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The Magpie Lord

(A Charm of Magpies #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  14,235 ratings  ·  2,167 reviews
A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.

Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn't expect it to turn up angry.

ebook, 222 pages
Published March 28th 2017 by KJC Books (first published September 3rd 2013)
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K.J. Charles The audio rights are with the publisher, Samhain, so I'm afraid it's out of my hands. I don't know any plans yet, sorry!…moreThe audio rights are with the publisher, Samhain, so I'm afraid it's out of my hands. I don't know any plans yet, sorry!(less)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  14,235 ratings  ·  2,167 reviews

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Start your review of The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, #1)
K.J. Charles
Jul 25, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I like m/m. I like fantasy. I like Victorian Gothic. I wrote an m/m Victorian Gothic fantasy. Well, someone had to.

If you're wondering what's the deal with the magpies...

British people count magpies. There's a rhyme everyone knows, of which the most common variant starts, 'One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy.' This book began its life when I pointed to three magpies in the park and told my daughter, 'Look, three for a girl,' and she said, 'But how did they know I'd be
Julio Genao
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julio by: MostlyDelores
Shelves: loved
riotously funny—and also hot.

bless my molly little stars—this was hysterical.

the joy i found in this pulled me right out of my hermit-hole and onto a keyboard to go write things.


because this one passage had me chortling so hard the cat sleeping on my belly had to stab me in four places at once to keep from being undulated right off the bed.


these characters are marvelous. dialogue like oscar wilde on absinthe.

never mind the sexual congress always being interrupted by the inconvenie
Written better than all of my QB™ reads, this is a fun palate-cleanser between more demanding books. Books that I’ve been avoiding, for instance, including finishing Romano’s well-done one on zombies (too long, too end-of-the-world depressing-people), Carter and Lovecraft (too creepy horror), The Light Brigade (too wartime), Indemnity Only (too 1980s sleezy Chicago crime couched in women’s rights). Idk, I really don’t, because I also hate rainbows and kittens.

“This is the drawing room. It proba
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nataliya by: Richard Derus
Sometimes books trick you, delivering something you did not expect and therefore did not know you wanted, exceeding those expectations by a lot. When I picked up this one on a whim, all I expected was a couple of hours of mindless and easily forgettable steamy-romancey entertainment, but I underestimated K. J. Charles.

What I got instead was a ridiculously entertaining historical quasi-Victorian paranormal fantasy/mystery with a healthy dose of humor and, yes, a generous helping of steamy romanc
What do I say and how many times can I say I loved it. I was enthralled with Magpie, its a sensational story. Lucien and Stephen are gorgeous MC's and their sizzling *hot and bothered loving* is so passionately, perfect. Eerie magpies, brilliant and fresh writing, creepy, gripping witchery! Best of all, is the unforgettable and awesome tattoos, damn fascinating and magically twisty, I never saw that coming and it surprised the hell out of me. Can't wait for the sequel, if it was available now I ...more
This was my first M/M Romance and I can’t believe how much I enjoyed it. I would never have tried this genre or this author it weren’t for my 2 GR friends MsSmartarse and Roxana who convinced me to give The Magpie Lord a try after praising this series like two teenage fangirls. After I read it I understood why and I think I might join the fanclub. I am not usually a fan of romance but if you throw in some fantasy and a set the novel in Victorian London then I might catch the bait. Which I did.

4.85 stars rounded up to 5-stars

This is another book that I will not even consider without the reviews from my Goodreads friends. Historical is not my genre of choice; so any titles with historical tag will be low priority for me. However, I am a huge fan of mystery and paranormal. Contemplating the positive reviews and the fact that this story had paranormal mystery element, I decided to take the plunge.

And what a delightful surprise it was...

The story opened with Crane trying to commit suicide
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ by: Navessa

3.5 stars. I deeply regret to announce that this review is probably going to be all over the place. Not (all) my fault, though.

Because, confidence : I wanted to write a "charm recipe review" for this book, because obviously, this hysterical story called for it (or, made me think it was a good idea) so as I'm not expert on witchcraft (understatement of the year), of course I thought : Hey, Google is your friend on this! So I gently typed something along the lines of, "love spell recipe", and
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

OMG...tardiness is my pet peeve and I'm SO LATE to the party!!!!! I've seen you all read and rave over this book and I really wanted to read it...I swear I did. But, you know...I just...don't love historicals. And I don't love paranormal. And and....all this other fluffy stuff was calling out to me.

