- File Size: 556 KB
- Print Length: 400 pages
- Publisher: Carina Press (August 12, 2013)
- Publication Date: August 12, 2013
- Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CC68FDO
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,808,272 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
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Midsummer Magick (The Magick Trilogy) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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Laura Navarre has done it again. "Midsummer Magick," the second book in her "Magick Trilogy" series is not your typical bodice-ripper romance novel. Navarre exquisitely interlaces the adventure of Arthurian legend, the timelessness of angelic lore, the intrigue of the English Tudor court, the magic of the Faerie realm, and deliciously passionate love scenes in this spellbinding novel. The mesmerizing story line will sweep you into its world and may even have you wondering if this alternate reality that Navarre constructed for her "Magick Trilogy" series might just exist somewhere, in some time.
"Midsummer Magick" finds country- bred Lady Linnet Norwood, a shy young scholar, as a lady in waiting at the coronation of the Queen Elizabeth Tudor. Linnet's mother, Lady Catriona Norwood, disappeared without a trace when Linnet was but five-years-old. As the only living soul left in the Norwood line Linnet is, for the moment, the Countess of the troubled lands of Glencross, Scotland.
For those who read "Magick by Moonlight," they will know that Linnet was considered missing--if not dead-- for two years by mortal time. The Tudor court thinks the worst of her--that she is a ruined woman who speaks madly about being kidnapped by fairies and whose father disowned her on his deathbed. And since Lady Linnet is a Papist in a decidedly Protestant court, there are those who consider her a threat and her loyalty to the Queen questionable. The story begins with Linnet being led to a trap where her killers await.
Enter Zamiel, the Angel of Death, son of Lucifer. Zamiel is unique in the Heavenly Host. Because his touch brings death, he leads a solitary existence that straddles the vast divide of the Heavenly Host and the Hell of fire and brimstone. However, the angel Zamiel has Lucifer's infamous rebellious nature along with his devilish good looks and charm.
Zamiel, on his way to deliver his touch of death, aids Linnet in fighting off her attackers instead of touching her. His good deed will be his undoing. He is exiled from Heaven and made mortal for his transgression of intervention. Now it is his soul that hangs in the balance. Navarre excels at introducing the hierarchy of angels to her readers and almost has you feeling sympathy for the devil and his son. Zamiel's weariness of his eternal role of bringer of death is palpable.
Navarre deftly counters and parries powerful entities against each other as all struggle to gain or maintain power within their own dominion. The Machiavellian maneuvering of usurpers of Queen Elizabeth's reign is brilliantly reflected in the realms of the Fae and the dominions of the Heavenly Host. The ante is raised when the realms plot to gain supreme power and control over the other realms. Zamiel and Linnet struggle to remain true to themselves as the sovereigns of these different realms scheme to use them as pawns for their own means. They encounter magic and trickery, subterfuge and knavery, as they fight for their very lives and eternal souls.
But wait a minute; this is supposed to be a steamy romance novel. It is. The lovemaking scenes are sumptuous, the flirting and foreplay arousing, Zamiel's gallantry seducing. Navarre artfully juxtaposes wanton sex with the celebration of true love manifested. Zamiel and Linnet are both virgins, but they are not unexposed to the vagaries of mortals, which makes their love all the more enrapturing.
Laura Navarre is a wonderful story teller who takes romance novels to a new level. Those who enjoy sensuous heat with a measure of Phillippa Gregory's Tudor series intrigue, but who also take pleasure in the fantasy elements of magic and Arthurian legends a la Marion Zimmer Bradley will find the Magick Trilogy an enjoyable and engrossing read. These are not Y/A novels. The next installment, Book Three, of Laura Navarre's Magick Trilogy is ardently anticipated by this reviewer.
* * *
Linnet Norwood, whom we met in Magick by Moonrise , her purpose to Rhiannon fulfilled, has left the Summer Lands with no clear memory of her stay there. Bastard, mad -- these are the words whispered about Linnet who struggles to fill in the gaps in her memory. Now as the Countess of Glencross, and the last of her line, Linnet has traveled to London, in the guise of seeking a husband for Glencross, to find clues about her mother and, perhaps, her true lineage.
