Tag Archives: magic
Book Review

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Sorcerer to the Crown

Do you ever read a Georgette Heyer novel and think, “Man, that was great but I wish it had magic and also, like, maybe some diversity in the main characters”? If so, do I have a book for you! Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho is the first book in a series of the same name. It’s half Regency romance, half political intrigue, and half biting commentary on British colonialism. (Yes, I know that’s … Continue reading Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Book Review

By Wingèd Chair by Kendra Merritt

By Wingéd Chair

By Wingèd Chair is a young adult coming-of-age fantasy romance novel which plays with the Robin Hood story and takes it in some interesting new directions. Set in a fantasy world that has both medieval European and Victorian steampunk elements, the backdrop to the story is the unjust rule of Duke John, who has somehow disposed of his elder brother and now rules the country with the aid of the Sheriff and his Peacekeepers, who … Continue reading By Wingèd Chair by Kendra Merritt

Guest Post: A Handy Guide for Choosing Your Institute of Magical Education

A doodle by Poppy of her and her black cat on an orange kayak. The water waves blend into the hair of a goddess.

After Poppy’s beautiful “That Moment When…” post, we desperately wanted to have her and her artwork back! Poppy is a long-time fan of SBTB and loves cats, books and coffee, in that order. She illustrates The Loo Cats, an imaginative series starring her rescue cats in the most fantastical, improbable scenarios. The series is an ode to four spunky felines who survived abuse and abandonment before they found their forever home. Now they are elderly … Continue reading Guest Post: A Handy Guide for Choosing Your Institute of Magical Education

Book Review

Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep

Protect the Prince

In Kill the Queen Jennifer Estep introduced readers to a fantasy world that was immersive and blissfully lacking in info-dump. It featured female gladiators, political machinations, and an underdog heroine. I really enjoyed Kill the Queen, so I was delighted to find that I loved the sequel Protect the Prince even more. It’s a blend of fantasy-adventure, romance and mystery, and I devoured it in a single day. You do need to read Kill the … Continue reading Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep

Book Review

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days

TW/CW: Sexual assault and harrassment. How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days is a slow burn fantasy romance that (despite the slowness of the romance) takes place over a week. There’s magic and assassinations, but for all its perceived elements of adventure, it was a rather subdued and odd read. If a child is born when the twin moons align in the world of Aerthlan, they are known as Embraced, gifted with a variety … Continue reading How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks

Book Review

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

Sweet Black Waves

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez is a YA retelling of Tristian and Isolde, and while it contains romantic elements, it is not a romance. If you know the story of Tristian and Isolde, then you know it’s not a happy story. I’m not sure what direction Perez is ultimately going to take the legend as this is the first book in a trilogy, but I walked into it knowing enough not to anticipate  a HEA. … Continue reading Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

Book Review

The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Plastic Magician

I read this book in two days, partly because I remain very charmed by the world in which it is set, but also in part because the story itself speeds along from scene to scene, so it’s easy to read quickly. But that speed comes at the expense of emotional depth for the characters. I’m along for the ride happily, but I recognize what I’m missing. I love the world, the magical system of this … Continue reading The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Book Review

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns

I should be in bed right now. I should be getting a good night’s sleep before I start my work week tomorrow, but I’m not. All hope of being productive today or tomorrow went by the wayside when I started Three Dark Crowns this afternoon. Since I started the book I’ve done nothing but read, and now I’m reviewing it late at night because OMG YOU GUYS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS. I am literally sweating right … Continue reading Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Book Review

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

A Promise of Fire

A Promise of Fire is a fantasy romance and the first book in the Kingmaker Chronicles. I cannot, in good conscience, promise that this will be the last time you hear me talk about this book because I am obsessed. I will also go on record to say that, so far, this is the best book I’ve read in 2016. I want to read it again. I want the next book immediately, because the world … Continue reading A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Book Review

The Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher

The Witch of Lime Street

Earlier on Smart Bitches I reviewed Houdini and Doyle, a new TV series in which Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle team up to solve mysteries. The series was pretty meh, but you can get a great Houdini and Doyle fix from the non-fiction book, The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World. Pro: It has a glow in the dark cover. Con: It leaves many questions unanswered. Harry Houdini … Continue reading The Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher

Links: Periods, Magicians, & Cool Leather Journals

Workspace with computer, journal, books, coffee, and glasses.

Welcome to Wednesday Links, where we celebrate that the week is half over by sharing some pretty neat things we’ve found on the internet. Thanks to Reader Gry for passing this Rewire article on romance novels along. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading things that celebrate the genre: Take it from bestselling writer Jennifer Crusie, the pseudonym of author Jennifer Smith, who nails the anti-woman bias of critics, noting that because most romance … Continue reading Links: Periods, Magicians, & Cool Leather Journals

Book Review

Rag and Bone by KJ Charles

Rag and Bone

Rag and Bone is a mix of Regency, fantasy, and mystery, and while some parts were stronger than others, the two heroes and the rapidly developing plot kept me reading for hours longer than I intended. Crispin is a struggling magician whose prior tutor/master turned out to be evil, and he has a clandestine but passionate relationship with Ned, who is a waste paper dealer. Ned, who is the gentleman of color on the cover, lives … Continue reading Rag and Bone by KJ Charles