Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review: Magic & Manners by C. E. Murphy

Magic & Manners
Author: C. E. Murphy
Series: An Austen Chronicle Book 1
Publication: Miz Kit Productions (March 8, 2016)

Description: It is a truth universally accepted that well-bred members of Society are not beleaguered with magic.

For Elsabeth Dover and her sisters, that truth means living in a perpetual state of caution, never using their sorcerous gifts in public. Elsabeth chafes under the stricture, but not enough to risk the possibility of good marriages for her sisters...until she meets handsome, arrogant Fitzgerald Archer.

Elsabeth, attracted to Archer's wit and offended by his manner, strives to keep her youngest, impetuous sister's use of magic in check so that their eldest sister, Rosamund, might find happiness with Archer's wealthy friend Mr Webber. But when Elsa fails to keep young Leopoldina in line, Archer's disapproval of the family taint means an abrupt end to Rosamund's hopes, and leads to a terrible discovery about the price of magic....

My Thoughts: This was an engaging historical with magic based on Pride & Prejudice. The five Dover sisters are burdened with magic. The also have a silly mother who has big ambitions for her daughters. They have a loving father who also has magic. The story is mostly told from the viewpoint of the second sister who is Elsabeth.

Her mother's hopes are raised when a new family - the Webbers - move to the estate next door. Mr. Webber is accompanied by his sisters, his brother-in-law, and his good friend Mr. Archer. Mrs. Dover sees two potential suitors for her daughters. The oldest sister Rosamund falls for Mr. Webber and Elsabeth is in turn put off by Mr. Archer's haughty stance. However, magic is not at all acceptable in the upper classes and the taint of it may make the girls unmarriageable. Hiding it becomes increasingly difficult when the youngest daughter, who is very vain and self-absorbed, uses magic to attract the attention of a handsome soldier named Captain Hartnell who is a cad of the highest order.

First, a misunderstanding separates Rosamund and Mr. Webber. Then a misplaced proposal separates Mr. Archer from Elsabeth. Then a scandal created by the youngest daughter Dina threatens the security of the whole family. Along the way Elsabeth learns more about magic in general and becomes incensed that society keeps her from using it. I loved the way Elsabeth grew through the story.

This was a great story with fascinating characters, sly humor, and romance.

Favorite Quote:
True love, Elsabeth felt, would not feel the need to dwell on those topics as Archer had. "I should offer an apology for disappointing you, Mr. Archer, and I would, save that I feel that an offer of marriage should not come hand in hand with a litany of insults; it is no delight to be proposed to by a man with a list of reasons why he must act against his better judgment to make the proposal. Moreover, even if you had foregone such charming footnotes, even if you had been a gentleman worthy of the title since the hour I met you, how could you ever imagine I should agree to marry the man who has been the architect of a beloved sister's unhappiness?"
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, this is lovely! I used to read all CE Murphy's books ages ago, but for some reason stopped midway in her Walker Papers series.


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