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A Conventicle of Magpies

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Kindle Edition
Published January 6th 2021
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
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Montzalee Wittmann
A Conventicle of Magpies
(The Bloodskill Duology Book 1)
by LMR Clarke
BooksGoSocial Publishers
I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read the book! What a delicious delight!
This is such a lot to unpack I don't know where to start! It's in an alternate Victorian era but racism is very much alive to the point of thriving uncontrolled! Sexist ideas are present but probably the same as it was back in Victorian times which was bad enough!
There are Skilled and Unskilled people. Skil
...more
Shirin Tondkar
A Conventicle of Magpies by L.M.R. Clarke, the first book in The Bloodskill Duology set in the town of Stamchester, this world where people categorized by their blood and the Avanish enslaved the Saosuíasei.
"If its war, its war the Avanish have brought on themselves, they have only themselves to blame."

A Conventicle of Magpies is a group of women run by mama Magpie. They have hired to do something that cops don't do for the Saosuíasei. Most folks engaged the services for one reason, to take back
...more
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
FML i just spent a half hour typing out a discourse on why authors shouldn't feel forced to write all kinds of liberal progressive content into their books, on top of the review, and the app crashed.

The point was that when the author feels forced, it feels forced to the reader, and ends up being better just left out. I really don't care if a handful of very loud people criticise books for not including certain reps, if it's not naturally written in and integral to the plot, just leave it out bec
...more
Nen & Jen
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, fantasy
I didn’t really know what to expect going into this one, as I’ve never read Clarke’s previous novels, so I won’t deny that it was this amazing cover that caught my eye! And I’m glad it did. A Conventicle of Magpies had a little bit of everything: a dynamic plot, diverse characters, and a solid chunk of social commentary to touch on topics of oppression and discrimination—a combination you don’t always find in a YA book.

Stamchester itself was an interesting setting and was described as a kind of
...more
Jessica Belmont
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A Conventicle of Magpies by L.M.R. Clarke is a beautifully written, gaslamp fantasy, set in a Victorian-inspired world. It is the first in the Bloodskills Duology and I’m so excited to read the next book!

When I say fast-paced, I mean it. It started off with a bang and kept going through the whole book. I was engaged and couldn’t put this one down.

I am obsessed with the world building. Gaslamp fantasy is just such a unique genre and this author created such beautiful imagery. I need more world bu
...more
Holly
Feb 20, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook
I'm extremely conflicted about what to rate this book, so I went for a safe three, for now.

I got strong Six of Crows vibes from the start of this book. Gangs, one even being called the Magpies (remind you of the crows anyone), a formidable prison, magic powers...it's all there. It's no secret that I love SoC, so I was fully expecting to love this one too. Also the description sounded amazing.

At first, I found the story a little confusing. There's a lot going on, and so it can be hard to keep tra
...more
Raynee
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Susanna
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
A Conventicle of Magpies is the first book in the Bloodskill duology by L.M.R. Clarke. It’s set in an industrial town of Stamchester in a unique world with factories, early automobiles, and even some telephones, but also magic called bloodskill that is available for all. The world is referred to as Victorian in the book description, but it’s not steampunk/gaslight punk—or very Victorian in general. Edwardian, maybe, if one absolutely has to utilise period descriptions from our world. I received ...more
Clara
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Overall: 4/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Plot and Theme: 4/5
Writing and Setting: 4.5/5
Vibes: 5/5
Gist of my review: A really good start to a new series! It set up a new world quite well, creating solid dynamics between characters and skillfully building up the conflict. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

*Content Warning: Death, Suicide, Murder, Incarceration*

Summary:
The Saosuíasei people have been repressed by the Avanish for decades. As the conflict between them reaches its clima
...more
Brandy Michelle Michelle
A Conventicle of Magpies by LMR Clarke is a Victorian mystery adventure that leaves the reader wanting more.
The tale follows Rook, a girl who lives an alternative lifestyle as a pickpocket and much more. She belongs to a Conventicle of Magpies thieving group to help provide for her sick mother and sisters at home. The city is being hunted by a serial killer, draining his victims of their blood because, in this world, blood is a valuable commodity. No one is safe from the killer, not even Magpie’
...more
Alexander Keane
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of the book

Rook works as a thief with the titular Conventicle of Magpies to help take care of her mother and sisters after the death of her father. In her work, she must contend with a serial killer and the Avanish rulers of Stamchester who look down upon the Saosuiasei who live in the Shambles. But when the Avanish accelerate their plans for Stamchester, will Rook be able to protect herself, let alone those she cares about?

Clarke writes an interesting world
...more
S
Feb 09, 2021 marked it as dropped
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brooke
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tricia Varosky
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
As a whole, this story captured my attention from the get go. Coming off of a pretty serious months long reading slump, this was the perfect story for me to pick up. The characters are gripping, the world is fascinating, the premise is unique, and the problems almost tangible. I dove right into the story and didn’t want to put it down as soon as I’d started. I can’t wait to continue on in this world as soon as more exists. If that’s not a fantastic end to a reading slump, I don’t know what is.

Th
...more
Emily Jane
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying the cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous, it was one of the main reasons why I decided to request this book as it caught my eye straight away!

On the whole, A Conventicle of Magpies was an excellent read and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey that we were taken on throughout this book.

