K.J. Charles's Reviews > The Mystic Marriage

The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones
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bookshelves: f-f, fantasy, fops-and-skulduggery, politics

Second installment in an incredibly well developed and realised series about political intrigue in an alt-c19 European principality (too realistic to call a Ruritania) where alchemy and religious mysteries work. It's all f/f, with a huge cast and interlinked stories, so you would be best off starting with Daughter of Mystery to get clued in, which is no hardship as I love that too.

This is a different beast though. Jeanne and Antuniet are both very flawed characters--based on their appearances in book 1 you could fairly say Jeanne was shallow, manipulative and somewhat predatory, while Antuniet is cold, obsessive and proud. And they still are, brilliantly (I do hate a redemption arc that goes 'oh hey they weren't that bad after all')--but this time we see inside them both to the raw hearts, the wanting something better of themselves as well as the world, the need for a love neither ever got. It works terrifically. Pretty much the entire romantic conflict is grounded in nothing more than their difficult personalities and lifelong emotional habits that need to be broken, and as a result we get an intensely believable and hopeful romance.

This is a long book and full scale fantasy, not a romance novel, so the love story is just one part of a pretty large story which includes alchemy, politics, friendship groups and plotting against royalty. Barbara and Margerit from book 1 both get a ton of page time as POV and there are various threads and characters leading onwards. It's a huge world which makes it a really immersive read, you can just sink in. And the alchemical magic is just fabulous.

These are priced quite high BUT at the time of writing this book is is a Storybundle https://storybundle.com/lgbt and book 3 is half price at the Bella Books website http://www.bellabooks.com/97815949351... , so if I was you I'd get in there.
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Reading Progress

June 12, 2017 – Started Reading
June 12, 2017 – Shelved
June 12, 2017 – Shelved as: f-f
June 12, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
June 12, 2017 – Shelved as: fops-and-skulduggery
June 12, 2017 – Shelved as: politics
June 12, 2017 –
page 100
30.86% "This is ridiculously absorbing. One of those fully developed worlds that quietly immerses you till you look up and feel startled it's not alt-19th century Europe."
June 13, 2017 – Finished Reading

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