Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. True, Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician’s disappearing act bothers Crane more than it should. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, Crane knows a smart man would hop the first ship bound for China. But something unexpectedly stops him. His heart.
Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes watching him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. And Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.
The rats are closing in, and something has to give…
It’s been only a couple months and I hardly remember the first book and the third is coming out, so of course this is the best time ever to read the second. I remembered just enough to recognise the characters as they were reintroduced and what I didn’t remember I was conveniently reminded by handy little recaps. Well done, Charles, well done.
Having said that, the best part of this book wasn’t the titular possession nor the early smut absent—rightly so—from the first book, but the feel of character consistency. Deepening feelings and moving from A to B felt natural for the main couple, and their declarations of love actually felt worth the wait, which is rare these days. Even if I didn’t learn nearly as much as I wanted about the secondary characters.
Unfortunately, other problems remained. The language wasn’t quite as polished as it could have been and was filled with anachronisms that pulled me out of the story. If you know me at all, you know I don’t usually notice these things, so when I do it’s pretty egregious.
If you liked The Magpie Lord you’ll probably like A Case of Posession too, and you’ll keep on reading for the characters rather than the plot, which I am going to do.