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The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen…
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The Magicians and Mrs. Quent

by Galen Beckett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Mrs. Quent Trilogy (1)

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» See also 110 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
I almost gave up on this book. The first fifty or so pages are a pedestrian, awkward attempt at a Regency society novel, with mentions of mysterious magicians shoehorned in. The main character, Ivy, and her family are clearly the Bennets from [book: Pride and Prejudice], right down to their grasping cousin Mr. Collins, er, Wyble. The Mr. Darcy stand-in, Mr. Rafferdy, disappointed. But then Rafferdy and Ivy's friendship blossomed, and against my will I found myself drawn into the story. I tore through the rest of it.
It's an oddly disjointed novel. The first 200 pages are P&P, but the next 140 are a spooky retelling of [book: Jane Eyre]. Even the point-of-view switches to match JE's first person narrative. Some facets of the reworked story work better than the original, at least for a modern audience. The children, for instance, are far more lifelike than Mr.Rochester's ward. Mr. Quent is rather more reasonable than Mr.Rochester, if less gothically charismatic. Then, after the rush through Bronte, the story (and Ivy) is abruptly thrust back into the city. Without P&P to rely on, Ivy and Rafferdy's relationship feels more natural and less forced. There is, moreover, a great deal more magic and action in the last third.

There are two major problems with this book. First, the author's heavy debt to Austen and Bronte. Second, the plot is poorly put together. Beckett is setting us up for a series, or at the very least a sequel, and so he introduces far too many plot points. Eldyn Garritt is a completely unnecessary character. His plot is that he has dealings with one of the rebel leaders and is moreover learning illusion magic. However, the wyldmagic and the rebellion were already part of the Rafferdy/Ivy/Quent storylines; writing in another main character whose connection to the rest is extremely tenuous, and whose addition to the plot is extraneous, is just sloppy. The author threw too much into this novel. Hopefully he'll learn to pare it down in the sequel--and be a bit more original.

I enjoyed this book. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I stayed up until 5am to finish it. Beckett's magic systems are heady and a touch disturbing; his characters are, if not original, at least well-drawn. I like that the people's rebellion is not a clear case of good vs. evil, and that no magick is without a hidden price. I look forward to the sequel, [book: The House on Durrow Street]. ( )
1 vote wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
This turned out to be an interesting book. It seems to be a combination of Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, with a dash of Charles Dickens, set in a fantasy Britain. The combination doesn't always play well within the book, but the parts are interesting in themselves. I like the characters and the setting; I wish the first book felt more complete. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Jan 20, 2016 |
I really enjoyed reading this book. However I'm left feeling as though the author didn't really explain why society is as it is because of magic. Maybe as the series progresses that will be answered. The reason for only 4 stars is that the storyline seemed to drag a bit in places and felt really slow and the ending was rather sudden and anti-climactic. Outside of that it was a very entertaining book to read and as rarely happens anymore I was pleasantly surprised to see how the differing story lines came together in the finale. I look forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  DuchessofHazard | Nov 29, 2015 |
The fantasy, The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, is the first in a trilogy (?) that takes place in an island country somewhat modeled on Regency England. The author wrote the first part as though he was channeling Jane Austen, the second part in a Jane Eyre mood, and in the third pulled many of the strands together. However, there is plenty of room for further developments in the sequel.

I suspect that this novel would not be to everyone's taste but I had fun reading it and will be looking out for the next volume. A library sale find that I'm glad I took a chance on.
  hailelib | May 17, 2015 |
This book was mentioned in several threads in FantasyFans as well as in the Green Dragon. Who wouldn't like a heroine with a habit of reading while walking? And not only for fun, but to gain knowledge, to solve a problem only she is willing to solve!

The story is told from 3 POVs: Ivy is looking for a way to cure her mentally ill father. Rafferdy is working very hard on being pleasantly disinterested in anything. And Eldyn is trying to find his way after his father's death.

This is an austenesque comedy of manners. Social norms dictate distance between people who otherwise might be friends or even more. (Now I finally understand some peculiarities of today's British culture.) This distance also extends to the reader. That is, until the middle part, where we finally get to know Ivy's innermost thoughts.

The magical system involves legends about Gods and planets, living woods, spells and illusions. Magical talents seem to be hereditary, but not genetically dominant.

One of the main themes of the series seems to be the question: When a state or organisation slowly turns rotten, when is the time to leave, or even to join the enemy? We have three longish books full of people doing this, sometimes with rather unhealthy results. Of course, the time is different for everyone. Some might be able to work toward reforms for a long time, while others have already lost dear friends or family members to the gallows. Do you fight those who have switched sides? Or can you still be friends?

To me, this book feels more like a prologue. In fact, I didn't get really hooked until the 3rd book of the trilogy. ( )
  hnau | Mar 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Galen Beckettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heffernan, PhillipCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, Carol MalcolmDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warren, Jamie S.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jane, Oscar, and Charles.
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It was generally held knowledge among the people who lived on Whitward Street that the eldest of the three Miss Lockwells had a peculiar habit of reading while walking.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553589822, Hardcover)

In this enchanting debut novel, Galen Beckett weaves a dazzling spell of adventure and suspense, evoking a world of high magick and genteel society—a world where one young woman discovers that her modest life is far more extraordinary than she ever imagined.

Of the three Lockwell sisters—romantic Lily, prophetic Rose, and studious Ivy—all agree that it’s the eldest, the book-loving Ivy, who has held the family together ever since their father’s retreat into his silent vigil in the library upstairs. Everyone blames Mr. Lockwell’s malady on his magickal studies, but Ivy alone still believes—both in magic and in its power to bring her father back.

But there are others in the world who believe in magick as well. Over the years, Ivy has glimpsed them—the strangers in black topcoats and hats who appear at the door, strangers of whom their mother will never speak. Ivy once thought them secret benefactors, but now she’s not so certain.

After tragedy strikes, Ivy takes a job with the reclusive Mr. Quent in a desperate effort to preserve her family. It’s only then that she discovers the fate she shares with a jaded young nobleman named Dashton Rafferdy, his ambitious friend Eldyn Garritt, and a secret society of highwaymen, revolutionaries, illusionists, and spies who populate the island nation of Altania.

For there is far more to Altania than meets the eye and more to magick than mere fashion. And in the act of saving her father, Ivy will determine whether the world faces a new dawn—or an everlasting night. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Of the three Lockwell sisters--romantic Lily, prophetic Rose, and studious Ivy--all agree that it's the eldest, the book-loving Ivy, who has held the family together ever since their father's retreat into his silent vigil in the library upstairs. Everyone blames Mr. Lockwell's malady on his magickal studies, but Ivy alone still believes--both in magic and in its power to bring her father back. After tragedy strikes, Ivy takes a job with the reclusive Mr. Quent in a desperate effort to preserve her family. It's only then that she discovers the fate she shares with a jaded young nobleman named Dashton Rafferdy, his ambitious friend Eldyn Garritt, and a secret society of highwaymen, revolutionaries, illusionists, and spies who populate the island nation of Altania.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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