Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Book Review: "The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic: A Novel," by Emily Croy Barker
About this book:
Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman. During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora gets lost and somehow walks through a portal into a different world, with only her copy of Pride and Prejudice in her back pocket. There, she meets glamorous, charming Ilissa, who introduces her to a new world of decadence and riches. Nora herself feels different: more attractive; more popular. Soon, her romance with the gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true.
Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally -- and a reluctant one at that -- is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel’s student -- and learning real magic herself -- to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her “real life” against the dangerous power of love and magic.
I adored this book! It may have been 563 pages in my library copy, but I loved every word. This is a Narnia for adults, where Nora discovers that our world is not the only one around, and definitely not the most interesting! In the world she stumbles into, she finds that conditions are very different. Many of the people are poor and have a hard life, but there are also wizards and magicians (both male and female) who can perform magic. And even Nora is capable of learning it in the world she’s in, much to her delight. I enjoyed the complex characters and their adventures. The humor throughout kept me chuckling. Fortunately, this book was not a cliffhanger, although it strongly hinted that Nora might be able to find her way back in another book. I hope that Emily Croy Barker finishes it soon!
Disclosure: I checked out this book from my local library. This post contains my Amazon affiliate links.