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Creatures of Charm and Hunger

(Diabolist's Library #3)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Two young witches, once inseparable, are set at odds by secrets and wildly dangerous magic.

In the waning days of World War II, with Allied victory all but certain, desperate Nazi diabolists search for a demonic superweapon to turn the tide. A secluded castle somewhere in the south of Germany serves as a laboratory for experiments conducted upon human prisoners, experiment
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 21st 2020 by John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books
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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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DNF @ p.64

It saddens me to have to give CREATURES OF CHARM AND HUNGER a bad review because I was genuinely looking forward to reading it. The black cat on the cover called to me and I loved the title and the premise. It sounded Gothic and witchy, two things I love. Unfortunately, it's dull as dirt and kind of reads like thinly-veiled Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fic. One of the characters even has the last name Blackwood, and they're
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Molly Tanzer is a delightful writer with a penchant for historical settings and certain Lovecraftian elements and it's been great to see her developing her talents since she started writing short stories. She has now a whole bunch of novels under her wings, including this volume which closes her Diabolist series. ...more
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Mar 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
The end of WWII is rapidly approaching with an Allied victory in sight.

Tucked in the Cumbrian countryside is the library that houses occult knowledge for the Société des Éclairées,  a secret organization of diabolists.  It’s here that Miriam Cantor has lived since the beginning of the war with her best friend Jane Blackwood and Jane’s mother Nancy, who is the Société’s librarian.

Together Miriam and Jane are preparing for the test that will determine their futures as diabolists but a series of se
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
There’s a trope about how the Nazis might have won the war if they’d been able to create the atomic bomb or another similar weapon, but I’ve never seen it deployed the way Molly Tanzer uses it in Creatures of Charm and Hunger. This novel inhabits the world Tanzer created in Creatures of Will and Temper, then expanded in Creatures of Want and Ruin. The magic continues in what I think might be the best book of the trilogy. Tanzer takes that trope, blends it with the stories of two teenaged girls w ...more
Bryan Camp
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I love these books so much, historical dramas focused on demons—or more accurately—extradimensional beings who are called demons, and the summoners who invite them in.

CHARM AND HUNGER takes place at the tail end of WW2, and like all of Tanzer’s work, doesn’t go where you expect. Are there Nazi magic users doing evil things with their demons to try and conquer the world? YUP. And they are suitably horrible. But the story is far more. Found family and the challenges of friendship and the horrors
Alex Watkins
Plucky young witches fight Nazis through astral projection! Not only does this book have impressive fantasy world building - but also fully realized complex characters. We get to see much more of the world of diablerie - the act of summoning extra-dimensional creatures into oneself for the fantastic powers they grant. The characters are diabolists - and despite my short description they are "definitely not witches" a tongue in cheek refrain that is put to the test by one characters becoming as w ...more
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily among the best books I've read this year, and probably quite a bit longer than that. Characters, especially Miriam and Jane, are treated with a refreshing respect and granted well-rounded personalities where it would have been so easy to simplify them. There's no shortage of high stakes action and ethical dilemmas, and the world is obviously well researched and well understood. Tanzer has a rare and rewarding ability to resolve situations in a way that's neither too convenient nor too pun ...more
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Witches Fighting Fascism?! 100% Right For Me

A great continuation of this series and I didn't want it to end. Tanzer developed amazing and tragic characters once again. The story captured the mood and power of growing out of adolescence, and explored the personal responsibility in the fight against fascism. Perfect read for a late night. Just one more, please?
Lore Graham
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The premise is simple enough: Jane Blackwood and Miriam Cantor have been raised together for the past several years after Miriam's family sent her to stay with Jane's mother, Nancy, in England. Both Jane and Miriam's families are diabolists, and the young women are eager to become diabolists themselves. So much can go wrong when summoning and consorting with demons, and it does. But, to my delight, not quite as I expected.

Tanzer does an excellent job of building dread and suspense, sprinkling so
Jessica Reads It
Quick confession- I did not realize this was Book # 3 of the Diabolist’s Library series when I requested it however I do not think the story was heavily reliant on its predecessors so we can just chalk it up to me having a slight “blonde” moment in my arc- requesting.

That being said, Creatures of Charm and Hunger was definitely different. Two young girls, envious of each other, forced apart by the deviously dangerous secrets they keep in their journey towards becoming a Diabolist in the renowned
Becky Spratford
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review coming to blog and Booklist Magazine soon
Andrew Fuller
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The third book in a distantly related series—each of which differ in period and setting and should be fully explored on their own—this Diabolist Library story unfolds in the latter days of WWII. Occult practices are not so fledgling or hidden in this world, as both sides use possession and spells in their war efforts. But this novel focuses on more personal secrets, as two teenage best friends Miriam and Jane seek answers about missing parents. They are both intricate characters, each struggling ...more
Kimberly Parsons
May 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF@ Chapter 13.

Miriam and Jane, two young witches who were once as tight as woven wool, are taunted by secrets and new challenges that not only endanger those they love, but the very essence of their souls.


Nazi diabolists are searching for a new weapon to try to regain control of an already lost war, including the use of experimentation on prisoners that often end in death. Miles away, in a country-side setting, the library sits and protects centuries of occult knowled
May 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Sometimes, often in the first book of a series, it seems like there's a definite temptation for an author to stick in just a little more plot than that book can handle - if there's one thing to say about Creatures of Charm and Hunger, it's that it's one of those books. 
The basic premise is that our main characters, Jane and Miriam, are teenage girls who are both studying to become diabolists - to use a form of magic that involves binding demons and then using their essence to support a pact mad
Michael Kelly
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The third and final volume of Molly Tanzer's Diabolist series.

