Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2021
Seventh in the Lizzie Grace urban fantasy series and revolving around Lizzie Grace, a witch on the run. It's set in Castle Rock, Australia, near a werewolf reservation.
Oooh, Belle is dating Monty! Hmmm . . .
Arthur is using first person protagonist point-of-view from Lizzie's perspective, so we experience all of her thoughts, emotions, and actions, including that the wild magic may be eating Lizzie up. It certainly does create a certain tension, which Arthur could do with ratcheting up. I do wish she provided more dialogue tags as well. It can be confusing as to who is speaking sometimes.
Lizzie not being a werewolf creates all sorts of problems for Aiden, including a number of social ones. Whoa, I knew Aiden's mom was a nasty person, but she really takes it to extremes. Luckily Katie has a way to let Mum know. As for Lizzie's father, oy, that man never learns.
Whoa. Again. Lizzie's mother actually thanked Ava Sarr. A Sarr!
Not to worry, though, there's plenty of conflict besides Lizzie's with her family and the investigation into what happened to Clayton. Something is murdering random people, and someone is after Belle's stash of books.
It's a character-driven plot with plenty of action with a pace that kept me on the move.
And Lizzie gets yet another job!
Her husband might be dead, but her problems are far from over . . .
Lizzie Grace had hoped that Clayton’s death would bring some normality back into her life. But not only does her father remain intent on interfering now that he knows she can manipulate wild magic, but the High Witch Council has sent in an investigator to uncover her part in Clayton’s murder.
But a bigger threat has arrived on the reservation.
One that wears flesh and blood, and is intent on revenge.
Lizzie Grace, a witch who's been in hiding for 13 years, has been hit by wild magic, a.k.a. earth magic, which has triggered changes in her own magic. And Lizzie has just moved into Aiden's apartment in Argyle. Belle Sarr Kent is her partner, best friend, and familiar. Belle inherited all of her grandmother, Nell's, library. Ava Sarr is Belle's very supportive mom. She and her husband, Belle's dad, are in charge of the Psychic Advisory Commission. Belle's sister, Alison, married Dylan Fitzgerald, and they have a baby, nine-month-old Beth, and three-year-old Eddie. Belle's brother, Josh, is a very strong telepath with a secondary strength in energy medicine.
The Psychic Cafe is . . .
. . . Lizzie and Belle's successful business in Castle Rock. Penny and her niece, Celia, are waitresses.
Monty Ashworth, a great dancer, is the reservation witch and her cousin. Eamon is his possessed orange menace of a cat. The grandfatherly Ashworth is also a witch and the representative for the Regional Witch Association (RWA). Eli is Ashworth's husband, a retired RWA witch.
The Faelan Reservation is . . .
. . . a werewolf reservation. Patrick Sinclair is a friend of Aiden's. John had known Patrick. Jackson Pike is/was a gold miner. Myra handled the birthday party arrangements.
Harry is the owner and manager of Castle Rock Ultimate Storage. Mrs Sanders calls about a monster. Maelle is the only vampire in Castle Rock and runs, or ran, a nightclub, Émigré. Roger is her thrall. Both are still missing. Joe works the desk at the fitness center. Jenny Brown, Derry, Morris, and Dorothy were more victims. Mrs Grantham, a magician, is another victim. Leesa Rhineheart, a human, had been bullied at school. Honor Rhineheart is Leesa's daughter.
A witch has a shop, Pot of Magic, in Woodend. Professor Janice Hopetown works for the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Sydney University. Butterworth's makes humbug candies. Ingrid Butterworth and her son still live on site.
The Rangers are . . .
. . . werewolves and the police force for the reservation and the surrounding area. Aiden O'Connor is the head ranger and has been dating Lizzie for several months. Tara Sinclair (she has five teenage brothers) is his second-in-command. Maggie is the office receptionist and a ranger-in-training. More rangers include Mac, Jaz Marin, and Duke. Ciara O'Connor, Aiden's sister, is the coroner. Luke is Ciara's assistant. Betty is the receptionist at the morgue. Jack Martin was helping to search.
Katie had been Aiden's younger sister, "killed" when her witch husband, Gabe, used a spell to bind her soul to an "unknown" wellspring. A spell that pulled him in as well. Aiden's control freak mother, Karleen, is the pack alpha, as is her husband, Joseph. Fawn is staying at the O'Connor compound.
Samuel Kang is a full-blood witch and the High Council's chief investigator. He has a younger sister who had also been in an arranged marriage; she has a sixteen-year-old son. Belle has bad memories of Tommy Kang from school. Most of the Kang family are prominent lawyers. Lizzie's detached parents, Lawrence and Eleanor Marlowe, are members of the ruling High Council. Lizzie's siblings are Cat, whose death their parents blamed on Lizzie, and Juli.
Clayton Moore, Lizzie's husband, had been responsible for an explosion at Émigré and the kidnap and torture of Belle ( Deadly Vows , 6). Henry James is a retired dark sorcerer. Blackwing might be a witch's psych hospital.
The Black Lantern Society is . . .
. . . a group of witches, werewolves, and vampire who work behind the scenes to right wrongs and bring justice. Samuel Kang's brother is second in charge.
There are three levels of apparitions: souls, ghosts, and specters. Kash is a former boyfriend of Belle's with an abnormal interest in her grandmother's books. Roland Waverly is a friend of Kash's. Black Arts is selling e-copies. Mia Raines had tried to cheat Aiden in marriage. The Thaumaturge Society should be able to track the cheek tattoo.
The Cover and Title
The cover is primarily browns with the bottom half a deep brown and bare trees rising up to frame Lizzie who's facing us and wearing a gray knit stocking cap, her crimson hair floating around her shoulders. She's also wearing a gray sweater over a white turtleneck and black pants with black gloves, holding a book of magic with gold and white spirals swirling up from its open pages. The whiteness of the magic frames Lizzie in a soft glow. The author's name is in white at the top. The title, also in white, starts mid-thigh on Lizzie. At the very bottom is the series info in a pinkish orange.
The title is an unhappy one, for Magic Misled is what occurred. All due to bullying.