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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
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  • An enjoyable light fantasy read

    I feel like this story had many characteristics that reminded me of a YA fantasy instead of an adult fantasy, as I’ve seen it being tagged. The main character was young, in age and mind. She seemed to struggle a lot with selfishness and looking at the bigger picture. Luckily, by the end of the book, she had experienced some growth. The romance was sweet and innocent. I felt like the side characters were not very developed. Ianthe behaved a little unbelievably. Even though he came from a more progressive culture, the way he reacted to Beatrice breaking all the rules was way too supportive. He was just in awe of her, which I guess is cute. The plot and the world were not very detailed, but I liked the overall message of this book. Having a female main character fighting a society that chooses to oppress women is definitely an important theme. The magic system was really interesting, and I wished we got more information about it. Some historical elements would have been nice. Overall, this was a very enjoyable light fantasy read.

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  • Anti-Jane Austin, with magic. Sort of

    A tale of magic and expectations: what you would give up for love (both romantic and family) and what you would ask others to give up. . .. I was a little afraid that the premise of a woman fighting to not be bargained away on the marriage mart and be collared by her husband would be too bleak for my 2020 reading, but I stand corrected! Once I started The Midnight Bargain, it grabbed me and kept me reading for more hours straight than I should admit. (Some of those hours were work hours.) . .. Most of it is friendship and magic and family and conniving, along with balls and the occasional horseback ride. The world feels like a more-cosmopolitan Regency/Victorian novel, where the England corollary is the backwards, backwater country and they know it, haha. . .. What I find especially interesting is a common theme with Witchmark, which is that giving up your power fully into the control of someone else, even someone that loves you, can be horrific. I certainly see slavery parallels in both stories. . .. But don’t worry, dear reader: it all turns out ok in the end. The characters worked for their solution and they earned it, and if the parents all came around a bit smoothly, well, that’s one quibble among hundreds of pages. . .. For those with absolutely no interest in clothes or textiles, know that many outfits are described, but don’t worry, each time is brief. I myself enjoyed the descriptions and how the clothes represented wealth and class. . .. Queer rep: Ysbeta is aromantic/asexual. #aroace

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  • Romance set in a world similar to Regency England,

    I enjoyed this book so much, as it is a combination of two of my favorite genres - historical romance and fantasy. It is set in a world similar to Regency England, but with magic. There is a season for young women and men of the upper class to be seen in society, mingle, and begin courtships. (I loved the descriptions of their fabulous clothing and unique dances.) As in Regency England, their marriages aren't necessarily motivated by love or even attraction, but by the need to make advantageous matches that will benefit their families financially, socially, and in magical talent. This patriarchal society is not always a benevolent one. One element that makes the book so good is the slow reveal of women's true place in their society, and the reasons for it. Throw in magic, sorcery, romance, spirits, grimoires, the suppression of women (and the intrepid ones who resist their limited choices), and you have a rich, compelling story. I highly recommend this book and the author's other books, which are set in the same world. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher EreWhon Books for providing me an e-arc to read and review. These are my honest opinions of the book.

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  • The Midnight Bargain

    A good message but unfortunately I found it a bit predictable.

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  • Perfect Book

    The romance is passionate, healthy, and respectful. The friendship is unparalleled. I'm stunned by the world-building (namely, the magic system and institutionalized sexism), and think that the allegory is profound.

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