Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic, by Emily Croy Barker

Disclosure: I received an ARC of The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker courtesy of Viking Press via GoodReads First Reads.


Although the main character Nora may be a "thinking woman" (by virtue of her advanced studies in literature, at least; not by any deep thoughts she herself expresses), she is certainly not an acting woman. Nora is a passive protagonist who tends to mainly observe and describe the events taking place around her, rather than taking action or becoming overly involved in anything. She waits for her male wizard mentor to rescue her on multiple occasions, even though she constantly complains about women not being treated as equals in the magical realm to which she has been transported. She does little to attempt to find her way back to her own world, and finds trivial ways to pass her time until an opportunity materializes for her to go home. Much of this novel could be edited out, and the story would be the better off without the tedious pauses in the action.


Readers who like the combination of fantasy and romance would enjoy Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches. Those fascinated by the idea of a character transported to a magical world should try the Magic Kingdom of Landover series by Terry Brooks.

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