I received a review copy from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance Age Range: Adult Star Rating: 4 stars Series: yes - book 3
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for HALF A SOUL*
Proper Regency ladies are not supposed to become magicians – but Miss Abigail Wilder is far from proper.
The marriageable young ladies of London are dying mysteriously, and Abigail Wilder intends to discover why. Abigail’s father, the Lord Sorcier of England, believes that a dark lord of faerie is involved – but while Abigail is willing to match her magic against Lord Longshadow, neither her father nor high society believe that she is capable of doing so.
Thankfully, Abigail is not the only one investigating the terrible events in London. Mercy, a street rat and self-taught magician, insists on joining Abigail to unravel the mystery. But while Mercy’s own magic is strange and foreboding, she may well post an even greater danger to Abigail’s heart.
Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
LONGSHADOW is the last book in the Regency Faerie Tales series (for now, one hopes! I would absolutely not object to more books) as a magician and a mysterious not-laundress hunt for the truth behind the deaths of several wealthy young women.
Like, TEN THOUSAND STITCHES, LONGSHADOW is set after HALF A SOUL, but is more closely tied to the story of HALF A SOUL as it follows Dora and Elias’ adopted daughter, so it does contain spoilers about how that book ended up. It was also nice to spend some more time with Dora and Elias, see them from another perspective – and still equally bemused/frustrated with the nobility. There are also cameos of Effie and Juniper Jubilee.
The book looks at entitlement and performative niceness, particularly through the ghost of one of the dead girls who is still self-entitled and believes everything is about her even in death. It is a pretty scathing look at those with privilege all the way through with villains and minor side characters who can only be trusted to look out for themselves.
At the same time, it is also a book about family. Abigail has found a new family in the shape of the Wilders, which is a pretty unconventional family with a ghostly brother and two versions/incarnations of their mother. But it’s a family all the same and I loved seeing them interacting with such love. Plus the parents’ journey to trusting their children to act as adults in dangerous situations.
There is also a discussion in the book about grief and moving on, and how different people react to grief, for good or ill. It’s not the major theme of the book, but it’s a subtle, moving part woven into the layers of the book.
Not to mention, it’s another romance full of whimsy and balls! What regency romance is complete without a ball where important things happen? It’s just probably good that Abigail didn’t need to attend lots of balls in order to fall in love!
Read my reviews of other books by Olivia Atwater:
Regency Faerie Tales (this series):
- HALF A SOUL (#1)
- TEN THOUSAND STITCHES (#2)
- REGENCY FAERIE TALES NOVELLAS (#0.5 and #1.5)