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The Seat of Magic

(The Golden City #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  568 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Magical beings have been banned from the Golden City for decades, though many live there in secret. Now humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as evil stalks the streets, growing more powerful with every kill….
It’s been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, can
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Roc
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  568 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Beth Cato
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is just my sort of book in every way. Historical fiction in a unique setting with a murder mystery, magic, and selkies. Plus, it includes a gentle romance with genuine chemistry. I loved the first book, The Golden City, but this one is even stronger because the characters had overcome their natural distrust and everything came together.
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Mon avis en Français

My English review

I really loved the first book and I could not wait to be able to immerse myself in the second volume and find all the characters again. It took some time, I confess, to achieve that but it was a pleasure to get into this fantastic world.

We thus find Duilio facing many problems. Indeed, he does not understand why Oriana who went back home, haven’t returned yet and is very concerned for her, convinced that something happened to her. His relatives do not he
A strange thing happened when I was reading The Seat of Magic. Despite feeling pretty mediocre about the first book, The Golden City, I totally fell in love with its follow up. The Seat of Magic was lush, romantic and mysterious and I couldn’t have been more engaged reading. I am so glad that I picked this one up. It would have been so easy to forget about this one since I wasn’t totally enthralled by book one, but the gorgeous cover grabbed my attention and I thought it was time to give this wo ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
So, I read the first book to this a while ago and I’ve been meaning to read the second but stuff just gets away from me (like it does). I really love J. Kathleen Cheney’s work overall-she writes exactly the type of books that I like. Fantasy infused with mystery and romance. And in this case also historical fiction. It’s like all of my favorite worlds are colliding! A lot of times when this happens and I think ‘this is going to be my jam, huzzah!’ I read the book and it disappoints me because my ...more
Renee Babcock
The author sent me a copy of the book but my review is brutally honest.

I really enjoyed the first book in the series and I absolutely loved this book. I thought it was even better than the first book. Oriana and Ferreira are back, along with several other characters from The Golden City. Young girls are being murdered including several of nonhuman species and Tavares and Ferreira must help solve these murders that turn out to have rather large political consequences.

The pacing is good in the st
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The Seat of Magic is the second in a series, and it's even better than the first. Once again, Cheney weaves together historical fiction, murder, police procedural, political intrigue, romance, and mermaids into a story that comes together seamlessly. I was so happy to see more of Oriana and Duilio's relationship. We find out more about Oriana's people, the sereia, and there are tantalizing promises t
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My god, I can't believe I read this entire book in basically 2 days. I mean it's 1 hour and 30 minutes into the third day but that doesn't freaking count. AGGGGGHHH. So good. I came to love all the side characters so much more in this novel too. I hope we haven't seen the last of Miguel, The Lady, Anjos and Miss Vladimirova because they've become their own people and I would really miss them if they were to disappear.

I do plan to write a better review later. But for now, ONTO THE NEXT (and fina
The Author Visits
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Note – I received this book from the author in return for an honest review. These opinions are solely my own.

A unique read, The Seat of Magic is part of the The Golden City series by J. Kathleen Cheney. A blend of science fiction, fantasy and romance, this is definitely far different from anything I’ve read in this genre.

Set in the fictitious Golden City in the early 1900's Portugal, the second book in the series centers around Oriana Paredes and Duilio Ferreira as they work together, investigat
Literati Literature Lovers

The Seat of Magic by J. Kathleen Cheney is book two of her A Novel of Golden City series. This book picks up shortly after the first book ends, dealing with magic, sea folk (nonhumans) and the human inhabitants Portugal's port city. At the end of book one Oriana, the sereai spy, had left under duress, both northern Portugal and her gentleman sleuth Duilio Ferreira.  She promised him she would return, if she could. In her absence the gentleman sleuth is again embroiled in a murder mystery as he
Catherine Schaff-Stump
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The second in J. Kathleen Cheney's Golden City books resolves some issues for us and creates some more interesting subplots. In the book, the threat of using magic and weird science to blend supernatural and human creatures together takes center stage as Duilio, Joaquim, and Oriana try to unravel a series of bizarre murders. This makes the book pretty gory indeed, so be forewarned.

For me, a book is at its best regarding its emotional arcs, and here Cheney shines. Readers of the first book shoul
Susan  Baratta
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Solid five star read, this book is terrific. Great characters with depth in a world that is alive and easily embraced. An exceptional police procedural and a story of intrigue, murder and romance makes for a heady read.
Amy Braun
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely enjoyed this sequel to this romantic mystery/adventure series. The mystery, though shockingly gruesome, was intense and thrilling to read. That said, the heart of the story was the hurdles that Duilio and Oriana faced as a couple. I loved reading about their connection and interactions––they were so sweet together! While their characters became more complex throughout the story, it was fun to see other characters like Joquim, as well as learning more about Oriana's relationship with h ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Golden City series continues, and humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as evil stalks the streets, growing more powerful with every kill It s been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, can t escape the feeling that, though she s supposedly returned home to her people, Oriana is in danger.

