H.G. Parry’s The Magician’s Daughter (Redhook/Orbit 2023) is a very sweet, fairytale of a fantasy. The book will release on 28 Feb 2023, and I owe a huge thanks to the publisher for getting this early copy to me.  I greatly appreciate every book that comes my way.

Before I get into the review, can we talk about the cover?  Because it’s so positively literary and Victorian, and it’s absolutely perfect for the novel.  I just love it.  I want a print of it for my book room.

Biddy grows up on Hy-Brasil, an island full of magic and hidden from the world.  She’s raised by Rowan, a mage, and Hutch, his rabbit familiar.  Rowan possesses a ravenstone and can turn into a raven.  He spends countless nights on dangerous missions that Biddy is not privy to.  Biddy’s only real adventure comes from her books, of which she has plenty.

Rowan is a Robin Hood of a mage, stealing magic from the Council to give to the needy.  As his efforts grow more dangerous, Biddy’s life on the secret island becomes threatened.  Biddy isn’t a mage, but there is something magic within her.  It’s only a matter of time before she’s found.  Rowan decides to strike first.  A ruse is crafted to flesh out the Council members and figure out the magic in Biddy.  Biddy agrees to serve as bait, which proves quite the adventure as she’s taken from the island to the Rookwood Asylum for Destitute Girls, where she serves as a teacher.

Will the ruse work?  Can Rowan win against the Council? What does the magic in her heart mean, and who put the spell there?  And what will happen when it’s unlocked?

The Magician’s Daughter certainly brings other fantasy books to mind.  In some aspects, it’s Babel but make it a fairytale and not a bloody rebellion. In some, it reminds me of Harry Potter – the relationship between Morgaine, Rowan and Storm is very much an alternate universe of Lily, James and Severus.  Because this is a common story, echoes of those that come before are hard to ignore.

I wanted more character development. More magic. And more familiars. The sweetest relationship is between Hutch and Rowan, and we simply don’t get enough of the mage and his familiar.  This is Biddy’s story, and I couldn’t really connect to her.  But, oh how I loved that rabbit.

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