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(The Kingston Cycle #2)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,830 ratings  ·  368 reviews
After spinning an enthralling world in Witchmark, praised as a "can't-miss debut" by Booklist, and as "thoroughly charming and deftly paced" by the New York Times, C. L. Polk continues the story in Stormsong. Magical cabals, otherworldly avengers, and impossible love affairs conspire to create a book that refuses to be put down.

Dame Grace Hensley helped her brother Miles u
Kindle Edition, 345 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by
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Popular Answered Questions
Quartzen I have checked with the author and it's coming out in February 2020 under the title Stormsong! I'm sad it's not this year but I'm sure it will be wort…moreI have checked with the author and it's coming out in February 2020 under the title Stormsong! I'm sad it's not this year but I'm sure it will be worth the wait!(less)
George Yes, but I'd advise against it.

For one thing, neither novel is really M/M or F/F. The romances are important, but in neither case are they the plot. I…more
Yes, but I'd advise against it.

For one thing, neither novel is really M/M or F/F. The romances are important, but in neither case are they the plot. If you can tolerate M/F subplots--which I doubt you find so anti-interesting that you're unable to read huge chunks of what's published in our heteronormative culture!--then you can certainly tolerate the M/M in Witchmark.(less)

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Elle (ellexamines)
It’s hard to write about the aftermath of oppression: when a system has begun to break, but hasn’t been fully slaughtered just yet. Witchmark ended off on a strong note, with the grand conflict of the world solved and a society ready to move on. Stormsong deals with what comes next. And… well, this was actually incredible. I think this was better than book one for me, honestly.

Grace Hensley, sister to Witchmark’s main character Miles, is a politician to her core. She knows how to play the game,
Lulu (the library leopard)
hell yeah i'm rating this 5 stars without having read it fuck off with your lesbophobia! ...more
Mel (Epic Reading)
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
This is book 2 of Polk's debut series. I'm a little disappointed that Miles isn't our main character. Instead we get his sister. I really missed the banter between Miles and his partner in the first book. While our leading gal and her minor romantic interest (a woman) have a couple quip's; it just didn't feel the same (or as romantic) as Witchmark did. It is critical that you read book 1 (Witchmark) before you read this one. Stormsong continues the complex politics between nations, the discovery ...more
C.L. Polk, master of slow burn and the only person who makes me like historical fiction.
Apr 27, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: ff-romance, wlw
I haven't read the first book in the series yet but I can't wait to catch up so I can read this book with a F/F ROMANCE! I love SAPPHIC WOMEN and I love reading about WOMEN LOVING WOMEN wow, in fact I don't get how anyone would NOT want to read about WOMEN BEING GIRLFRIENDS!!!

Imagine shitting on a whole romantic genre, therefore shitting on a whole very real and very stigmatized and underrepresented community of women??? Imagine giving a book one star because it's going to be f/f? Ahah who the
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-shelf, fantasy
I admit I was super thrilled to get ahold of this after enjoying Witchmark so much. As a beautifully written fantasy/intrigue/romance with all the hallmarks of a late King George's England, (Aleland, that is,) it was super stiff-upper-lipped, bursting with repressed emotion, and it ended on a VERY strong magical note.

This sequel, however, has a very different tone. Yes, if you're looking for an F/F romance to match the M/M romance of the first, I'm sure you'll enjoy it... eventually... but the m
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stormsong is a sequel that does something very few sequels do: it deals with the afterwards. What happens after you've defeated the Big Bad and uncovered his nefarious plots? Chances are the structures that allowed the Big Bad to rise and thrive are still standing, and that's a serious problem.

