Rosu Aquabutts's Reviews > The Master of Heathcrest Hall

The Master of Heathcrest Hall by Galen Beckett
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I have been charmed and captured by this series since reading the first two pages of The Magicians and Mrs. Quent while sitting at a chair in Chapters. I have evangelized the trilogy to all of my friends, bought copies for gifts, sent (largely ignored) fanmail to the author. I went from being charmed at the flawed Magicians to dazzled by the brilliant The House on Durrow Street. With the massive leap in quality between the first book and the second, and the sheer amount of love and affection I have for these characters, I went into The Master of Heathcrest Hall with a thousand expectations that were so high they could never be realistically met.

I am almost completely satisfied with this book.

In The Master of Heathcrest Hall, we pick up on the three main characters several months after the end of House. Ivoleyn Quent's husband has been nominated for the position of Lord Inquirer, but she's haunted by disturbing dreams of an Altania long past. Eldyn Garriet turns to war photography as desperate times in Invarel close down theatres, and pines for his terminally ill lover. And Dashton Rafferdy schemes with an illegal magical society to protect the ancient trees of Altania, the last line of defense against the Lovecraftian Ashen from the wandering planet. The Grand Conjunction of the planets is growing near, and the witch, the illusionist, and the magician are the only thing that can stop the Ashen and their slaves from devastating the entire world.

The last installment of the series does not have the thrilling climax of the second, but the darkness that it takes its three lead characters into is unflinching. Despite having seen most of the developments coming in advance, my heart was still in my throat throughout most of the book, cringing against what I knew what sure to come. The action ramps up far earlier than it did in either Magicians or House, and sustains itself longer. While I missed some of the more measured mannerly aspects of the previous books, the pace was very appropriate for the final one of a series. The answers to all the mysteries of Lady Shayde, Mr. Bennick, Mr. Lockwell, Cerephus, the Ashen, and the man in the black mask are all extremely satisfying and well telegraphed, and there was no revelation I felt myself disappointed by. All the characters had incredibly satisfying arcs -- I was especially impressed by how Lily's story resolved, for sure a minor character she's had a fantastic character trajectory.

This series comes so highly recommended. Galen Beckett is a fantastic writer and his story improves by leaps in each book. The framing of the world is unique and complex and the three main characters are so loveable and charismatic.

If I have anything bad to say about this book, it's that I found the big climax seemed to actively AVOID actually writing the action segments (moving the Eye, the battle at Pennerly). I love my books high on dialogue and low on action but that was a little sketchy even for me. Secondly, I wasn't happy with how my favourite character, Eldyn, did so little in the actual climax. Yeah, he was the one who got the map out and that was the only thing that let them win at the end but come on, would it have been so hard to have him come along to Heathcrest Hall at the end? I know he's sick and just then reunited with Dercy but I've been telling myself that Eldyn's separation from the other two characters was going to pay off in the last book and it DID, but not as much as I'd have hoped.

These complaints are just me whining, though. I love this book and this series and I am SO sad that it's over. The epilogue had me crying and it was the perfect tempo of going everywhere and meeting everyone without being all last chapter of Harry Potter about it. I wish so badly that there was more in this world, I just love it so much.
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Quotes Rosu Liked

“He was smiling again, his face alight, and Ivy knew her own expression was a mirror to his. Ivoleyn, he said, softly now, as if testing the word. And she replied, Dashton. Then their hands parted, but only so they might come closer, like two trees twining together to stand as one in a forest of green.”
Galen Beckett, The Master of Heathcrest Hall

“Ivoleyn is the most beautiful and remarkable woman in all of Altania, he said, his throat so tight the words inflicted a pain upon him, but he forged on all the same. I admire and love her to the fullest extent I am capable. I have ever since meeting her, though I was too stupid to understand at first what it was I felt. And once I did, I was too cowardly to make as stand for it.”
Galen Beckett, The Master of Heathcrest Hall

“Like a necktie or a bouquet of flowers, an idea was best if one did not fuss with it too much”
Galen Beckett, The Master of Heathcrest Hall
tags: ideas

