I’ve been praising Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus a lot but have never actually written a proper review for it. I was introduced to the series only last year but once I started the author immediately became a favourite. Certain books I begin knowing from the very first chapter, paragraph even, that the author will become special to me. Lydia Sherrer is one of those authors.
The Duality of Science and Magic
This snarky urban fantasy is an interesting take on the world of magic. Here, magic and science are complementary; according to the series, in order to manipulate magic, a person has to be born with a specific gene. It’s very simplistic but the way it has been represented in the books give me those moments of “ah!” As readers, we’re not just shown how the world is but also how it works. And this I very much enjoyed.
So in any fantasy book we’re introduced to a gender based system for wizards and witches but this is not the case with Sherrer. In her own words, “wizards are born, witches are made.” This was an interesting premise for the book, especially since I was being introduced to the ways witches enabled themselves to be like wizards.
Magic is accessible to anyone, if only they just looked.
Funnily enough, in this urban fantasy there are no communities for those with magic. No set system by which they govern themselves.
The Main Characters
As if the world-building wasn’t interesting enough, we’ve also been introduced to a wonderful set of characters!
The main character is an introverted bookworm who is disciplined and loves tea. Sounds just like me, eh?
Sherrer writes well balanced characters who have their own share of good and bad. She doesn’t excuse any of their bad side or cover it up with excuses, she portrays them honestly and leaves it up to her readers to judge for themselves.
Our main characters are just deliciously witty and snarky; I was smitten from the beginning. They bring out the best in each other. The relationship between Sebastian and Lily is so heartfelt. I love how they’re protective of each other, making each other braver and more open. I read so many books where the attraction between characters feels forced and spoiled by too much…uh, sexual innuendo, I suppose. But with this book the characters were like…a sanctuary for the other.
Sir Kipling, talking cat extraordinaire
Scratch that – a sarcastic talking cat. I mean, his name is Sir Edgar Allan Kipling, for goodness sake. He’s the voice of reason in that series but also notoriously mischievous.
“Pride is unbecoming to humans […] Only cats and dragons do it justice.”
In all seriousness, I love how Lydia doesn’t make her secondary characters fade into the background. They’re just as well developed as our main characters.
Don’t tell you don’t like books that describe scrumptious meals in detail!
Tell me, how can you not love this?
“[…] she was slightly overwhelmed by the abrupt return to all things southern, with a dinner of pork chops, fried chicken, friend okra, collard greens, mashed potatoes, and corn pudding topped off with a chess pie […]”
Lydia Sherrer is basically meal planning for you. Their high tea sounds like a setting for lunch to me!
“She had prepared steak and kidney pie, pickled salmon, crumpets, potatoes, and a cheese casserole. This delightful spread was accompanied by copious amounts of Russian Caravan, an aromatic and full bodied black tea blend with a smoky taste […]”
This bit of the series reminded me so much of Narnia and Harry Potter. There’s so much good in this book. Forgiveness, bravery, and trust are themes repeated in the series. The writing is direct and succinct. She doesn’t beat around the bush with the plot and the interaction of the characters. You can tell that her books probably involved a lot of background research. The history of the characters are slowly brought to the surface so it feels like we have more than a fictional connection with them. In a way, I think each of us will find a character to relate to.
Has my review convinced you? Is there an urban fantasy you’d recommend I read?
You can add the first book to your Goodreads or purchase it from Amazon
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