But someone wants Linnet dead -- and Zamiel stepped in to rescue her, setting into motion a series of events that will lead to his salvation or downfall.
For Zamiel isn't mortal and not just an ordinary angel -- but the Angel of Death, one touch and your soul is forfeit to either heaven or hell. And Zamiel stands apart as the son of Lucifer, the first fallen angel.
As the Severity of God, Zamiel is not supposed to save lives but to take it -- but something about Linnet and the fire and passion he senses in her stops him from stepping aside and letting the Almighty do His will. As punishment for his insubordination, he is exiled from heaven and trapped in his mortal body.
Limbo. The characters in Navarre's story are all standing on precarious ground: Linnet must play her role as noblewoman and loyal subject if she is to protect her heritage. One misstep could mean the loss of Glencross and her life. She skirts about the fleeting images from her memory of her time inthe Summer Lands or else she will be imprisoned again at Glencross Abbey.
Even the position of Elizabeth I isn't secure: she is constantly on-guard against those who threaten her reign as Queen of England. She is besieged from within her realm and from outside.
Unable to remain still, Elizabeth Tudor sprang to her feet and paced, agitated as the caged lion in her menagerie. "Are you aware the Scottish succession is a matter of desperate concern to this court? I must contend with that viper Mary Stuart, raised and nurtured in the bosom of the French court, and her damned French mother who keeps the throne in Edinburgh warm and waiting for her. This Scottish-French alliance is the greatest threat to my realm.
"And the nightmare that wakes me sweating in the night is the prospect that my loving brother-in-law Spanish Philip, who plots ceaselessly to steal my throne, will ally with the French. Then I'll have them all at my throat."
- pp. 97-98
When Linnet and Zamiel discover that the key to recovering her memory is a pagan ritual, both must decide if it is worth the sacrifice.
"...Ye must sacrifice yer maidenhead to the Goddess, take a lover tonight before the sacred fire and regain all ye've lost."
- p. 225
The choice is a painful one for Linnet to make and equally difficult for Zamiel. He must decide between his salvation or Linnet's -- for he cannot have both. To return to his heavenly home, he must repent -- but, if he succumbs to his mortal cravings, he will fall.
Navarre crafts a suffocating, claustrophobic world -- there are eyes and ears everywhere: on earth, in Heaven and in the world of the Faeries and each character has their own agenda, their own gains to pursue -- power teeters on the balance.
For we are created in His image and likeness. I loved the politics in Midsummer Magick and it amazed me how cleverly Navarre mirrors the problems of Heaven and on earth. Zamiel is considered the rebel in his circle in Heaven and Navarre depicts a power struggle between the different hierarchies. Navarre's knowledge of angel mythology is astounding and she weaves it so wonderfully in this story. (Really enjoyed the discourse in pp. 194-196)
I'll end this with a word about the romance -- it was well-done. I loved the tension of wanting but not having that both Zamiel and Linnet experienced: Zamiel could not succumb to his desires because it would mean his fall. If he left her alone, he would be allowed to return to his former life and live through infinity alone. And Linnet must preserve her purity for the sake of her future husband, a man who would be chosen for her by the queen in a relationship forged not by love but by necessity. Love comes at a cost and both must figure out what they are willing to sacrifice to be together.
Laura Navarre continues her mesmerizing world building of angels, faeries, Arthurian legend and Tudor England in Midsummer Magick, the second novel in her Magick Trilogy. This was an engrossing read -- and one that really put my iBooks' dictionary skills to the test with words like arquebus, cressets, tocsin (different from toxin!), stramash, hippocras, etc. -- as I was reading through the novel, I kept thinking how thoroughly Navarre did her research on the period. This is not a book to read casually -- one needs to invest quiet time and attention in order to fully enjoy the book -- but, trust me, it is worth it.
Most recent customer reviews
Midsummer Magick was very hard to get into at the beginning, part of that was the...Read more
Lady Linnet Norwood has a year missing from her memory, and when she was found she was sent to a convent to hide her madness.Read more