“Besides, Mrs. Quesnt, did it never occur to you that we are not changing at all-that rather, we are simply becoming more ourselves?”
Galen Beckett, The Master of Heathcrest Hall
tags: change

Reading Progress

March 27, 2012 – Started Reading
March 27, 2012 – Shelved
March 27, 2012 –
page 42
5.85% "HAMG I am so excited about this book. Already awesome. First chapter is bizarre as hell. WOOP SO EXCITE."
March 28, 2012 –
page 91
12.67% "Bahaha, for such a gay man Eldyn's gaydar is shamefully broken. Still I'm ridiculously happy he didn't cheat on Dercy. WHY AM I READING THIS SO FAST, READ SLOWER, SELF ;_;"
March 29, 2012 –
page 161
22.42% "WHY AM I READING SO FAST ;___;??? I want this book to go on forever. Dammit I really want Dercy to appear more it's making me angry. I like everybody's plots so far but Ivy's is turning out the best. Rafferdy is retreading a bit and I have NO IDEA where Eldyn is going. I think he's going to team up with the rebels but I definitely don't want to see him quit the theatre, STUFF. Eldyn is my fave but def. needs Dercy."
March 29, 2012 –
page 211
29.39% "I REALLY WISH I WEREN'T READING SO FAST. Eldyn's plot as has exploded, as it always does. Love the whole photographer angle and glad they're not just dropping the theatre stuff. It's neat that his arc has come around full circle since Magicians. Needs more mention of Dercy. Also I find it so gratifying when Rafferdy moons over Ivy. IF YOU LIKE IT THEN YOU SHOULDA PUT A RING ON IT, BOY."
March 30, 2012 –
page 278
38.72% "Okay, some thoughts: - I think the illusionists are way more important than they seem. Something about their ability to read auras is gonna matter. - Something important happens when a magician and a witch mate. This is what the first chapter was about and why Lord Rafferdy tried to keep Rafferdy and Ivy from marrying. - Why can Rose read auras like an illusionist? This matters I think but I don't know why just yet."
March 30, 2012 –
page 278
38.72% "Oh one last thought I don't usually back to back status update but: - Pretty sure I see where Lily's character arc is going, I think she's going to end up being the Madame Richelour to Eldyn's Master Tallyroth. My personal ideal ending is that Dercy takes over the Theatre of the Moon the way Tallyroth has been with Lily as Madame and Eldyn as leading man."
April 1, 2012 –
page 344
47.91% "Oh my god!! Rafferdy reaction to Eldyn's secret was priceless, so priceless. I am happy. Also everytime Eldyn sadfaces over Dercy I feel happy. Also this book is bananas. Also I still can't figure out who the man in the mask is, best bet one of the old magicians??"
April 8, 2012 –
page 428
59.61% "oh my godddd this book is so legit good. Everything with Mr. Quent and Rafferdy in that one scene, oh my god. I saw this whole thing coming a mile away and I'm still devastated at how it's shaking out. Also Raffery and Eldyn :(("
April 10, 2012 –
page 469
65.32% "Ahahaha that chapter was a MAJOR payoff on how the three main characters tend to be so separated. Also I love how Eldyn has come out to four separate people and they've all reacted like "yep, that's totally unsurprising.""
April 11, 2012 –
page 538
74.93% "I'm not into battle-talk even in this series, apparently :negative: Though it does do it better than most. I love this shit WHY IS IT ALMOST OVER."
April 12, 2012 –
page 606
84.4% "DERCY ;____; I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW. Lady Shayde is amazing. And also I think that Farrolbrook is probably the man in the mask, but I'm still not sure about this. NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE WHOLE MYRRGON PLOT AND IT'S PROLLY THE THING I'M MOST INVESTED IN AT THIS POINT :|"
April 13, 2012 –
page 718
100.0% "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH ;_________;"
April 13, 2012 – Finished Reading
April 23, 2012 – Shelved as: interesting-worlds
April 23, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy-of-manners
May 29, 2012 – Shelved as: favorites
January 3, 2015 – Shelved as: has-gay-or-lesbian-couple
January 3, 2015 – Shelved as: has-a-romance-i-swooned-for

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