SFF

The Midnight Bargain

Erewhon. Oct. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9781645660071. $25.95. FANTASY
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Being cut off from her sorcerous powers is everything that Beatrice Clayborn fears, since being a true Magus is her calling. Yet Beatrice’s family is putting the last of their funds into her place in the Bargaining Season, a time when families gather to strike advantageous marriages. Worse, once married, Beatrice must wear a collar during pregnancy to protect her unborn children by cutting off her power. The key to her becoming a Magus lies in a grimoire she has discovered, but another sorceress, Ysbeta Lavan, finds a way to acquire it for the same reason. Using a spirit to get the book back means paying a price: Beatrice’s first kiss — with Ianthe Lavan, Ysbeta’s brother and a man that Beatrice wonders if she could have a future with. Except making the choice between love and dreams could mean the greatest loss of her life.
VERDICT Polk’s (Witchmark) foray into a society of magic and politics places the woman in the secondary role, but neither Beatrice nor Ysbeta will stay in place. Fans of romantic fantasy set in a multicultural world will find this a fascinating read.

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