Bonnie's Reviews > The Magicians and Mrs. Quent

The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett
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Jan 23, 2009

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bookshelves: fantasy-sf, library-books, reviewed, historical-fiction, series-in-progress
Read in January, 2009

This book tells the story of 3 characters living in a regency world with a few fantasy twists. The first character is Ivy. She is 1 of 3 sisters, and is trying to cure her father, who had a magical spell backfire that left him mad. Her abilities are hindered by the fact that women are not allowed to do magic. The second is a man named Dashton Rafferdy, who, despite his focus on all things silly and light, will soon inherit a Lordship from his father, who is desperate for his son to show any interest in it. Mr. Rafferdy is also being pursued by a magician, who believes that Rafferdy, himself, has magical powers, and is dead set on proving it to him. The third character is a man named Eldyn Garritt. His cruel father recently passed away, leaving him with no money or property, and a younger sister to care for. The only talent Eldyn has is gathering the shadows around himself, so he becomes invisible, but there is no way to make a living out of that.

The book is set up very oddly. There are 3 sections: the 1st mirrors Pride & Prejudice, and has alternating povs between the 3 people I mentioned above, the 2nd mirrors Jane Eyre, and is told by means of letters written by Iris to her father, and the other 2 people above are not in that section at all. The final section is back with the 3 alternating povs, and it is original, not in the style of another book. So, hypothetically, if you are a fan of Pride & Prejudice, you'll like section 1, and if you're a fan of Jane Eyre, you'll like section 2. But, despite being a big fan of Pride & Prejudice, I did not like the first section, because it is too close: there is a Mr. Collins character, the sisters and their mother are similar to the book, there is even 2 pieces of dialogue taken straight out of the book verbatim. The only thing I liked about it, is that there are interesting situations for a fan of Pride & Prejudice: what if the sisters fell on hard times and had to live on the kindness Mr. Collins, who would inherit their house, and what if Lady Catherine de Bourgh's efforts to convince Elizabeth not to marry Darcy had been successful? I have not read Jane Eyre, so I can't say how close this book mirrors that one.

Another odd thing about the set-up is that the characters have alternating povs, so, for example, Iris' chapter will have her trying to accomplish something, and at the end of the chapter, something really exciting is in the middle of happening, or is about to happen, but then you have to go through Rafferdy's and Garritt's chapters to get back to her, which is frustrating enough, but when you do get back to Iris, it doesn't even take back up in the same place, instead it's later, and the exciting thing that was about to happen has already happened, and is only referred to incidentally. Frustrating!!!

There were other things about the book that I was not fond of, such as, did it really take me forever to read it, or did it just feel like it?!? I didn't like the man that Iris marries, and Garritt is quite cruel to his sister, which made me like him a lot less, and anyway, his character is quite secondary in the story, and doesn't tie in well. He could have been left out entirely. Also, why 'magician' and not 'wizard,' but females who try to attempt magic are called witches? But anyway...I hit on the main points.

There's a sequel to this book coming out, and I think I will check it out, because the plot was actually quite interesting, if you take away my problems with the writing, and the sequel seems like it would be very good book, if the author could just find his/her(?) own writing style, stop plagiarizing, and work out the pov issues. I'll give it a chance.
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Reading Progress

12/30/2008 page 60
11.72% "Slow going so far, and not really interested yet." 2 comments
01/04/2009 page 108
21.09% "I'm more into it now, but I'm hooked on a silly computer game and haven't been reading much at all lately."
01/10/2009 page 200
39.06% "So far it's a 3-star book. I have some problems with it, but not enough to stop reading."
01/21/2009 page 420
82.03% "I'm in the home stretch, and although I'm enjoying the book more now, I'm mainly reading to be done. I'll finish it before Sunday."

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