Author: Sylvia Izzo Hunter
Series: A Noctis Magicae Novel (Book 2)
Publication: Ace (September 1, 2015)
Description: Sylvia Izzo Hunter brought “both rural Brittany and an alternative Regency England to vivid life”* in The Midnight Queen, her debut novel of history, magic, and myth. Now, in her new Noctis Magicae novel, Sophie and Gray Marshall are ensnared in an arcane plot that threatens to undo them both.
In her second year of studies at Merlin College, Oxford, Sophie Marshall is feeling alienated among fellow students who fail to welcome a woman to their ranks. So when her husband, Gray, is invited north as a visiting lecturer at the University in Din Edin, they leap at the chance. There, Sophie’s hunger for magical knowledge can finally be nourished. But soon, Sophie must put her newly learned skills to the test.
Sophie returns home one day to find a note from Gray—he’s been summoned urgently to London. But when he doesn’t return, and none of her spells can find a trace of him, she realizes something sinister has befallen him. With the help of her sister, Joanna, she delves into Gray’s disappearance, and soon finds herself in a web of magick and intrigue that threatens not just Gray, but the entire kingdom.
My Thoughts: This second book in the Noctis Magicae series was as wonderful as the first. Sophie Marshall is a second year student at Merlin College and married to Gray who is a lecturer there. While she very much enjoys the chance to learn about magick, she does not enjoy the prejudice and attention that is paid to her as one of the few female students and the long lost daughter of the King.
When Gray is offered a position as a visiting lecturer at the University in Din Edin in the country of Alba and Sophie offered a position as a student there, they are eager to accept. However, Alba and Britain are separate countries and relations between them are somewhat tense. Sophie loves the university and is glad to meet and make friends with other female scholars. But the political situation isn't good. The land is suffering from some ills - crop failures and illness in some animal herds - and magickal interference is being blamed.
Tensions escalate when it is learned that the next Chieftain of the clans, Lucia MacNeill a fellow student of Sophie's, has become betrothed to Roland, Sophie's half brother and second in line to the throne in Britain, there are protests that threaten to grow into riots. The political factions that see this as Britain's attempt to conquer Alba are very unhappy.
Meanwhile, Joanna who is Sophie's sister is busy in London learning diplomacy from her guardian Sieur Germain de Kergabet who is an adviser to King Henry and Lord President of His Majesty's Privy Council. Joanna is on the inside knowing about the marriage plans of Roland, who has a monster crush on her, and Lucia MacNeill. Joanna is also planning a visit north to visit her sister and Gray.
Shortly before Joanna's arrival, Gray is kidnapped though, at first, it is assumed that he has been called home because of his father's illness. Time is lost because of the need to give him time to travel from Alba to the south of Britain but when a second letter is received, Sophie knows that something is very wrong. She learns that other foreign mages have also disappeared. She is determined to find her husband. In fact, she must find her husband because the longer he is away from her the more sick she becomes. Their marriage had linked their magick together. If she can't find him, they will both die.
This was a wonderful story. The world building was amazing. I loved the combination of magick and political intrigue. I also loved the growing relationship between Gray and Sophie as they adjust to being married. Sophie is a wonderful character who has immense magickal talent but no desire to use it for political gain.
This book will be going on my Keeper Shelf along with the first book in the series - THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN.
No assembly since that first one had been so dramatically disrupted by attempted poisonings, calls for rebellion, duels, or magickal catastrophes; this must of course be accounted a blessing, but Joanne could no help feeling that a ball featuring none of these elements lacked excitement.I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.