Lolita Deb just finished Heart’s Blood by Gail Dayton and asked me to post a review for her.
This is the second book in the Steampunk series by Gail Dayton. She continues to explore a world where magic co-exists uneasily with normal Victorian society.
Master conjurer Grey Carteret is used to doing things his own way. He doesn’t want any connections that tie him down and he avoids most responsibilities. But, when he regains consciousness in a London gutter not far from a man killed by magic, he needs help.
When he’s arrested for the murder, the street urchin who’s been guarding him offers a deal, take him on as an apprentice and he’ll get help for Grey. It’s a nasty deal for a man who prides himself on remaining unattached to anyone, but he has to accept.
Imagine his surprise to discover his new apprentice is actually a gently reared young woman who has fallen on hard times. Not only that, but Pearl Parkin possesses the gift for sorcery, the greatly feared blood magic.
Dayton continues to craft this world, with wonderful explanations of the way the different forms of magic: conjury, sorcery, alchemy and wizardry work. In fact, most of the focus of the book is on magic and there are no goggles, airships, or mad inventors to be found. There are dead zones and strange machines that are a continuing premise through this series of books.
There is also a relationship, as Grey discovers he actually enjoys being with his apprentice and Pearl moves from hero worship to falling in love. Watching the couple discover how well-suited they are for each other is a pleasure. The book includes the very Victorian mores of the times, including some magicians who take issue with women studying magic.
If you’re ready to move beyond vampires, werewolves and shape-shifters, this is a nice change of pace for a paranormal read.
Lolita Deb, aka Deborah Schneider, is currently having a Valentine’s contest. Follow her blog tour and all commenters have a chance to win a basket of goodies including chocolate and a starbucks card.