Once again, whilst being based upon the same theme as the previous books, it takes place in a different time and place with different characters. There are a couple of minor references to things we may recall from previous titles, but this is an all-new story.

This time we look at what happens when Diabolists get organised and start forming the inevitable societies, with all of their rules and regulations. This makes it a very differen
Deborah Ross
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This third volume in the “Diabolist” series focuses on a family of diabolists – magic workers who draw their power from pact-bound demons. There is, of course, always a catch and always a price. To minimize the danger, diabloists through the centuries have kept meticulous notes on the names, temperaments, and histories of the known demons. Nancy Blackwood is one of a lineage of librarians guarding these and other critical documents. While her sister, Edith, engages in the larger world (in this c ...more
The Mustache Louie Matos
Many thanks to NetGalley, Molly Tanzer, and John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books for a chance to review this book. I was given this book for free in exchange for my fair and honest opinion. I have not felt compelled, in any way, by the author, the publisher, or NetGalley to alter my sincerest thoughts on this book. Every word of this review is solely and completely mine.
This is the third book in a series. I don’t know that I missed anything in reading this book without having the proper context that
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Creatures of Charm and Hunger is about two young diabolists, Jane and Miriam, raised like sisters, whose paths veer away from each other, set during World War II. I didn't realize this is the last book in a trilogy, but as a story it stands apart. I like the concept, and really enjoyed Miriam's story in particular. As half-Jewish German refugee Miriam seeks to learn what happened to her parents and in her own rogue way assist the war effort, her methods, emotions, and the WWII backdrop all tie t ...more
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My dear friend recommended this series to me last year for Halloween and overall I have really enjoyed them. So far Creatures of Want and Ruin is my favorite, but this one is a close second. I really enjoyed the concepts in this one; very reminiscent of Egyptian Mythology/the Egyptian Magicians. Is it the most amazing writing? No, and I was also a little sad that the cover art had a smaller black cat when the cat in the story is large and grey; Smokey would be a great cover cat. But it’s certain ...more
Rachel McKenny
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not quite what I expected, but good nonetheless! The third book in a series of urban/historical fantasies about magic, this novel follows two teens (and a Nazi hunter) as they use their satanist powers to discover more about their families and themselves. Because there were so many perspectives, it took a little while to find the narrative thrust here and one POV disappeared somewhat jarringly in the middle. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the difference between the two teen perspectives and the ...more
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this mix of fantasy and historical fiction as it's gripping and entertaining.
The world building is interesting and I liked how it mixes historical elements with fantasy, the characters are well thought and I liked them.
The plot is enthralling and well crafted and it kept me hooked till the end.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Bree Pye
It's been a long time since I rationed out a book in order to prolong my enjoyment of it, but that's exactly what I did in this final installment of The Diabolist's Library trilogy.

I laughed. I cried. I shook my fist at the bad guys. Every page held a new delight and emotion. The depth of story-telling at the level of the line was exquisite, as was character development. There is nothing not to love about this book.

Go get it immediately!
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit to feeling a little disappointed in the third of the Diabolist series. The character development was not as "rounded" as her last two novels.However this is still a good read, and somewhat compelling. I did read this in two sittings so I cannot have been that disappointed. If you have read the other two in The Diabolist's Library series then you must read this.Note I have still given Charm and Hunger 4 stars. ...more
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For all that it involves Nazis, this book is incredibly gentle and kind, and Tanzer does here what she does best, showing us women who are loving and caring and flawed and capable. While it is absolutely related to the two books that come before it, you can leap in at any point, so if you want to start with this book about absolutely not-witches, and their cheeky familiar, you should do so. Oh, Smudge. You darling.
Susan Burlew
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway
This book was about a group of diabolists. Jane and Miriam are about to take their Tests. They need to see if they are suited to summon a personal demon. Miriam has been living with Jane and her mother to hide from Nazis. Apparently, there are diabolists working with the Nazis and some against. Each girl has a problem that can't be solved without doing something forbidden by the diabolical society. They use magic they are not ready for. I really enjoyed this book! Would recommend! ...more
May 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately, although I really wanted to, I just couldn't get into this book. I felt the pacing was very, very slow. I finished about 75% thinking that it would get better but it did not. I would read another book by this author, because I did feel like her writing was very good. ...more
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad to be moving on from this series. I enjoyed the first. The second felt like a template version of the first until about the last third. This one felt like a template version of the other two. It's kind of a shame, since the premise held real promise. ...more
Mar 28, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I enjoyed this third installment by Tanzer... up until the final chapter as I realized that it couldn’t be wrapped up to my satisfaction. I’m not the writer, I have no say how a book should end, I just like a tidy ending.
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this FAR more than I originally thought I would. loved the world, loved the girls. really fun and well written. not usually a fan of ww2 settings but this was great.
Jeremy Brett
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A perfect end to a wonderful, singular trilogy. Tanzer continues to expertly build on her fascinating hidden universe, with characters of great depth and emotion.
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Molly Tanzer is the author of the Diabolist’s Library trilogy: Creatures of Will and Temper, the Locus Award-nominated Creatures of Want and Ruin, and Creatures of Charm and Hunger. She is also the author of the weird western Vermilion, an io9 and NPR “Best Book” of 2015, and the British Fantasy Award-nominated collection, A Pretty Mouth, as well as many critically acclaimed short stories. Follow ...more

Other books in the series

Diabolist's Library (3 books)
  • Creatures of Will and Temper (Diabolist's Library #1)
  • Creatures of Want and Ruin (Diabolist's Library #2)

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