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The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  75 reviews
A charming historical fantasy with a tender love story at its core, from the author of Unnatural Magic.

Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady fro
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Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 12th 2021 by Ace
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  • The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner
    The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry

    Release date: Jan 12, 2021
    Sparks fly in this enchanting fantasy novel from the author of Unnatural Magic when a down-and-out fire witch and a young gentlewoman join forces agai ...more

    Format: Kindle book

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    Availability: 50 copies available, 1032 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 12 - Jan 24, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Geonn Cannon As with anything it depends on your personal guidelines, but there is sex and crude language. Nothing too graphic, but it's there.…moreAs with anything it depends on your personal guidelines, but there is sex and crude language. Nothing too graphic, but it's there.(less)

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.86  · 
    Rating details
     ·  104 ratings  ·  75 reviews


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    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Well! It’s another brilliant, action packed, well written story takes us back to Unnatural Magic’s world which was one of my favorite, underrated gems of the last year.

    So as soon as I saw the author’s name and this hypnotizing cover, I clicked the request button so fast ( I think I might have broken my mouse! No, I’m not talking about my computer mouse: I’m mentioning my house mouse who serves as a muse when I’m writing horror scripts!) I got so excited to start the new book of the series!

    The
    ...more
    Sana
    Apr 26, 2020 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
    A petty thief turned bodyguard to a rich young lady falling in love with another bodyguard, the WLW we all deserve 🙏🙏
    Bethany
    Dec 24, 2020 marked it as dnf
    DNF at 70%

    I rarely DNF so late in the game, but I'm struggling to get through this one and really just don't care how things wrap up. The early part of the book was fantastic- pseudo-Victorian fantasy with magic and a quirky, bisexual thief turned body guard? So fun! And it was...until it wasn't. From about 25% on it was just so incredibly dull, moving at a snails pace without any real mystery or conflict to drive the plot forward. I like the idea of this slow burn sapphic relationship between t
    ...more
    Shanice
    Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: favorites
    A big thank you to the publisher and the author for providing me with an arc of this book!

    "Oh is there breakfast?" Delly said, enormously relieved. "I thought that perhaps it was just toast and tea and self-denial, for the gentler classes."

    Perhaps you've been waiting on a sign on whether or not you should pick this book up. Well this is it. I'm telling you to preorder this book RIGHT NOW because it is 100% worth it. I loved this so much I can't even put it into words, and the only thing I'm con
    ...more
    Abbie | abbie.ruis
    Dec 08, 2020 rated it liked it
    Delightful, whimsical, witchy fun!

    Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.

    At first, Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and th
    ...more
    jocelyn
    Nov 14, 2020 marked it as to-read
    sapphic bodyguards 👀👀👀👀👀👀
    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
    DNF at 70%.

    I don't know if it was the writing, the pacing, my mood or what, but despite being one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2021, this fell flat. I can't believe I pushed through until 70% and DNF'd, and that I didn't push through for the rest, but after a several-day slog where I was skimming more than reading, I had to call it quits.

    Victorian writing—much less pseudo fantasy Victorian writing—is a hard sell for me, and I'm not certain if I would have requested this or put it on my
    ...more
    rachel ☾
    it's a historical sapphic bodyguard romance? 😭🙏


    BlogTrigger Warning DatabaseTwitterInstagram
    ...more
    Jackie ϟ Bookseller
    Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

    "'Oh, is there breakfast?' Delly said, enormously relieved. 'I thought that perhaps it was just toast and tea and self-denial, for the gentler classes.'"

    4/5 stars: ★★★★☆


    In The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry, Delly, an untrained fire witch barely scraping by in life while trying to care for her drug-addicted mother, takes up a position as a personal bodyguard in hope of turning her life around wit
    ...more
    ☕️Kimberly
    Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Dellaria Wells is a petty thief and sometimes drunk who is living in Leiscourt. She has two immediate goals. Get her mother off the drip and pay the landlord the rent before she breaks out in boils. Dellaria is a fire witch, and when she sees an advert for a bodyguard, it seems like a dream come true. She joins a team of other women, to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.

    From the world to the assorted group of females, I loved this story. Part investigative mystery, and part mag
    ...more
    Gabriella
    Nov 12, 2020 marked it as to-read
    Another queer female-centric story with "Lady's Guide" in the title? Smells like 5 stars to me. ...more
    Ayre
    Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
    Shelves: 2020
    This book was a really decent palette cleanser. There is nothing heavy or overly moving in it but it’s gray for a chuckle every once in a while. I can honestly say it made me laugh out loud a few times.

    This is a murder mystery set in a fictional equivalent to Victorian London. The made up street slang and the way characters talked annoyed me a little bit but that’s entirely personal preference.

    Overall it’s good but not great and I had fun reading it.

    I did receive an ARC of this for free from Ne
    ...more
    Ashlee Bree
    Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
    When I first heard this was a historical sapphic bodyguard romance featuring petty thieves, highborn ladies, witches, and fire magic a'plenty, I thought to myself: what promise! what potential! must 'request now' immediately! Unfortunately for me, this one didn't quite live up to expectation.

    Its plot staled. Fell flat. It never found the high-flying, suspense-climbing, drip-induced kick a story about a group of mismatched women who combat dangerous magic and mysterious assassins needed. For a w
    ...more
    Allison Speakmon
    Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Delly is a petty thief that is hard up for cash. That is until she stumbles upon a job as a body guard for a Lady. What should be two weeks of work and more than enough money for Delly to pay her rent for a few months, turns into quite the adventure. The threats against her charge are real and after fighting a few mechanical spiders, Delly takes charge to avenge and capture those behind the attacks and murders. She may even find love in the process.