As Witchmark was one of the most nuanced takes on the outlawed magic trope and very plausibly portrayed the rich profiting from it, Stormsong is one of the most nuanced versions of the "rebellion against t
Shaun Hutchinson
Utterly delightful and charming
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, fantasy
Following on from the wonderful Witchmark, in this one we follow Miles' sister Grace as she struggles in her new role as Chancellor for the government that oversaw the heinous crimes that were uncovered in the previous book. The Queen, the Crown Prince, the ambassadors from the Amaranthine all have their own agendas and the imprisoned first Circle which includes Grace's father is also manipulating things behind the scenes. Grace has her brother and his partner to help and also a reporter, Avia J ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this sequel! Fantastical, thoughtful, and un-put-downable, I flew through STORMSONG and want the third in the series NOW.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
This review and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks.

Stormsong by C. L. Polk lived up to Witchmark in many ways. I absolutely loved Witchmark; it’s an adorable fantasy murder mystery with a strong romance subplot woven into the narrative. The chemistry between Miles and Tristan was great, the setting was great, and I thoroughly enjoyed the murder mystery itself to boot!

I loved the romantic aspects, and I especially loved Grace’s romantic partner, Avia Jessup. However, I have on
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I hate it when main characters change in a series 🙁 I wanted more of Miles and Tristan.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
In C.L. Polk’s first book in this series, Witchmark, we followed Miles, an army veteran suffering from PTSD, who becomes involved with Tristan, an Amaranthine. Miles inadvertently exposes a variety of abuses of power over the course of book one by Aeland’s noble families and longstanding injustices and brutality against Aeland’s witches. Grace, Miles’ younger sister, is awakened to the situation, and we follow her in this second book.
Grace was raised by her father to be amongst its ruling elite,
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
On my blog.

Rep: wlw mc & li, mlm side characters

Galley provided by publisher

It would be safe to say that I should have seen this coming. While I liked book 1, it was nothing special for me. And it was nothing special in aspects that are unlikely to change in book 2. So, really, this is not a surprise rating.

Stormsong continues pretty much from where Witchmark left off. The aether network has been destroyed, its workings exposed, and the Amaranthines have come to glare menacingly at the Aelan
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Witchmark was one of my favourite reads from last year and the highly anticipated Stormsong was definitely worth the wait. It’s an intriguing and well-developed continuation of the story and this time it’s told from the perspective of Dame Grace Hensley. She’s a character I didn’t really like from the first book but Polk has fleshed her out brilliantly into a likeable woman. This book is quite heavy on the politics but it builds up nicely towards an exciting conclusion. I can’t wait to read the ...more
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Taking place literally two weeks after the absolutely stunning conclusion of Witchmark, Stormsong pops into the head of Grace, Miles’ really annoying and completely indoctrinated into the system of systematic magical prejudice—and, coincidentally, the Voice interim.

Grace was by far my least favorite character in Witchmark, mostly because she accurately ticked off every single Rich, Passingly Progressive White Woman Trope that ever walked the planet, and how despite having her nose rubbed into he
Dawn C
Apr 04, 2020 rated it liked it
A lovely continuation of Witchmark, in which we focus on Miles’s sister Grace, introduced to us in the first book. I’m absolutely useless at family intrigue and political ploys and barely undertood who was what and why for over half the book, but somehow it all came together by the end and the last third was a tense, explosive and captivating read, where the royal drama and the pace really got cranked up. Likeable, realistic characters, and C. L. Polk’s sure, easy pen makes this a very enjoyable ...more
Apr 25, 2019 marked it as to-read
Adding this to my TBR because I've heard great things about this series, and to offset all the stupid comments about f/f pairings. Read it or don't, but stop being assholes because you a) hate lesbians and b) don't think they should have rich adventures, great sex and all the love they deserve. Fuck off with that shit. ...more
Beth Cato
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2020
I received an advance copy via NetGalley.

I greatly enjoyed Witchmark last year when I read it as a Nebula finalist. I was quite curious about how the sequel would play out. Polk established a fascinating, original world of powerful magic, devastating storms, and snarled, vicious political power plays. The setting is quite Victorian in inspiration (but not steampunk). The magic, I really loved. Weather magic has been used in other books, but this take feels new. The queer rep is fantastic, too. D
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book for review.

