Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review and Giveaway! The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

I have to say, this book is unlike anything else I've read for awhile--a bit of magic, a bit of Alice in Wonderland, and a bit of the modern world clashing with a medieval world.  It was a fun read and ended with me thinking "how can I possibly wait for the sequel?"  Because yes, there will be a sequel.  There has to be.

In a nutshell:  Nora is a grad student who's not doing so well in her research, and is on the edge of not being a grad student. She's at a crossroads in her life:  her ex-boyfriend is engaged, she's unhappy with school, and every one else seems to know what they're doing--except her.  

After a late night of partying with friends for an upcoming wedding, Nora decides to take an early morning stroll in the mountains near Asheville before attending a wedding.  Nora gets herself into a bit of a situation when she spies a small graveyard in the woods on the mountain, and finds herself literally in another world after reading one of the headstones.

This world is full of Faitorens; a group of incredibly beautiful people who party all the time and live a glamorous life.  Nora is taken in by Ilissa, the queen of the group, and has no idea she's been enchanted.  She's quickly forgetting her old life, and soon is involved  with Raclin, Ilissa's son.  Oh Nora.  You are in such a pickle.  The Faitorens do not have her best interests at heart.

I don't want to tell you much more about this novel because it really does take a turn.  I'll just say Nora's story becomes entangled with Arundiel, a magician who's quite old, but in doing magic he stays young.  He has quite a back story, which Nora slowly learns about as the days go by.  Nora's life as a young, independent woman is tested by the world she finds herself in--where women marry for protection, do not read or write, and certainly very very rarely do magic.  

But Nora's about to change all that.  

I'm giving away a copy of this novel, which is out August 1st.  Anyone who loves fantasy/magic mixed in with a heroine from today's world will certainly enjoy this novel.  It has a great mix of old school magic and fairy tales along with a contemporary woman trying to fit in without giving up what she knows.  And of course there is a romance, too.  

Want to win a copy?  Here's how:  Simply leave a comment about this post.  The contest runs through Friday, August 2nd.  I will announce the winner on Saturday, August 3rd on this blog.  **US residents only**

Rating:  7/10 for originality and Arundiel, a very complex character that I can't wait to read more about in the sequel.

The author's website:  http://emilycroybarker.com/the-thinking-womans-guide-to-real-magic/


  1. This is not the usual kind of thing I go for, but it sounds intriguing! I'd be interested to hear what you think of Beautiful Ruins when you read it, as it is on my to read list as well!

  2. This sounds interesting! I just took your advice and read "The Rook" which I LOVED!

  3. I just discovered your blog a few days ago and my reading wish list has doubled! After reading this review, I've added another. The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic sounds like one I'll love.

  4. Canadian resident here, but the book sounds fabulous, and I'm off later tonight to see if Chapter's has it. Gah! A sequel??? That may make me hesitate though before actually purchasing it. Someone else recommended The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It'll be a toss up which book I leave the store with!

    1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is pretty good--and short! This book was over 500 pages! It's hard to find a book anymore that isn't part of a series.

  5. sounds interesting. Looking for a copy

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