Two for joy. That would do very well indeed.
Title: Flight of Magpies
Author: K.J. Charles
Why you should read this book: Third and last book of this marvelous trilogy. If you’d made it this fare you can’t miss this one.
Summary from Goodreads:
Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink.
With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student who is flying—literally—off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane, is beginning to feel the strain.
Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.
When a thief strikes at the heart of Crane’s home, a devastating loss brings his closest relationships into bitter conflict—especially his relationship with Stephen. And as old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies paint the lovers into a corner, the pressure threatens to tear them apart.
“Stephen is the best man among you by a ten-yard start, and he’s a pointlessly self-sacrificing, prideful idiot two steps from nervous collapse.”
Third and last book of the Charm of Magpies series and I loved every single one of them. The story is so much more complex than I was expecting and it left me wanting for more. I want to know more about that world full of magic; I want to know more about Lucien and Stephen’s life together. I want to read about their adventure all over the world, of all the places they are going to visit in which they can love each other freely.
He had spent his adult life in China, where nobody cared who he slept with, and he did not like the way England’s laws and expectations were creeping into his consciousness, making him fearful about what had been normal.
This book sees old enemies resurface and a little friction between our two lads. I was scared because everything could go wrong but I was hopeful they were going to make things work. Stephen is so busy with work, it seems he has to do everything. Why is the Council not doing anything about the murders and the weird things happening around London? He has so little time to breathe, and of course he has close to zero time to spend with his lover Crane.
If I’d wanted a life trammelled by obligation, I could have stayed in this bloody country in the first place.
Then again, if I wanted a life without Stephen I’d be back in Shanghai already.
Crane is of course really angry about it. He is giving up a life full of young attractive men giving him unimaginable pleasures in a country that doesn’t think is illegal to love whoever you like, and what is Stephen doing?? He is spending almost all of their time together at work, risking his own life every single day. Crane is on the verge of exploding and, at some point, he does explode. He is allowing himself to be a little bit selfish because he wants Stephen to be happy, to relax and not be forced to do what the Council wants him to do.
Crane frowned. “Is this about the power?”
“No. I’m sure it’s not. Don’t fret.”
“I do not fret,” Crane said, offended. “You fret.”
“You fret like a mother hen every time I mention the Council.”
Old enemies, new enemies and traitors are on their way to ruin everything they are building together. No no, you won’t lay a finger on my boys while I’m here reading you, book! You will assure me they will fight, make peace, fight evil, kill whoever disrupts their peace and move on with their happy lives. If one more person wants to kill Crane, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Stephen won’t allow anything to happen to his lover and is willing to sacrifice himself. That goes also the other way because Crane is crazy about his Stephen and nothing is going to stand in his way when it comes to his tiny magician’s well-being.
“My life has been an unending barrage of strange things ever since I set eyes on him.”
I love Crane so much. He is sweet, straightforward, caring, he knows exactly what he wants and he is willing to wait. Maybe he is not the most patient man but he giving it a try. All because of that tiny little man with ugly clothes and terrible job, who stole his heart. Crane, you can’t honestly think you want to sleep around at your age, you need to settle down and you have a wonderful man who loves you as much as you love him and is powerful as hell!
“I like the way he says ‘furthermore’,” Merrick observed quietly. “Cos you can tell he means ‘wankers’.”
Stephen is indeed very powerful, not only because of the Magpie Lord’s ring, and also not because he does perverted things with Crane in bed (on desks, against walls, on a rug, etc…). Stephen is powerful because he is a damn good practitioner, one of the best. I love Stephen. I love Crane. I love Stephen with Crane.
Why had he let himself get tangled up with a Vaudrey in the first place?
Because you fell in love with him, said the rational voice that refused to be silenced, and that was a worse thought than all the rest.
I also love the side characters. There’s a lot of Merrick because, as I correctly guessed, he is interested in Jenny Saint, one of Stephen’s scholar justiciar. She is 18, he is much more older. Stephen is mad about the situation; one thing leads to another and everyone fight! I love Merrick, he is loyal and he loves Crane. The fact that he is interested in another human being so long after his wife’s and unborn child’s death is sweet and Crane, even if he is angry at first, can’t be against it. If it’s consensual, then what’s the point opposing it? I hope Merrick and Saint can have a wonderful and adventurous life together!
“You are the most colossal degenerate. So am I, I suppose, but I blame you.”
“You look devastatingly whorish.”
There are a little less steamy scenes in this book than in the others because things get ugly, but I was still satisfied by them. There are more kisses, deep and loving kisses between two men that love each other with all their hearts. It’s sweet and the right amount of cheesy. Crane can say the cheesiest things but you don’t cringe, you grin and your heart skips a beat. He is the best and I love him. I’ve already said that but it’s true every time, he is surely the best.
“But I do hope you are aware, my sweet, somewhere in that absurd heart, that I am ever, entirely, and quite pathetically yours.”
I loved these books, all of them. The short stories between the main stories were as important. I want to recommend these to everyone because they are intriguing and filled with mystery and magic. Who doesn’t like these elements in books? I know I do.
Do I recommend it? Yes, perfect ending.