“The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children.” – William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”
They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The danger in that bid for the ultimate control, of course, is that there is always someone who is more corrupt and more powerful than yourself. Power then becomes a game of survival of the fittest, in which the weakest of the powerful are doomed to succumb to the covetous ways and unscrupulous means by which the competition will most eagerly eliminate, permanently, the nuisance you have become.
Then again, sometimes death is simply a matter of revenge.
Murder in a most macabre and mystical fashion is at the heart of KJ Charles’ The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, Book One), and it is utterly and deathly divine.
Lucien Vaudrey, now reluctantly known as Lord Crane, knows firsthand what it means to witness someone pay for his sins in a most grim and grisly fashion, if not in the example of his father and brother, then in his own frightening and incomprehensible desire to commit an act of self-murder. The only difference between himself and his unsavory relations, however, is that while his father and brother deserved an untimely and gruesome demise, Lucien is guilty of nothing more than sharing their blood and surname, but now he must also share a portion of the loathing that goes along with them. The son who was rejected by the father may have been spared the taint of his sire’s corruption, but he could not escape retribution.
Stephen Day is a man who knows all too well what the Vaudrey men are capable of, or at least Quentin and his favored son Hector, who laid waste to Stephen’s family with neither hesitation nor remorse. Stephen Day is also a man who may be slight in stature but holds within himself a power more deadly than most anyone—or anything—can challenge, and Lucien is desperately in need of that power. Though it would be understandable and most justifiable if Stephen were to withhold it, given Lucien’s lineage. To offer Lucien help is to save his life—a life that, in the opinion of many, isn’t worth sparing.
Fans of gothic horror, historical fiction, gripping mystery, tight prose, rich plots and multi-dimensional characters are in for a solidly entertaining read in The Magpie Lord. I’m tempted to add many exclamation points here because I’m so excited about the first book in this series!!! There. Done.
This is a book of lust in so many ways: the lust for power and the lust for sex and the lust to be connected to someone, and the final outcome of all that desire is sex magick and a blood bond and a link which forms an unbreakable tether between two men that I can’t wait to see expanded in the coming installments in this series. Evil has escaped, after all. When that happens, there’s always more to come.
This is a story of loyalty and insanity and hideous crimes, where curses rein and secrets are discovered. It is a place where a house becomes a purgatory of horrors, void of energy that threatens to strip one man of his strength and send the other to his grave, unless they can discover a way to tap into the Magpie Lord’s power.
I won’t hesitate for a minute to recommend this book enthusiastically, and it’s one I await the sequel to anxiously!
Reviewed by: Lisa