Adding to Duilio s concerns is a string of recent murders in the city. Three victims have alre
Sandy Frediani
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Maybe it's because I came into this in the middle of the series, but I don't believe so. The writing was adequate, the storyline mildly intriguing as are the characters. Although I'm a long time (decades) scifi/fantasy reader, I struggled with the names, unable to figure out how to pronounce many of them. In the long run,it probably doesn't matter how I pronounce them, but the were a continual stumbling point. In short, it was okay - nothing bad, but not spectacular either. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniella Scott-Young
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the book. I like how things are going in the romance part of the book. It’s subtle yet obvious but not so focused on hat you forget what this book is about. I am enjoying this series immensely
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I didn’t realize this was the second in a series when I begin reading. I kept feeling I was missing something and this detracted from my enjoyment of the story.
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great second instalment in the series and Oriana and Duilio have great on page chemistry. I look forward to reading the third instalment.
Amy A
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at Vampire Book Club

After solving the mystery/murders of the houses under the sea, Oriana was called back to her people. She promised Duilio she would return. That was two weeks ago and he’s heard nothing from her. His talent tells him that Oriana is anything but safe and secure, but he has no idea where to even start looking for her.

Besides worrying over Oriana, Duilio’s cousin Joaquim requires his assistance in uncovering a series of mysterious murders and disappearances occu
K. Lincoln
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series for the formal, alternate-turn of the century European society tone, engaging hero (Duilio) who is earnest and doggedly pragmatic (who chooses to snag pastries from the kitchen on the way to a morgue), and interesting political scheming in an alternate Portugal that has outlawed nonhumans-- selkies, otters, and sereia. (The heroine--Oriana--is okay, she's a bit too emotionally reserved for me, I liked Duilio better).

This second one is even bette
Pat Esden
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was thrilled to receive a copy of THE SEAT OF MAGIC (Novel of the Golden City, book 2) in exchange for an honest review, especially since THE SHORES OF SPAIN (book 3) comes out July 7th! If you’re a fan of historical fantasy and especially if you love police procedurals as well, then this is a must read.

Here is THE SEAT OF MAGIC’s official blurb:

Magical beings have been banned from the Golden City for decades, though many live there in secret. Now humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as ev
Jun 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, fantasy
I was excited to read the second book in this series after finding the first book (The Golden City)so delightfully original, the time period (early 1900’s) the location (Portugal), and the very unusual take on non-human species and how they might integrate or hide within human society.

I was somehow disappointed in this book, and I am not certain why exactly. Many of the qualities that I appreciated in the first novel became unappealing in the second…

Thinks that I like:

Oriana: I still like Oriana
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Two weeks ago, sereia Oriana Paredes left the Golden City, where sea folk like her are murdered on sight--to return home, where she ought to be safe. But she's a pawn in a larger political scheme, and safety isn't as easy to achieve when she's working against the goals of some ruthless people. Duilio Ferreira, police consultant, who's hiding some non-human inheritance of his own, feels that something has gone wrong. It will take some unexpected aid to be able to do anything about that sinking fe ...more
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this second installment, but it was a little lacking for me overall (maybe my expectations were too high)? Anyway, I still enjoyed spending time in the setting and with the characters, some of whom got some interesting background (Joaquim, Inspector Anjos, the scary Rusalka chic whose name I can't remember how to spell) so much so that I feel they were in danger of becoming more interesting than Duilio and Oriana.

For instance Duilio is treading rather close to the male equivalent of th
Julie Shuff
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book through goodreads giveaway and I loved it!!

Btw I give this book a 4.5 star rating; yes!! :)

This book is part of 'The Golden City' series, and I have to say that this book was even better than the first book in the series.

The novel centered the story around the character Oriana and Duilio, and how they both work together trying to investigate the killings of young girls and non-human species.

I feel like the author did an amazing job with all the magical creatures in the book--th
Patrice Sarath
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you like your fantasy firmly anchored in reality, I highly recommend The Golden City series. Cheney hits her stride with The Seat of Magic, which combines the fun of a police procedural with some Sherlock Holmes sleuthing. There are selkies and sereia (sirens) and mind readers and witches, a creepy Russian villi (veela, willy? The ballet Giselle has them), and a crazy prince.

I love the way Cheney combines fantastical elements with historical elements. Her worldbuilding is meticulous and topn
This continued both the things I enjoyed and the things that annoyed me from the first book. In the former camp: a delightful world of manners and magical waterfolk; a proper grown-up romance with genuine issues to make work; a great cast of capable and foible-icious characters. In the latter camp: a predilection for detail that often swamps the big plot and emotion points.

Those details seemed particularly problematic in this second book because there was so much going on that I really begrudge
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J. Kathleen Cheney is nothing if not versatile in her story telling. But, weaving through her work is a common thread, that of the improbable heroine. From worlds set in humanity’s distant post-apocalyptic future to alternate worlds of today or of the near past, Kathleen’s heroines include a siren who with help from a gentleman of the city must stop a regicidal plot, the neglected daughter of an a ...more

Other books in the series

The Golden City (3 books)
  • The Golden City (The Golden City, #1)
  • The Shores of Spain (The Golden City, #3)

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