The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry

Ace: Berkley. Jan. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9781984805867. pap. $17. FANTASY
Dellaria “Delly” Wells is a fire witch, as well as a petty thief. Desperate to pay her rent before her landlady extracts her hard promise and infects her with face pustules, Delly takes a job guarding a young society lady on the way to her wedding. Also on guard duty is a necromancer; a teenager who can turn into a giant pig; a senior student at the magical university; and Winn Cynallum, a genteel woman from a very influential magical family. Delly takes an immediate liking to Winn, both because of her physical appearance and because of her money. As Delly flirts with Winn and they grow closer, the team faces many magical enemies. Throw in a long-dead wizard inhabiting a mouse corpse and a drug-addicted mother and you have one exciting adventure.
VERDICT Waggoner (Unnatural Magic) crafts an excellent historical fantasy that also manages to have a sweet and hot love story at the center. At turns laugh-out-loud funny and heartwarming, this fast-paced book is for fans of romance, historical fantasy, and Theodora Goss’s “Athena Club” series.
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