    Delly is a complex character. She’s vulgar, unr
    ...more
    Laura
    Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2020, fantasy, arc, lgbtq, netgalley
    Dellaria Wells is a low-class con artist, petty thief, and fire witch. Perpetually behind on her rent as she's working on some grift or another, her landlady lays down the law. Pay up or suffer an outbreak of pus-filled boils all over her body.

    Delly's trying to work an angle to score money when she sees the notice looking for "Female Persons, of Martial or Magical ability, to guard a Lady of some Importance, prior to the celebration of her Marriage." Fast-talking herself onto the team means a bi
    ...more
    Louisa
    Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This book was so great to read, glad to see main characters from C.M. Waggoner's first book's daughter, and her story! I would love to read more of this world! ...more
    Karyn Silverman
    Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2020-reads, specfic, nook, arcs
    Thoroughly enjoyable and I love the Easter egg sort of connection to the previous book (although this is 100% standalone). Fun and weird and queer and just a delight.
    Darian
    Dec 02, 2020 marked it as to-read
    don’t mind me, just adding all the f/f books to my tbr bc I love women. mind your business 😘
    Terri M.
    Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    This book found me at EXACTLY the right time. The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry is a delightful snarky mystery full of amazing strong women. I loved every minute.

    I receive a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
    ...more
    Alice
    Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I love this book.
    Teddy
    Apr 26, 2020 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: 2021-to-read, lgbtq, 2021
    26 April 2020:

    Oh, yes please????
    Katie
    Nov 12, 2020 rated it liked it
    3.5*

    This was an interesting read with a cast of characters that I really enjoyed, but the invented language and convoluted sentence structure were definite detractors that may prevent many people from giving this book a chance.

    Dellaria Wells is a petty thief and fire witch living in a poor area of Leiscourt who manages to talk herself into a position guarding a wealthy bride going into seclusion prior to her wedding. The group of lady bodyguards include a body scientist (necromancer), a cloven l
    ...more
    Kathy Martin
    Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This story takes place in the fictional city of Leiscourt and stars a youma woman named Dellaria Wells. Delly is a fire witch, a con woman, and down and out. She needs money to make her rent when she sees an ad for Female Persons of Martial or Magical Ability to guard a Lady of Some Importance.

    Getting hired on seems like a way out of her current financial difficulties. She is part of a crew consisting of two ladies with magical talent, a body scientist and her daughter Ermintrude who turns into
    ...more
    Kelsey Hlavaty (readingwithkelsey)
    I received an eARC copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    The synopsis of this book, plus the cover, had me really believing this was going to be the book for me. Ladies in love? And they are body guards sent on a drug busting mission? Sold! But alas, this one didn't live up to my expectations. The first 50 pages of the book, I was worried that the writing was going to be far too confusing fo
    ...more
    QuarantineReads
    Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Thank you to Netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review.
    This book was so much fun! I had a great time reading it, and I found the characters compelling and fun to read about from the beginning all the way to the end! I loved the relationship between Delly and Winn, and I was rooting for them the whole time!

    I clicked on four stars, but really it’s more of a 3.75, and there are a few reasons for that. First, I found some of the language a little bit difficult to follow. It definitely
    ...more
    Zoe
    Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
    Given the description of this book, I simply couldn't pass it up. Overall, I enjoyed the plot of this novel. Dellaria Wells is a poor fire witch, used to scamming and stealing her living. But the sudden opportunity to act as bodyguard for a rich lady pays too well to pass up. The initial quest quickly evolves into an unexpected (but thoroughly entertaining) new mission that I truly didn't see coming. This book also treats fluid sexuality as the norm, which is appreciated and needed in more moder ...more
    Oliver Harris
    Dec 31, 2020 marked it as to-read
    So I requested this book not knowing that it was part of a wider universe of books. I say that because I am not sure if that fact added to my mild dislike of this book. I'm not saying that this was a bad book just maybe not the the book for me.
    The premise of this book was solid and honestly rather interesting. I really enjoyed the plot of this book. The writing style and pacing is what sis this book in for me. I felt like this book was dragging out just for the purpose of making it longer which
    ...more
    Danielle
    I liked this one but didn't love it, unfortunately. The good things are very, very good - unique magic system in pseudo-Victorian London, f/f romance between certified bicon Dellaria Wells, con artist turned bodyguard-for-hire, and Winn, a titled half-troll woman working on the same bodyguard team, plus a cast of fun and interesting supporting characters - but the pacing leaves a lot to be desired.

    The first chunk of the book was super engaging (though the narrative voice took me a second to get
    ...more
    Meghan
    Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: library
    This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

    At first I was uncertain of what to expect from this book but as I read on, I got the more adventure fantasy vibe from the story and could not stop reading. The unlikely desire to join a band of misfit ladies to undergo the ultimate con artist missions involving the most complicated forms of wizadry (black magic). Delly is definitel
    ...more
    Heidi
    Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I really loved this author’s first book Unnatural Magic so when I saw there was another book I promptly asked for the chance to read the galley. It is set in the same universe as the first book and is set about 24 years later (I was curious at the start of the book so I emailed the author and inquired about the timeline.).
    Like the first book this is a very character driven story. It’s focused on a street rat of a fire mage named Dellaria, who generally goes by Dell. Her mother is an addict and D
    ...more
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