*boink* <-that's me hitting myself upside the head.

Silly girl. Silly, silly girl!!!!

What a FUN read! And not just fun, but CREEPY. And not just fun and creepy, but HOT. And not just fun and creepy a
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Actual rating: 3.75 stars.

Okay, let's get a few things straight before we begin:

YES, I did read this book semi-willingly.


YES, I nearly almost practically rated it 4 bloody shrimping stars.


YES, I am actually going to read the next book in the series.

So please go ahead and do all the gasping and fainting you need to do right now, so that we can move on and stuff. Thank thee kindly.

Nicely done! A question, though: what's with the feathers, my Little Barnacles? I mean, last time I che
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with an imagination
Recommended to SheReadsALot by: Vio
Love. Sex. Magic.

*sigh* love that song. And this book totally put me in the mood for it.

But in context to this book, it's more like Magic, Sex...Love, maybe?

I'm sure by now you've read and seen multiples of people losing their minds for this book. Body parts and fluids in awe of this book. Buzz, buzz buzz! The overtaking of everyone's news feeds, I secretly dubbed it Magpie-gate.

When books are super popular, so soon since it's release and everyone lays 5 star reviews like free candy, I usually g
Team Magpie!

The thing with Goodreads hypes is that I usually end up a little disappointed. Not this time. I'd started The Magpie Lord months ago, but at the time had a little trouble connecting to the steampunk-ish chaos of the opening scene. And I hesitatingly admit that -- despite GOT's Tyrion sexy thing Lannister totally rocking his 4.5 ft -- discovering that one of the protagonists is a 5 ft scrawny shrimp didn't exactly help upping my excitement level.

Then her HOT short story in the antho
Richard Derus
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled, quiltbag
Real Rating: 4.5* of five

Yep. Big winner, this book. Big. Liked everything about it. Yeup. Everything.

I'll come back for a normal, articulate review soon.


Careless of me to lose sight of this really very enjoyable tale. The problems I still have with books featuring majgickq are lessened when, like Author Charles, one goes to the trouble of thinking the actions and reactions necessary to make the manipulation of the world work consistently. The Magpie Lord, ancestor of Lord Crane, o
Emma Sea
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've got some conflicted feelings about the book. I can see why everyone loved it so much. The dialogue between the MCs is snappy and made me chuckle more than once.

Can you let me go, please, I’ve got some sort of atlas in my back.

At the same time, here are the most annoying 54 words I've read in the last 12 months:

It was an involved story, veering between farcical and exciting, and Crane knew he told it well. He couldn’t see the smaller man’s face as clearly as he’d have liked, but the shaman w
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
**Everyone! Get your butts over to Amazon and get this gem for only $0.99 today (71% off), 2/9/15!**

Started off slow but just got better and better! No time for a proper review, must keep reading on!
Lois Bujold
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who like slashfic, without having to absorb a fandom first
Recommended to Lois by: found on rec list for summer reading that also included one of my books
Well, that was fun.

It got off to a good quick start with the hero's life-threatening dilemma, with not a lot of time spent Explaining Things viz the worldbuilding. This worked rather well. One absorbed the idea of a late Victorian world with magic, with many possible literary antecedents -- I'm thinking a cross between Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Harry Potter deep background, and who knows what else (though perhaps not The Lustful Turk), but the summed effect seemed fresh to me. The plot stay
Ms. Smartarse
In case you didn't know, I have an extremely well maintained "want-to-read" shelf. I take it out at least every few months, dust it off, move books around, ensure that there's enough variety in there... that sort of thing. But most importantly, it helps me keep up my regular German reading. In theory, that is.

In practice, rigid reading lists often cause me to fall into severe reading slumps. So when a Victorian Gothic murder mystery with liberal MM flavoring gets waved into my face I cave. Hard
Kaje Harper
Some books strike me right from the start with the uniqueness of their world-building, the vividness of their characters, or the pleasure of the writing style. This story did all three.

This is about a Victorian England in which the practice of magic and warlockery is an ominous undercurrent to life. Against this imaginative backdrop, the author brings together two wonderful MCs. Stephen Day is a magician, small in stature and unassuming in appearance, but powerful enough to take on warlocks and
Em Lost In Books
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a charming story!
Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰
"The past was dead. They were alive. He wanted this man so much. Right here, right now, exactly like this."



I devoured The Magpie Lord in less than a day and in one sitting. This is one of my highest guilty pleasures and it was so so so close to 4 stars!

