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The Thief on the Winged Horse

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  89 reviews
A dazzling mixture of crime, romance, magic and myth from the acclaimed author of The Psychology of Time Travel.

The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls for over 200 years. But their dolls aren't coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published November 12th 2020 by Head of Zeus (first published August 6th 2020)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  139 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Mascarenhas' book "The Psychology of Time Travel" because she had the knack to create women characters that were complex and intelligent. So I had expectations for this book, big expectations for this book and by and large, they were met in this book. The author is just excellent at creating characters, I felt instantly interested in all of the characters introduced and wanted to keep reading to learn more about them. In this book, there are more male characters and I am pleased to say t ...more
The setting for The Thief on the Winged Horse is Paxton's Eyot, a fictional river island in Oxford. Here sits a small, rather insulated community, organised around a remarkable business: Kendricks Workshop, which makes magical dolls. Only descendants of the founders, four sisters, are permitted to work there. The beginning of the story sees the arrival of a stranger, Larkin, who is determined to secure a job at Kendricks.

It's honestly quite difficult to summarise the rest of the story, as it get
Book Barbarian  (Tammy Smith)
Thank you to Head of Zeus for the review copy. All opinions are my own.

Recommends it for: Fans of The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, mystery lovers that want a touch of fantasy.

A beautifully written unique book that combines different genres, but does it work...

The family of Kendrick, Jackson, Ramsay and Botham , the original founding sisters that made dolls with magic – magic that can infuse feeling into the dolls so that when you pick it up you might feel a very strong emotion. Per
Jul 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Better Reading for my proof copy.
An intriguing premise where the modern world collides with a 200 year old tight knit community of sorcerers who create enchanted dolls. The mystery and the detail of the doll making were imaginative but I felt the contemporary setting (in the age of mobile phones and technology) was a bit problematic for the plot. The character of Persephone was well crafted and had depth but Larkin’s character left me unconvinced about his motivation, which was quickly
The Cats’ Mother
The Thief on the Winged Horse is a contemporary fantasy novel set in a subtly different world where magic applies only to the emotions engendered by mysterious antique dolls. I had read and adored The Psychology of Time Travel last year, so was happy to receive an ARC of this at the start of the year. Strangely, I then didn’t feel any great rush to read it, partly because my limited interest in fantasy tends more towards time travel and superpowers than magic and monsters, and in part because of ...more
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
2020 has been a crazy eventful year and reading this book was like a breath of fresh air, it had a real feel good edge to it. Dolls can be creepy 75% of the time but Mascarenhas manages to capture their beauty and hidden magic and weaves a beautiful story that easily pulls in the reader.

I loved the history behind Kendricks, doll makers for over 200 hundred years and a company full of as many secrets as Wonka’s Choccy factory. There are also a very good group of characters here and I was constant
A family doll-making business with enchanted dolls that make you feel specific emotions at a touch. A workshop where women in the family aren't allowed to be Sorcerers. A mysterious stranger claiming to be the descendant of a dead woman. And the mystery that ensues when the most prized doll goes missing....

I enjoyed this book IMMENSELY!



UPDATE: i freakin' just got approved for this.......WHAT? HOW? WHOMST?????


Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I couldn't guess the thief! And I thought myself clever! But there is some unanswered questions that left me with a little bit disappointment and the story could have been folded more neatly. Anyway, I would recommend this book , it has a perfect balance of mystery , reality and fantasy.

*I received an e-ARC from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very impressive piece of contemporary fantasy that explores sexism, family rivalries and hidden secrets and trying to stay true to your own ambitions

Full review -
S.J. Higbee
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book may be fantasy, rather than science fiction, but there were a couple of aspects of the writing that I recognised in common with The Psychology of Time Travel. The main protagonists were women and they weren’t innately likeable. However, that didn’t stop me bonding with both Hazel and, in particular, Persephone. Mostly because she has had a very raw deal.

Ironically, although the founders of the Kendricks famous doll-making business were all women, these days it is the men who get to be
I believe the publication date for this book has been pushed back (or, at the very least, it is only coming out at the end of October in the UK). Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.

This is a really odd magical realist novel. I kept forgetting that it takes place in modern day Oxford - there is something archaic not just about doll making and the strange magic, but also the way these characters behave. Then the narration would mention howa character checks their mobile phone, an
Miriam Smith
Sep 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Kate Mascarenhas, author of her popular debut novel “The Psychology of Time Travel” has written another original and creative story “The Thief on the Winged Horse” featuring a mixture of fantasy, romance, crime, magic sorcerers and a two hundred year old myth.
“The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls for over 200 years. But their dolls aren't coveted for the craftsmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss
May 20, 2020 marked it as anticipated-releases  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-need

y'all are fired. FIRED.

But also, Netgalley hook me up please I beg of you

(I'm so happy about this, I'm shaking. Highly recommend their debut, The Psychology of Time Travel)
Release date: 6th August 2020

Thank you to Head of Zeus and NetGalley for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

"Why do you think the Sorcerers are so secretive? It's because you don't have to be special to do what they do. You just have to have their privilege" - Kate Mascarenhas

The Thief on the Winged Horse was not the book that I thought it was going to be, and maybe that was my fault but when I read the synopsis on NetGalley I was sure this book was going to be a gripping myster
St. Erika (NotAnEarlyBird)
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC file in exchange for an honest review.

This is not the book I expected to read. That is not always a bad thing. In this case, it is.

