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Magic Banquet

(Lady of Gems #4.5)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Dragon steaks, ambrosia, and chimera stew. In the Magic Banquet, one guest always dies of joy. Or so they say. The street waif, Aja, just wants a few mouthfuls of the first course, but this is a party not easily left.

The dishes lavished upon Aja do more than entice. They enchant. They endanger. They change her. When she learns that a dragonfruit will make her mature, she e
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 29th 2016 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Pashi That's what I'm guessing! It also says on the guest list: "Previously the maid of Enchantress Hiresha, Janny is now at liberty to enjoy herself, and s…moreThat's what I'm guessing! It also says on the guest list: "Previously the maid of Enchantress Hiresha, Janny is now at liberty to enjoy herself, and she desires nothing more than a bite of eternal youth." (less)

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Average rating 4.32  · 
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Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
4 stars

Cute read! This is a fun little book if you are looking for something easy and enjoyable.

Our MC, an orphan named Aja, doesn't have much going for her. She has some education, but no home or family to speak of. She decides to join the mysterious magical banquet in the hopes that she will gain something worthwhile. The catch? One guest perishes each night. The goal? To stay alive, and keep her new companions alive as well!

This story reminded me a bit of Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder version plea
I've read all the Lands of Loam books, so far, except for the newest. Marling continues to evolve and improve as an author, and this book is no exception.

We see a lot of familiar themes for Marling in this work. A protagonist that is out of her element, and is apparently at a severe disadvantage. Complex characters who refuse to settle down comfortably into even broad categories like "villain" or "hero." And a wild, surreal form of magic that bends reality around it without missing a beat.

The "f
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
You can read an excerpt here >>>

My first impression from the beginning chapters is that it can be read as a standalone but you will get more fun if you read the Hiresha books first. ☺

Just a few more days and I can get my hands on the whole book...
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Magic Banquet is an enchanting tale of a young woman and her struggle to survive a feast that's to die for. As an orphan with no home, Aja doesn't have much going for her aside from her curiosity and education before heading to the Magic Banquet. She hopes that in attending the perilous feast she'll gain something that will change her life. Instead she spends most of the night fighting to save her life and the lives of her new companions.

Sadly that's all the description I can give you without d
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this captivating story at a time when I was stuck away from home and forced to eat meal after meal that is stored and cooked in sealed plastic sacks and it was the perfect distraction from the drudgery of my real life. Marling's descriptions made my mouth water and his storytelling once again does not fail to disappoint. Though eating mystery meat from the chow hall became more disappointing after reading the description of deep fried terror bird. Underneath the amazing descriptions of fa ...more
Karryn Nagel
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I honestly don't understand what A.E. Marling has done to me; I have some sort of compulsion now to read all of his work. It' started back with Fox's Bride. Perhaps there's a spell on the pages?
Anyway, Magic Banquet is a another lovely, lush, luxurious, luminous, languishing piece of luminescent literature that satisfies while simultaneously leaving you wanting one....tiny.....more...bite.
It's characters are well honed, it's environs are beautifully articulated, and the story arc is glorious.
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, favorites
Czech review on my blog:

I love this book. Three reasons: the main character has the same name as me – Aja.

The idea of eating so many weird and mythological things is brilliant.

And I love the author's imagination and the way how he plays with words.

I guess I would enjoy the book more if my English was slightly better than young teenager's. Translator doesn't solve everything ;-) But still it was very pleasant but difficult reading for me.
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A delicious treat - make sure you have a full stomach while reading this book, or you'll regret it. The descriptions are out of this world, the fantasy setting adds to the mystery, and the almost fairy tale-like story creates a delightful book from start to finish. ...more
Again, Mr. Marling's language is as magical and bold as his topics. A magic banquet, an unforgettable evening where one guest must die so the others can live. Magical dishes are consumed, horrible dangers overcome, and in truth it's a kind of coming of age story for the heroine. Aja has to learn to trust herself and others against all odds, and not only survive the dangerous meal, but survive it as the person she would like to be: someone who can respect herself. Someone who therefore can be res ...more
W.R. Gingell
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actual rating 4.5 stars

I've learned by now with A.E. Marling that the only thing I can expect about his books is that they'll be nothing like what I expected them to be. Oh, and that they'll be VERY good. But mostly that they won't be anything like I expected.

And I LOVE that. I've read so many books that I find very little surprises me. A.E. Marling always has, so far.

This is a gloriously unexpected, fragrantly delightful banquet.
Chell Hazelton
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read. I read this without reading any of the author's other books, and while I plan to go back and read all of them now, reading them is not necessary for the enjoyment of this book. It has wonderful descriptions of both food and magic and is full of excitement and adventure. I wouldn't recommend reading it while hungry, though. :) ...more
Mikey W
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderfully enchanting and unique story. I haven't read the others from the author so some things were confusing with his style, but, I'm definitely going to pick others up now!!

Really impressive!! Well done Marling in bringing something new and fresh into the genre.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love losing myself in the Land of Loam. Wonderful read.
Cinnamon Hensel
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, as always! I hope we see Aja and perhaps even Starlight on Dunes again. It's always an adventure when the Lord of the Feast is in attendance!! ...more
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Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I adore the world created by Marling and I was thrilled to return there. It did not disappoint!
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A.E. Marling writes on pages, cards, and buildings. A member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, A.E. has published several fantasy novels and written names and flavor text for Magic: the Gathering. The author also shines words in light on buildings as a projection activist (@AEMarling).

Pronouns: he/them

Other books in the series

Lady of Gems (7 books)
  • Gown of Shadow and Flame
  • Brood of Bones
  • Fox's Bride
  • Gravity's Revenge
  • Dream Storm Sea
  • Dark Lord's Wedding

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