I read that the author decided that since Miles had been badly injured and needed time to heal, she decided to make his sister Grace the POV character of this book. I didn't care much for Grace in the first book and disliked her even more in this one. Maybe by the end of the book she improved, but more than halfway in I was annoyed enough that I decided to skim.

Grace is placed in a prominent political position in this book and has
I liked this, but not as much as I liked book 1.

This is a book about a privileged woman slowly learning about her privilege and trying to correct it. It's painful at times. She gets better, but I'm not entirely sure that I bought it because it's not a gradual transition.

Honestly, I think the flawed main character exposed the authors flaws. All the flaws were in book 1, but I just didn't care. This is still trying to be light and fluffy, a breeze to read, don't think too much about it. Unfortunat
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If people think they can "1-Star" a book without having read it, because it doesn't meet their levels of m/m-romance fetish... then, let me take this chance to give it 5 Stars in advance to support
- an incredibly talented author
- an incredibly beautiful series
- an incredibly strong, faceted female protagonist

Thanks for coming to my TED-Talk.
Alex Alden
Dec 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
I absolutely *loved* the first book, but the fact that this one is changing main characters puts it immediately into my "will not read" pile. I was really looking forward to having more story for Miles and Tristan. ...more
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
3,5 stars rounded up.

I like this book a little less than the first. I guess I liked Grace more as not PoV character, but she grew on me at the end. I will continue with the series.
✨    jay   ✨
May 08, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: anticipated-2020
I wasn't 100% sure if I would read this since bk1 had it's own ending and that was just an "I liked it" book for me, but then I found out this is about Grace getting a girlfriend so now I'm definitely reading it ...more
Mae Crowe
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
These books are just so good to read in winter, and I just!!! <3

Stormsong is a direct follow-up to Witchmark, following Miles's sister, Grace, as she struggles with expectations and who she wants to be in the midst of political upheaval. It's a story filled with conspiracy, manipulation, and breaking out of destructive cycles.

The characters are just as engaging in this installment. Grace is a wonderful POV character, and I loved the chance to get to know Avia more. The story itself was less inte
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
God damnit! That's not an ending! That's not even a cliffhanger! That's throwing all the loose ends up in the air and screaming "WOOOO!" at them! Rrrgh! Four stars because the book was great and it made me anxious with tension but that ending is AGH NO WHAT DON'T STOP WAI-- ...more
I so desperately wanted to love this historical fantasy caper romance between Dame Grace Hensley and Avia Jessup and... I DID! It was also nice to get glimpses of Miles and Tristan from the first book too. This is such a fun series, with a really unique world and magic system. I can’t wait for the next instalment.
Feb 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
I sincerely wanted to like this book. I do really enjoy the idea of this world, and the characters have so much potential. But it's just not well written. The sentence structure is clunky, the diction is either repetitive and simplistic or convoluted with no balance, and the plot progresses quite often with wide leaps which simply aren't justifiable. I'm sure Polk knows exactly what she wants to convey, but she doesn't fully get her ideas across. I feel like she is exploiting same sex relationsh ...more
E.D. Walker
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually rate books I haven't read yet, but people are one-starring a book they haven't read that isn't even out yet (like it's not even at the galley or ARC phase yet) just because it features a romance between two women.

I loved the first book in the series and I can't wait to read this one!
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Other books in the series

The Kingston Cycle (3 books)
  • Witchmark (The Kingston Cycle, #1)
  • Soulstar (The Kingston Cycle, #3)

Articles featuring this book

Fresh off the success of her World Fantasy Award–winning novel Witchmark comes a standalone romantic fantasy from author C.L. Polk. In The...
44 likes · 2 comments
“Centuries of persecution has been a crisis. Decades of incarceration has been a crisis. Now a storm you couldn’t handle pounded at the door, and you’re talking about a crisis.” 0 likes
“But I couldn’t tell him that fear surged in me, chilling my hands and stealing my breath. I couldn’t tell him how tiny I was, how insignificant I felt against the immense, whirling power coming to bury us.” 0 likes
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