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Ratings and Book Reviews (8 58 star ratings
8 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
58
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  • 6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

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    Not Perfect... Almost!

    I'm going to be frank. A big reason I bought this book is because the online advertisements for it that featured the cover were so darned clever! If you haven't seen them, the two figures reflected from the bicycle wheels actually walked! I tried to find a link, but was unsuccessful. Anyway, that's one of the reasons. Other reasons include recs by authors I like and an intriguing book blurb. So, as Deborah Ross stated in her review on Goodreads, "The setting, very much like England in the throes of national PTSD following the First World War, a magic-yielding aristocracy, a conflicted hero and so forth, are familiar enough to be recognisable, yet integrated into a freshly imagine world." I think that explains it perfectly. :) Just about everything works. There were a few places that I thought could use a bit more editing to make things a bit clearer, and maybe a tweak or two for the pacing, but they're mostly quibbles. The character of Miles is terrific and sympathetic and you can' help but like him. The secondary players - it's written in the 1st person POV so everyone else is a secondary for me - are interesting and possess more than one dimension. The mysteries of the plot are intriguing and kept me guessing in many cases, and when they didn't, when I guessed what was happening, I kind of felt that maybe I was supposed to. My one caveat is the whole romance angle. The book is marketed as a fantasy romance, but it seems to me to be more a fantasy novel, set in an AU of WWI England with an important romantic subplot. The romance is really far from the main element of this story. So much so that the light-heartedness that permeated the last pages seemed almost out of place for the rest of the novel. So beware, if you're looking for a romance-heavy story, I don't think this is it. That being said, I cannot WAIT for the next book to come out. It's coming out in February of 2020 according to both Kobo and Amazon. On Goodreads, the author has responded to the question by saying summer of 2019. God only knows. And not only that, the images for Book Two have as its title Greystar while the text shows it as Stormsong. Again, your guess is a good as mine. All I know is that I will be there to read it. :)
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    A page turner and fantastic fantasy!

    The story drew me into Miles' world right away and had me staying up late until I finished it. It's a fantasy/supernatural but the premise of relegating a fellow being as somehow less than another is relevant and very real. I loved the pace of this story, characters, and felt the author did an excellent job of engaging the reader.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Absolutely Wonderful!

    This is a beautiful love story, with an engaging magic system and led by a political intrigue story. Just wonderful. I'm especially enamoured by it now that I know it's written by a Canadian who lives near me! I'm hoping that when I get my physical copy (as I read an eARC) that I can find a local event where it can be signed at! As always the highest compliment I can give any book is to purchase it for my physical library. Especially when I buy an ARC! This one is more than worthy of my shelf. Plot There is a perfect political story in Witchmark. It has just the right amount of complexity and depth to allow for this story to feel light enough while still having depth. I'd call this a good 'fantasy beach read' if you like a mystery to be your relaxing genre. The parallels between the discrimination and fear our lead man feels and the plight of many escaping WWII cannot be ignored. It is done with a grace and balance that felt like it was still a fantasy story but giving homage to a very dark time in human history. I can't say much more about the plot without giving anything away. So you'll just have to read it to find out! Characters Our leading man is so well written. He has enough emotion to feel real, but still maintains a closed off feel that many men in modern society seem to have. As such I felt like he could easily have been many of the older men I know who have been through tough times. Unwilling to really share any of their trauma and trying to hide in the middle of their own success. His romantic entanglement with another man just emphasizes his discomfort and uncertainty of his own emotions; and is just adorable in so many ways! I especially love the attempt our leading man makes to stay low-key while still being successful enough to save lives at his hospital and advocate for the veterans program he supports. Additionally our other characters all feel like real people. A couple of them are clearly built off typical fantasy archetypes but that is okay with me as they have their purpose and aren't all that important to the overall story. Magic One of the best parts of C.L. Polk's story is that the magical system is so interesting. It's easy to understand; while complex enough that it's difficult to know who has magic and who does not. I especially like moments in the book when our leading man starts to really 'see' the world in a certain way and the bond he starts to have with a fellow magic user. These moments are very special in their own and couldn't have been as great without a smart magical system to support them. Overall If you don't read the last chapter, Witchmark could easily be a wonderful little stand-alone. And honestly I might have preferred that. As someone who is getting burnt out by long series I felt like Witchmark had a perfect premise to be a one-off. That said, I'll happily revisit our leading man and his tortured emotions in the future. Maybe that actually makes this an even better fantasy story in that it feels like a standalone (doesn't get too messy too fast) so that it reads easily and yet can still easily be built on for a series. Whatever the reason for it, I adored Polk's story and characters. It's just the icing on the cake that she lives near me and I may one day get to meet her! Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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    Excellent read

    But too short! So many books these days seem dumbed down, this was a refreshing change. Thanks for the mini getaway CL Polk
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    Awesome

    This book is charming, compelling, and whimsical. Normally, I hate romance in a story, but I love it here. I only wish more attention had been paid to the world-building and different cultures, the sense of time passing (sometimes it was hard to tell if it was a day or an hour), and that there was a little bit more transition between locations. That being said, I could hardly put it down; despite its (admittedly minor) faults, this book was a delight to read. I can hardly wait for the next one.
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