Title: Rag and Bone
Author: K.J. Charles
Good things about this book: Magic and mystery and Stephen Day!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, but read the prequel first!
Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here
Magic. I just love magic. I fell in love with the world K.J. Charles built in the Charm of Magpies series; loved the characters, magical ones and not. I think I need to read again the whole series. I’m in need of Stephen and Crane! Honestly, I could read thousands of books set in that magnificent magical Victorian England.
Rag and Bone has been in my kindle library for months, untouched, unread, with no logical reason whatsoever. If you want to read it, I recommend you read first the small prequel that is like a long prologue for the story. I think without reading A Queer Trade you’re missing a lot of the story; it tells how our two main characters meet and what the hell is going on at the beginning of this book. I really think that without reading the prequel there’s too many things that not make much sense. The prequel is a must read.
Crispin and Ned meet under weird circumstances and they find themselves involved in even weirder events. Thanks to this misadventure, they seem to be in a stable relationship now, with its ups and down of course. So, pretty normal. But Crispin isn’t a normal human being, he has magic and, after spending so many years using it in illegal ways, now he’s finding it so hard fitting in the practitioners’ world. Ned used bone and blood magic that it’s illegal and only warlocks use it. And if you’re a warlock, it means you’re evil: but our Crispin may be insecure, a little judgey, a bit self-centred, and naïve, but he certainly isn’t evil.
Ned, on the other hand, is no magician: he is a waste-man and he is good at what he does. He has a hearing talent, though: he can hear magic but can’t use it. This hearing talent is a main resource to solving this book’s mystery case but not without Ned wanting to punch every single practitioner on Earth. Ned doesn’t like magic, he doesn’t trust it. He sees how magic influences Crispin, how bad it can be and how practitioners think only magical people deserve help, forgetting how non-magic folks are somehow innocent victims of their wrongdoings.
Crispin and Ned are very good for each other but they have issues they need to get through to be able to be 100% happy. I got mad at Crispin, I really did, he was making bad choices because he didn’t see how much value he had as a person; he was always seeing how he was not enough and that was self-destructive. I cheered for him and his happiness. I wanted him to be able to use his magic legally and easily. I wanted him to be proud of himself. I wanted people to see how worthy of a second chance he was, just the way Ned saw him. Ned thought Crispin amazing, and he was afraid of always being second place to magic. Those two were going to have a tortuous road to happiness but it was going to be worth it.
Do you want to know what I loved about this book and its prequel/prologue? I loved the importance that was given to kisses. I have always thought kisses to be the best romantic gesture of all, the most intimate. You give me a couple that kisses with such love and passion, and you have in me their number 1 fan.
I pray to our Lord Crane to have more stories set in this magical world! Lord Crane, do this for me, please! Just this once!