The Thief on the Winged Horse (you had me at the title alone) had "potential" written all over it. The story is about a family of dollmakers, renowned for the enchantments they place on their dolls. It literally made my eyes pop when I read the premise on NetGalley. I knew I had to read it and I was so happy when I
Nicki Markus
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Thief on the Winged Horse was an interesting and engaging read overall. I enjoyed the premise, and there was sufficient world building for me to get a sense of the place and situation without unnecessary info. The characters, too, mostly came across well. We got a decent understanding of the main players and their motivations, and they all felt like unique, developed figures. However, there was something that didn't quite click for me and I am having trouble deciding what it was. As I said, ...more
Rachel Hall
The Thief on the Winged Horse combines a mash-up of genres in a novel with an overtly feminist agenda and blends low-key fantasy elements with mystery and romance. To my mind the novel doesn’t really deliver on any of these fronts with the fantasy elements negligible, the mystery decidedly half-hearted and the romance belated and unlikely and whilst it was engaging enough to keep me interested I was disappointed that it didn’t offer the tension promised.

I was drawn to the idea of a long establis
M. (Inside My Library Mind)
More reviews up on my blog Inside My Library Mind

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

“Since 1820, Kendricks Workshop has made and sold magic dolls.”

absolutely loved the premise
There is something so unique about Mascarenhas’ stories and this was true for The Thief on the Winged Horse. I find the concept of a family that makes and sells magic dolls so cool. There is an air of whimsy that underlines this story and I quite enjoyed the way magic was interwoven into the narrative. There is a underlin
Nov 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you to Head of Zeus for providing me with an ARC of this title prior to its release in exchange for an honest review.
I can honestly say this is one of the strangest books I have ever read, and there is definitely a lot of unpacking to do on that front. There were so many interesting elements and the author took so obvious risks, however, I am not sure whether they all paid off.
I want to preface this review by highlighting some of the content warnings (parental abuse/neglect, violence, alco
Eule Luftschloss
trigger warning
(view spoiler)

When a seemingly random guy enters the workshop, asking for an apprenticeship and being accepted after just a few days, Persephone, who has fought all her life to be allowed to do magic is very, very angry.
And then the prized possession of the patriarch gets stolen.

We have a very interesting setting on a small island in Oxford. On one hand, the people feel local pride about being w
Marie (UK)
this book was one I received as an ARC via netgally.

For me this has some similar problems as those of The Psychology of Time Travel. It has a really interesting premise, one that made me really want the book. However, the narrative fails to create the promise that was expected. I really wanted the history of doll making in this family to come alive and the magic to come off the page. Instead we got a book about people with big chips on their shoulders, a man trying to infiltrate the closed shop
Geonn Cannon
This is the second time in a few weeks that I've disliked an author's second book a LOT less than their first. I don't know if it's me or them. In this case, I think I want to blame the author. This book is a lot different than her first, and it just wasn't for me. I didn't like the cover, I never really cared about any of the characters, the plot seemed interesting but strangled by the worldbuilding (which, this might just be me, could have been stronger). In the end, it was fine. I'll give Mas ...more
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was promised a winged horse and there was none.
We Hae Books
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kendricks in Oxford is a dollmaker's shop with a difference. Theirs is the only shop in the world that can place an enchantment on their dolls, where anyone who holds it feels a particular emotion placed upon it by the maker. This secret is held only within the relatives of the Kendrick family, either by birth or marriage, and only the men are permitted to know the process. Persephone wishes to be considered as a doll maker and sorcerer, but as a woman she is not permitted and instead works
Stuart Dredge
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to this book with high expectations, having loved The Psychology of Time Travel. I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed. I flew through it in four or five sittings too: it was a lovely book to sink into, given the current real-world situation.

It's an instantly intriguing setup: the Kendrick family (and its sub-branches) business is making dolls that have 'enchantments' to make you feel certain emotions when you touch them. A stranger claiming to be descended from the same line turns up and
Christine Riley
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great read! We are taken on a fascinating journey into the little known world of doll making. The story is set around a family with a long history of sorcery and doll making. The dolls are each enchanted with a feeling that the owner can evoke upon touching the doll. There is an elite group of collectors the hold these dolls in very high regard, and one such doll is so precious that someone went to great lengths to steal it. Full of mystery and intrigue, we are drawn into this world and i ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So this started off with so much promise, a unique and interesting premise in a unique setting. Kendricks, a family owned doll making business with a twist...the dolls are all enchanted with different feelings which are invoked once the doll is touched.

A crime, a mystery, lots of interesting characters (would have loved more character development/background).
I feel like the story dropped off quickly in the second half of the book. I felt the switch between the magical and real worlds was, I don’
Erica B (ricci.reads)
~ ARC received in exchange for an honest review ~

Written by Kate Mascarenhas, 'The Thief on the Winged Horse' tells the story of the Kendrick family who are famous for being the makers of magical dolls since the early 1800s. The theft of their most valuable doll is especially a mystery since only someone who has magical knowledge would be able to touch it which suggests it was an inside job.

It's a great idea for a story, however I didn't enjoy the way it was written. I found all of the component
Emma Cathryne
Full review to come a week before publication.
If you enjoy this review, please consider visiting my blog for more
I received this book for free via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own

This book was incredible! I’m not going to pretend to be objective because I’m not, I loved this book and I think everyone should read it. The character development and foreshadowing in this book was outstanding, the family and interpersonal dynamics were beautifully realised, the magic system and world building were incredibly do
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Kate Mascarenhas is a writer.

Born in 1980, she is of mixed heritage (white Irish father, brown British mother) and has family in Ireland and the Republic of Seychelles.

She studied English at Oxford and Applied Psychology at Derby. Her PhD, in literary studies and psychology, was completed at Worcester.

Since 2017 Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Previously she has been an advertising copywri

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