PHOENIX BLOOD by Jenny Schwartz (Review)

This is a story set in a world of magic. Not quite the various worlds of vampires and/or werewolves we have all grown accustomed to – or the world of Hogwarts, although it does feature an English boarding school (the Old School of the series title) where magical talents are fostered.

Sadie Howard’s talent is Finding. She can find anything, whether it be a physical object like the pendant she is carrying when the story opens, or something more intangible like the safety she is seeking as she races into a bikers’ bar on the opening page pursued by two “Stag Mercenaries” intent on killing her and seizing the pendant, and finds safety with a man sitting quietly in the corner with his pet bird of paradise.

(Do you think one can judge a person’s age by the length of her sentences?)

A man called Marcus Aurelius, who nine years earlier “couldn’t fight a feather duster” but now effortlessly disposes of the two killers; who nine years ago had dropped her publicly and brutally, and broken her heart; who nine years ago had not believed in magic but proves now to be a powerful magician in his own right.

(I did it again.)

That, then, is the situation. But who wants the pendant so badly that he is sending Stag Mercenaries after Sadie? Will Sadie and Marcus ever complete the long road journey across the States to California, where she must deliver the pendant? Can their love have survived the nine years of heartbreak and loneliness they both (yes, both) went through? And what, really, is the entity now passing as a bird of paradise and Marcus’s companion?

A great story that on two successive nights kept me riveted to my Kindle till the early hours of the morning.

THE ICARUS PLOT by Jenny Schwartz (Review)

Icarus Plot cover

I have to say that I prefer to review books written by complete strangers. Knowing I am expected to comment on or even write a review of a book written by a friend or acquaintance fills me with trepidation. I like that word, but it is not strong enough. Fills me with horror.

So it was with trepidation (not horror, for we are only BL acquaintances, not friends – though I should like to be) that I finally began Jenny’s The Icarus Plot after it had been gathering metaphorical dust in my Kindle for several months. And I knew within the first few lines that Jenny is the real McCoy. After a couple of pages I was comparing her favourably with Philip Pullman. I read the story straight off – it is not long, more a novella than a novel – and went to bed happy. Happy to have discovered another author whose other books I can now look forward to reading, and happy with the world: it is a story that leaves you happy.

Thanks, Jenny.