Happily drowning in books

“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.” -Logan Pearsall Smith

Review: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic

on October 7, 2013

Title: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic
Author: Emily Croy Barker
Rating: fivestars


“Practicing magic takes a kind of awareness that you don’t feel ordinarily. You have to really know the things around you and make them know you. And when you manage the connection, its as though the world belongs to you. You feel more at home in it. As though you could do anything.”

Nora’s life seems to be going nowhere fast. Her boyfriend broke up with her to run off with another woman and her dissertation is stuck fast in a mire of writer’s block and lack of inspiration. During a wretched weekend at a friends wedding, she goes for a walk and accidently stumbles through a portal to another world. She is befriended and taken in by a new group of powerful friends, who seem to be able to make all her wishes and desires come true. But soon Nora begins to suspect that they are not as benign as they appear to be. After barely escaping with her life, Nora finds herself being taught magic from the most unlikely of sources; a recalcitrant and grumpy magician names Aruendial.

I was eagerly awaiting the release of this book once I heard out about it, and let me just say that it did not disappoint in the least! First of all, its a lengthy tome, almost 570 pages. It was wonderful to slide deliciously into these pages each day and take my good old time reading it. This is Emily Croy Barker’s first novel, but you wouldn’t believe it by reading it because the writing style is so precise, descriptive, and well defined that you would think she had been writing books for years.

And the characters are absolutely fantastic. Nora is such a relatable character that you just can’t help but feel for her and hope everything turns out all right in the end. And Aruendial is such a bastard sometimes! *laughs* He is pissy and has a bad temper but you still just can’t help loving him just the same.

I’ve often said that the ‘girl-with-sucky-life-falls-into-magical-world’ is one of my favorite tropes but this book goes about it in such a unique and refreshing way that I fell in love with this type of story all over again. I would definitely recommend it if you are a fan of fantasy or urban fantasy!


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