Monday, 25 August 2014

The thinking woman's guide to real magic - Emily Croy Barker

Nora's life is not quite going as planned. Her career has stalled; the man of her dreams is getting married, but not to her; and there's a mouse in her kitchen... Getting away for the weekend for a friend's wedding seems like perfect timing, especially when she stumbles across the glamorous Ilissa, who is determined to take Nora under her wing.

Through Ilissa, Nora is introduced to a whole new world - a world of unbelievable decadence and riches where time is meaningless and everyone is beautiful. And Nora herself feels different: more attractive; more talented; more popular... Yet something doesn't quite ring true: was she really talking to Oscar Wilde at Ilissa's party last night? Or transported from New York to Paris in the blink of an eye?

It is only when Ilissa's son, Raclin, asks Nora to marry him that the truth about her new friends becomes apparent. By then, though, it's too late, and Nora realises she may never be able to return to the world, and the life, she knew before. If she is to escape Raclin and Ilissa's clutches, her only hope is the magician Aruendiel. A grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past, he might just teach her what she needs to survive and perhaps even make it home: the art of real magic.

My thoughts:
I always find "falling into a world fantasy" like a different sort of fantasy. With regular fantasy it's that world, and we do not exist. But with "falling into a world" we do have our world, and that world. And this did have more of a fairy-tale vibe to it too.

Let me begin. Nora takes a walk, meets some new people and parties, drinks and enjoys herself for once. But alas, something is strange. Why is she partying? Who are these people?

Which leads us to the fantasy world. Two races fighting. A world with magic. And to this world Nora comes with the knowledge from her world. And she is certainly not like other women. Demure, no, respectful, no. She also hates the world because what is she in it? Nothing. And the only person she knows is a magician who is grumpy.

I did want a bit more from this world, but at the same time I liked how it was. It was more fairy-tale like, and it's not a nice fairy-tale. Life is hard, dirty and degrading. But Nora sure tries to make the best of it.

But I warn you, the ending is..well it was an ending and it could be left like that. But at the same time, it was not! Omg, I need more, I need stuff to happen ;)

Conclusion:
An interesting book, good characters and somewhat of a silliness over it all too. It managed to be both serious, strange and fun.

Cover
nice

Paperback, 576 pages
Published July 29th 2014 by Penguin Books (first published August 1st 2013)
Fantasy / Fiction
For review


40 comments:

  1. Glad to hear there was good characters even if you wanted more from the world building

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    1. It was more focused on what they were doing then the world at times. Worlds intrigue me

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  2. Love that cover! I don't like it when world building is faulty, but I like that the characters were great. Lovely review!

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    1. It was not that it was bad, there could just have been more. but then I have high high high standards

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  3. I'm not sure if that one is for me but it sounds interesting and different.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  4. Glad you had better luck with this one than me. I really disliked the characters and couldn't get past that. :(

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    1. I saw that you struggled ;) So I was really scared when I started but I got in at once

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  5. I think that kind of fantasy (gateway type) has a name, but I can't for the life of me remember what it is. It's true that I love it, though.

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    1. It does? Damn I should know these things! Portal fantasy?

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  6. Sounds interesting and you're right a bit fairy tale like. May have to keep it in mind.

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  7. Not sure I like the sound of the ending, but I do love dark and gritty fairy-tale worlds:)

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    Replies
    1. I do read that there will be more books

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  8. I like the sound of just falling into another world.

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  9. The ending makes me nervous. Is this part of a series? If so I might be able to deal with an ending that is not an ending. :)

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    1. She is writing more so yes there will be more. But then again the end as it is works perfectly too

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  10. Hmm. Not sure on the cover - the spiral is too perfect. :)

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  11. I am intrigued, Linda! I love fairy tales that are not nice, so this will have to go on my wishlist! :)

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  12. You have me very curious, how you wanted more and yet it worked how it was..great review Linda!

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  13. Sounds cute and the cover art is so pretty!

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  14. Just got this one for review -- sounds really intriguing! Though I'll probably want a bit more magic...

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  15. I've heard about this book, and it sounds interesting! I don't know if I'd like the characters though.

    ~Mogsy

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  16. Man, I don't think I'd like to live in that world. Magical realism, huh? Those are quite interesting reads. :-)

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    1. No, not magical realism, magic is really real.

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  17. Oh I remember seeing this one. I don't know that it's one for me though. Hrm.

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  18. I've been so curious about this one but haven't seen many reviews. Now I definitely want to read it (and I'm so curious about that ending!)

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