From the start I loved the vibe of this book, there is a very Victorian/Jack the Ripper kind of feel throughout the first chapters which grabbed my attention. And all credit to the author
...more
Danica Henry
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meigan
A CONVENTICLE OF MAGPIES embodies everything that I love in historical fantasy — a dark and gritty world that’s fraught with danger, thieves and various criminal groups, a seedy city reminiscent of Whitechapel, and so much more. But what sets LMR Clarke’s historical fantasy apart from all the rest is her inclusive story that not only has a trans character that’s a very prominent side character, her story also explores various important themes such as prejudice and oppression. Simply put, this is ...more
Corinne Anderson
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
This novel was a fun take on dystopian segregation. I loved the creation of the Conventicle and that it was a female powered organization. Rook was a determined heroine; and I enjoyed her as a character, but I felt like she wasn't as flawed as she could have been. The novel had a lot going on; and I almost wish it was a little longer so that we could build the enemy a bit more.

So we have a few issues happening right off the bat, Billy the Drainer is on a murdering rampage, the drive by the Gove
...more
gwendalyn _books_
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers.

A Conventicle of Magpies is the first installment in the Bloodskill duology by L.M.R. Clarke.

Set in an alternative Victorian-inspir
...more
Claudia
Feb 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I had the opportunity to receive a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I will preface this by saying that the book was OK. This is the first book I have read from this author and that it is well-written, but it really did not capture my attention. The premise was intriguing: a girl trying to survive in a dystopian society, rebel groups that use "bloodskill", the sharpening and enhancement of ones abilities brought about by blood, and a battle that ...more
Claudia
I had the opportunity to receive a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I will preface this by saying that the book was OK. This is the first book I have read from this author and that it is well-written, but it really did not capture my attention. The premise was intriguing: a girl trying to survive in a dystopian society, rebel groups that use "bloodskill", the sharpening and enhancement of ones abilities brought about by blood, and a battle that ...more
bookish tanna
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"People hate what they don't understand and what they think is lesser than themselves. The Avanish have always thought of us as less than them, right back from when they marched onto our islands and took what they wanted. They didn't ask. They didn't think to ask..."

~ Kestrel, page 150


A Conventicle of Magpies follows Rook, a young warrior out to protect her people, the Saouiasei. The Saouiasei are being discriminated against and oppressed in many ways. The Avanish, who have torn down Stamcheste
...more
Jaycee
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Got it from Netgalley.

This was so cooooool. I requested this book because NG said it was "A dark Victorian thriller. Perfect for fans of Charlie N. Holmberg's cozy mystery Spellbreaker and Susanna Clarke's enchanting and magical world of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.", however after reading, I think it's also perfect for fans of The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson and Money Heist.

Mistborn has allomancers, while A Conventicle of Magpies (CoM) has Bloodskill. Both have a ruling class that is
...more
Liz (Quirky Cat)
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-reads
A Conventicle of Magpies is one of those novels that demanded my attention, right from the start. No, I take that back. It was before I even started reading it. The cover, theme, and description were enough to captivate me.

I went into this novel with a lot of high expectations, which may not have been entirely fair of me. I say that because I want you to understand just how much A Conventicle of Magpies blew me away. I was captivated, by the characters, the trials they went through, and the myst
...more
Mary
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from the Author and R&R Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Conventicle of Magpies is the first book in the Bloodskill duology by L.M.R. Clarke.

This is a Gaslamp Fantasy story. Gaslamp fantasy takes the historical elements from Victorian London and has a science twist.

This story takes place in the town of Stamchester. A generation ago the Avanish have conquered this area and they brought the Saosuíasei people over t
...more
Anj✨
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell
***I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

“How can anyone hate us just for who we are?”

A Conventicle of Magpies is set in Victorian era, a world where the Avanish have enslaved the Saosuíasei. It follows the story of Rook, a Saosuíasei and a thief with proficiency to use Bloodskill. Rook has grown up in a world that hates and discriminates against her race, the Saosuíasei. She's a member of the Conventicle of Magpies, one of one of the city’s most notor
...more
Mary
Jan 26, 2021 rated it liked it
This is the story of Rook, a woman who belongs to a marginalized group in her Victorian-esque society. Seeking some form of protection in a society where she is unvalued and often targeted, she joins a street gang known as the Conventicle of Magpies. With the looming threat from the elite group as well as a serial killer stalking the slums around her, Rook must rely on her friends and use all of the skills available to her if she is going to survive and keep her friends and family safe.

There is
...more
Sinead
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This fantastic action adventure just zips along. I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended. ...more
Melinda Shall
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
First of all, I find the cover of this book appropriate, eye catching and clever.
I love reading books set in history and I love a good victorian fantasy/thriller. I enjoyed the writing style and thought it was more or less appropriate given the time setting. The author was also very descriptive throughout which really helped with keeping the visuals clear.
I liked Rook's character. She is tough and practiced thief in a gang of lady's, who are fighting to bring about justice to their society. Bl
...more
Janet
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
Set in a fantasy version of a Victorian city, Rook is a member of the oppressed minority of society. She is also a member of a all female gang that works undercover to bring justice and order to the women in their society. The ruling elite wish to wipe them out and in addition there is a Jack the Ripper type character killing them off. Rook and her fellow gang members must join forces with another gang to try to help their people overcome both the serial killer and the governing class.
This is a
...more
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