It’s fair to say that there are a lot of paranormal romances on the market at the moment. A lot. That’s good news for people who like to read everything they can find, and bad news for people who only want to read the good stuff. Fortunately, every so often a real gem comes along and shows that there’s still room for something new. Such is the case with Magic in the Storm, one of the best romance novels (paranormal or otherwise) that I’ve read in a long time.
Set in the early 19th century, Magic in the Storm is the story of Morgan Vallentyne and Adriana Hayden. He’s a descendent of Morgan Le Fey, struggling to realise his own powers; she’s a free spirit struggling against the conventions of society. As Morgan and Adriana grow closer, Lady Vallentyn conspires to keep them apart. The story is rooted in the desires and passions of the characters, with even Lady Vallentyn coming across as a fully-rounded and believable character. The result is that this is a character-driven romance with a good dose of magic and adventure thrown into the mix.
At the heart of Magic in the Storm there’s a genuinely involving romance between two charismatic characters. Morgan Vallentyne steps out of the page fully-formed and with some very interesting touches, while Adriana Hayden is far stronger than many such heroines. In a genre that tends to stick to stock characters and tired cliches, Magic in the Storm manages to create two compelling characters who together form a very strong central narrative that drives the plot and helps keep the book moving along at a cracking pace.
Magic in the Storm also makes good use of its historical setting. 19th century England is brought to life vividly, and the characters seem to fit very comfortably in the period. The author seems to have a natural feel for this type of setting, and it’s a testament to the strength of the writing that while the historical trappings are never forced down the reader’s throat, there is also no danger of the reader forgetting where and when the story is set. Some books seem to just pick a random year and throw together a bunch of generic characters, but the story of Magic in the Storm feels as if it couldn’t be set in any other period, even if the romance is ultimately timeless.
Overall, Magic in the Storm is highly recommended for its inventive plot, strong characterisation and excellent writing style. I’ve given it 4½ stars, which is pretty much the highest rating I give any book. If you’re a fan of paranormal or historical romances, Magic in the Storm is definitely worth checking out; and if you’re not a fan of these genres, it might be worth giving the book a try anyway. It might just convert you…
Star rating for Magic in the Storm: 4½ stars.
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> Rating system: 5 stars (excellent); 4 stars (very good); 3 stars (good); 2 stars (fairly good); 1 star (bad); 0 stars (awful).
NOTE: We interviewed Meredith Bond back in February 2012. This in no way coloured or affected this review, which was carried out by a different member of the Indie BookSpot team.