External Forces

47North: Amazon. (Marrowbone Spells, Bk. 2). Nov. 2022. 508p. ISBN 9781542032575. pap. $14.95. FANTASY
The second book in Fay’s “Marrowbone Spells” series (following Innate Magic) finds mage Paul Gallagher once again in the center of conflict. This time it involves a political group, the Virtuis party, attempting to push their fascist agenda on the British public. Gallagher is now a cloth mage and friend to Princess Katherine. He becomes entwined in helping to overthrow this group, when her brother’s fiancée goes missing. The group wants to locate her, and their leader demands Paul’s help in exchange for not outing him as having innate magic, which is illegal. Friends, love interests, and enemies from the first book resurface, some in a more positive way, while others are more sinister. As in the first book, there are plenty of twists in the plot and well-written, witty dialogue to keep the reader’s interest.
VERDICT Fay has written a thoroughly enjoyable magical thriller set in 1950s Britain. Readers can dip their toes into this installment without having read the first in the series, while “Marrowbone” fans will appreciate Paul’s new adventures.
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