The World
*raises a toast*
To K.J Charles, for creating a world so damaged and lovely and bittersweet. A world which has all the literary ingredients for a reader to get magnetized into it. A world where if you close your
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
4.5 stars

This is a brilliant novel by K.J. Charles, her first apparently, which is hard to believe. Dickens meets Harry Potter meets sexy m/m romance. We have magic, magpies, mystery, intrigue, witty dialogue, friendship, and love.

I loved the juxtaposition of arrogant, cool Lord Crane (who tops 6 feet and has magical blood in his veins) with neurotic, kind-hearted Stephen (all 5 feet of him, who is a judiciary, a sort of judge and jury, for the magical Victorian community). Stephen hates Crane
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to read something refreshingly different.
Edit: 24/7/19 Re-read/Listen to Audible Edition
Story ⭐️5⭐️
Narration ⭐️5⭐️
Original review:
Fabulous, unusual, wonderful, magical, different creepy, funny, witty, quirky, Sexy, scary, awesome.... I want more!

I want more charismatic Crane, I want more mysterious unassuming yet powerful Stephen, I want more Merrick, more magical magpies, more tattoos, more warlocks, witchcraft , simmering sexual tension, sizzling chemistry and edge of your seat tension.

WOW! That's what I call refreshin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my God! OMG! This was perfect! Absolutely amazing. I have no words! Why did it take me so long to read this??

Where do I begin?

Crane is a wealthy 37 yo English Lord. He has been living in China for the past two decades. He is very a charismatic person. Handsome, eligible, smart. But when he returns to England, after his father and brother were found dead, he has a hard time adjusting and his life is in danger. To help him with this matter, there's a ordinary little man, barely 5 feet, a 28 yo
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ingie by: Vio
4 1/2 Stars - cool, nicely done and addictive

I'd no idea what this novel would be. By the blurb and other reviews it sounded like a historical M/M with some paranormal element. Yes, and on that some thrilling suspense of course. All genres at the same time in a rather short novel (maximum of 200 pages or less). This is the first installment in a new series with recurring main characters. My friends (Vio mostly) convinced me that this was something extra good. And it was. I'm addicted!!

Lucien Vau
***4.5 Stars***

I wanted something different and boy, did I get it!!!

Different, as this is not a typical historical romance. The paranormal element was a nice catch... Ugh, who am I kidding? It was the icing on the cake. Well, I could have done without some gruesome details, though, so if the next books are even more detailed in this aspect, I will need some heavy support here. And a nightmare watch. You hear me? But there was definitely a lot of magic in the air and I loved it!!! 

☙ nemo ❧ (pagesandprozac)
"What the fuck, what the fucking, bloody devil-shit, what in the name of Satan's swollen cock was that?"

things i like:
- mysteries
- birds (magpies being one of my favourites)
- victorian england
- magic
- gays
- good sex scenes

what this book had:
- all of those
Too many people have written fantastic reviews, but I shall give some quick thoughts.

I CAN'T believe this is a debut novel. Where has this wonderful woman been all my life?! The author said the second book comes out in January and she has the third one in second draft!

Anways, this book is FUN. Amazing banter between both of the main characters, as well as the secondary characters. Fun magic that reminded me of being excited by storylines like this as a kid, but it's definitely all adult in tone.
This has been so much FUN!!

M/M romance is not a genre I usually read, but a lot of my GR friends praised this book PLUS I could borrow it for free from Audible, so I thought: whyever not?

And I liked it. Thankfully it's not an angsty will-they/won't-they/why-don't they kind of stuff.

It was a lovely mash of Victorian steampunk-gothic-magical fantasy with an M/M romance which was no way overwhelming, but added definite spice to it all.

The writing is very good, full of humour, there is a solid and e
Mandy*reads obsessively*
I bought it ( use coupon GREATFICTION this month and save ) anyway, I got it because Vio was badgering very adamant that I needed to read this book.
And such enthusiasm should be rewarded. ;)

On Monday the 16th Susan and I are going to BR this one. We'd love to have joiners. :))

Ok let me start with everything awesome about this story.
The characters are vivid and interesting and even the minor characters play important roles.
The mystery and suspense were very well done, the magical world bu
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KJ is a writer of romance, mostly m/m, historical or fantasy or both. She blogs about writing and editing at

She lives in London, UK, with her husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night.

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Other books in the series

A Charm of Magpies (3 books)
  • A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies, #2)
  • Flight of Magpies (A Charm of Magpies, #3)

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