Review: The Magicians and Mrs. Quent (Mrs. Quent, #1) by Galen Beckett

The Magicians and Mrs. Quent (Mrs. Quent, #1)The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, + Jane Eyre + "magick". Seriously. But in a good way? Sort of?

I've also read reviews that say that much of the plot in the first-person-narrated-for-reasons-indecipherable-to-the-reader-and-probably-the-author-too second part is based on Turn of the Screw, which I haven't read, but probably will now.

Don't get me wrong, the plot rip-offs aren't as bothersome as they should be, mostly because they're intentional. It says almost-clearly on the book jacket that author Galen Beckett wrote the series to explore the question of what it would be like if there was a solid reason women in 19th century literature functioned the way they seem to do. Or something. Does this get cleared up in the novel? No. But it's kind of fun to read. It doesn't really tax the brain, given you can pretty much guarantee what will happen next (I was kind of disappointed Gennivel Quent wasn't inside the locked room, to be honest. Her character would have been interesting), and the scientifically impossible day/night lengths thing is pretty interesting, even if it is reminiscent of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and its long winter/summer seasons, as well as the mythology of this alternate world, and the function of the illusionists (I'm still not sure what differentiates them from magicians and whether or not they're human), the magicians, and the witches in the general hierarchy of magic in relation to the plot.

Pretty much I'm hoping the second and third books in the series will tie up some loose ends (like what was up with Westen?) and lend this "experiment" some credibility. I placed a lot of trust in Galen Beckett as an author with whom I am unfamiliar and un-endorsed, and I didn't dislike the book. I just wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone without a large store of patience or a rabid love for the genre(s).

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