they pick up mudlarking along the river. But Mary isn’t just out for the semiprecious baubles they find—she is fascinated by the dead, gathering their memories into glowing orbs that resemble nothing more than children’s marbles. When Mary steals the memory of a man that ends up living, however, she sets into motion a murder mystery that threatens the bond she and her sister have always shared—and points to a serial killer at work.
If you’re like me, not always dreaming of sunny summer beaches but instead sometimes longing for a chilly English winter full of rain, fireplaces, and witches’ magic, put some fuzzy socks on, because The Raven Spell is for you.
—Adrienne Procaccini, Editor
- ASIN : B093SHTLLB
- Publisher : 47North (1 Feb. 2022)
- Language : English
- File size : 8502 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 267 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 7,622 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from United Kingdom
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Unfortunately, for me, there were basic errors that came up too frequently for them not to grate. The insistence on calling Sir Henry Elvanfoot “Sir Elvanfoot” is a basic one that a little research could have resolved. Likewise some anachronistic language that would not fit the supposed period in Britain.
I can see that there is a suggestion that this is the first in a series. I can only hope that if any more of the series is to take place in the UK, that the author does the appropriate research or finds a willing British reader - I’m happy to volunteer! - to proofread the sequel.
Having felt somewhat uninspired when I first saw this month's Amazon First Reads selection, I ultimately decided to take a chance on this historical fantasy by Luanne G. Smith. I have to confess that my expectations were not that great, but I am now very glad that I made this particular selection. "The Raven Spell" is the first in a new series of books by the author and it presents an appealing mixture of murder mystery and magic in Victorian England.
I tend to read far more novels from the mystery / thriller genre than books that venture into the realms of fantasy, but I found this to be much more readable and engaging than the standard fantasy fare. I won't spoil your enjoyment by divulging key elements of the plot - there is enough in the official synopsis to get you started. Suffice to say that there is plenty here to appeal to many readers who may not be regular devotees of this genre with a very solid (and intriguing) mystery structure underpinning the plotline.
The story is well-paced. Not only is there no slow-burn in the opening stages, but neither are there any particular lulls in the proceedings as developments unfold. The characterisation is solid and there are plenty of engaging protagonists that are easy to visualise emerging from the pages of the book. The chosen backdrop of Victorian London, just prior to the end of the 19th century, is nicely portrayed and evokes a genuine sense of atmosphere. If I were to be very picky, I would suggest that it is a pity that one or two blatant Americanisms were allowed to slip through the editing process. On the occasions where they crop up, they seem strangely out of place in a narrative that is otherwise reassuringly appropriate for its setting.
Nonetheless, this is a thoroughly entertaining read and one that I have no hesitation in recommending - even if, like me, you are not automatically drawn to this genre. I will certainly be coming back for the next book in the series.
The story revolves around twin witch sisters who run a small shop in London, selling items they've found whilst searching the muddy banks of the Thames at low tide (they don't think of themselves as 'Mudlarks', like the humans trawling the stinking mud - they search at night, when they find it easier to see the coins, watches, hairpins, buckles, etc, shining in the starlight).
They discover what they initially think to be a dead body on the foreshore, but find that he's still (barely) clinging to life.
The story takes us through the mystery of who this man is and why he came to London and what brought the sisters to the capital. Meanwhile, there's a murderer on the loose....
It was well worth reading, right up to the last page (no spoilers).
I really recommend it, even if fantasy novels aren't your thing.
The Raven Spell is the first in a new series of books by Luanne G. Smith and it encompasses life in Victorian England, magic and murder.
I am an avid reader of crime novels and of Fantasy, sadly there are very few well written or even exciting fantasy novels, most seem to rely on formula not creativity, so my expectations of this one were not high.
The story set around adult twin sisters making a living as 'mud larks' and selling their finds in a small antiquities shop was well written and true to the period.
I like the fact that the story telling, not magic tricks, was the main thrust of the book, and the characters were likeable and well laid out.
I enjoyed this boo so much I read it in three evenings.
A little disappointed with the use of American when the subject matter is obviously Victorian London, England. but it won't stop me reading the next in the series.
I love fantasy genre and this is an ok example.
It's not a bad story but it jarred
Two things stood out for me, firstly, I didn't care about the characters particularly, and that lessened my enjoyment of a good idea.
Secondly, the use of Americanisms, such as John Doe and pocketbook. These phrases aren't used in the UK.