Book Reviews

Flight of Magpies (A Charm of Magpies 3) by KJ Charles at KJC Books

Genre Gay / Historical / Alternate Reality / Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 29-November-2017

Book Blurb

Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink. 

With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student flying off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And the strain is starting to show in his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane. 

Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all. 

Then a devastating loss brings the people he most loves into bitter conflict. Old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies are painting Stephen and Crane into a corner, and the pressure threatens to tear them apart...

First Edition published by Samhain Publishing, 2014.

Book Review

KJ Charles has penned another fabulous episode of the amazingly delicious Lord Lucien Crane and his fiery, magic practitioner lover, Stephen Day. How wonderful is this book? Well, my lover and I sometimes play a sad little game called “which.” In the event that we don’t win the lottery, “which sushi chef will we kidnap and make prepare our meals?” etcetera. My go-to answer for “which author would I kidnap and make write stories for my entertainment…” is almost always Kurt Vonnegut Jr. or Hemmingway. With this exquisite addition to the outstanding ‘Magpie Lord’ series—I’m seriously considering switching out Vonnegut for KJ Charles. Yes, the story—hell the entire series—is that good!

This marvelous episode finds Lord Crane and Stephen making the best of whatever pockets of pleasure they can find as Stephen’s increasing busy life as a justicar has shown itself to be a rival to their love life. Mischief of the magical kind is popping up everywhere, but justiciars are in short supply to due an uncanny number of injuries and the like. The like being the hard-won pregnancy of none other than Stephen’s partner, Helen.  With Stephen alone, at the council’s beck and call for each magical disaster, Crane ‘s patience is stretched extremely thin. He can’t stand England and its fussy attitudes toward same-sex couples, but he’s begun to he realize that Stephen hasn’t the ability to say “no.” His responsible and generous lover is intent on giving his all to a dangerous job headed by a council that looks down upon him, doesn’t take Stephen seriously, and barely pays him. It might be different if the job made Stephen happy, but Crane can see that it doesn’t. Crane decides it’s time to broach the topic with his lover, but as the tide of mysterious magical deaths rises, Crane is pulled into its wake. And with each tragic event a pattern begins to emerge. The disastrous occurrences are deliberate, connected, and focused on Crane, Stephen, and the long dead Magpie Lord.

This is an amazing story with multiple twists and turns, each more delightful than the previous. Charming side plots add further intrigue and humor to the wealth of treasures the main story holds. Many of the previous players are back, including Merrick, Crane’s go-to guy for getting the job done. Be it food, fashion or foe, Merrick is the right man to put things to right. With his excellent martial skills and eye for detail, this debaucher of widows may have met his match in magical windwalker Jenny Saint. Introduced in the previous novel, Miss Saint has grown up to be—with Merrick’s help—something of a fledgling…to my mind at least… “Emma Peel,” the attractive, reserved, but deadly agent of the old school British television series The Avengers. I hope to see more of Merrick and Saint in future books.

Other familiar faces show up as well and each conduct themselves admirably at the behest of K.J. Charles’s pen, but I must mention a new character, Jonah Pastern. This charming, slippery, and devilishly handsome windwalker walks a fine line in the story’s devastating plot. Blackmailed to help scheme against Crane and Stephen, is Jonah all bad? I don’t know, but I adored this character and am happy to see his story, Jackdaw, is coming out winter 2015.

But back to Stephen and Lucien, who number among my top five couples in male/male romance. This couple is off the chart hot, in looks, smarts, and “performance.” I suggest readers keep a bottle of Evian handy. I was awed and smitten with the initial book of the series, charmed and in love by the second book, and now, well, I wouldn’t use the word obsessed quite yet, but I’ll admit I’ve taken to doodling tiny magpies encircled with hearts in my notebooks. I’ve never really liked magpies; I prefer crows. But I’ve changed my mind, I want a magpie to call my own. Whether I’ll call him Stephen or Lucian remains to be seen.

Thank you KJ Charles, you are a writer’s writer and a reader’s writer, and a terrific storyteller. Always inspiring and ever entertaining…Write on!







DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 210 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-March-2017
Price $3.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback
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