Spells and Shadows
Author: Victoria Kincaid
Reviewer: Sophia Rose
What I’m Talking About:
Absolutely bewitching when Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is given an infusion of a magical world of mages and dark necromancy to a powerful romance pair.
Fitzwilliam Darcy is a secret operative for the Mage Council and he’s on a mission when his target turns the tables on him and he ends up being rescued from the river near death by Elizabeth and Jane Bennet. The Bennets nurse him back to health, but can’t help noting that since Darcy arrived in the neighborhood uncomfortable and inexplicable happenings occur. He has his secrets, but they have theirs and the reveals might be the undoing of a romance building between Darcy and Elizabeth.
Spells and Shadows is not a cozy or comfortable fantasy romance though it does have a sweet quality to the romance and there are funny moments. It has a darkness due to the necromancer’s magic opposed to the light magic of Darcy and Elizabeth. There is a great deal of angst in the relationship because of the internal and external conflicts the pair face, but plenty of magical action and excitement to drive the story at a rapid pace at times.
I’m already familiar and love Victoria Kincaid’s historical, contemporary, and one other fantasy variation. She writes clever plots and engaging characters. Her latest gaslamp fantasy efforts have shown a gift for plot twists and some grit that is not generally associated with Austen’s works making them have originality and depth. And, as an aside, though this is based on Austen’s P&P, newcomers to Austen need have no worries to jump in and appreciate Spells & Shadows. Definitely one gaslamp fantasy fans who like some angst, action, and sweetness to their romance should add to the reading stack.
My Rating: A- Enjoyed A Lot
About the Book:
As a secret agent for the Mages’ Council, Mr. Darcy investigates a necromancer who is leading his followers down a dark path. When they discover him, a fight and a chase drive Darcy—injured and close to death—into the river. He is rescued and healed by Elizabeth, a talented mage at the Longbourn estate. Darcy cannot help developing feelings for her, but he dares not reveal his true identity while the necromancer’s creatures search for him.
Elizabeth Bennet is intrigued by the family’s new guest as he recovers at Longbourn. But mystery surrounds the man, and strange happenings plague the neighborhood while he visits. Elizabeth herself harbors a secret that she cannot share with the handsome stranger.
When Darcy’s enemies come calling, the Bennet family is caught in the crossfire. Worse, Elizabeth’s magic draws the necromancer’s particular interest. Darcy is falling in love with her and believes she returns his feelings, but the secret of his true identity could destroy their budding relationship—if they survive the upcoming danger.
Can Elizabeth and Darcy protect themselves and their families from the necromancer’s plots? What will happen when learn each other’s secrets? Can Elizabeth and Darcy’s love survive when it is entangled in a web of secrets, spells, and shadows?
Release Date: July 17, 2023
Publisher: Meadowbrook Press
Genre: Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Format(s): paperback (176 pages), e-book
Book Source: Author
Amazon (affiliate link)