Yet again I have to characterize a book as "nice", and it's killing me to say so. It's a nice read, peeps, but it doesn't deliver much excitem..Show More »ent. It's pretty much Pride & Prejudice with a couple of different twists and a tiny bit of magic to spice things up. Overall it's a failed promise of all the things it could have been.
It might be just a tiny personal grudge on my behalf, but if you are creating a universe with alternative history of 19th century England where magic while still frowned upon in high society, is real and practiced, you might want to make it a bigger part of the plot.
Instead we are going through the phases of Pride & Prejudice with slightly changed names and slightly changed plot where here and there magic is thrown in to encourage the characters to think and act beyond what's expected of them.
I was surprised by it because I picked this book up solely on the strength of C.E. Murphy's name. I remember her urban fantasy as gritty and dark, and I at least expected some sort of reflection of it in Magic & Manners.
Alas, it's merely a pleasant read, but if you crave something a bit stronger and more twisted, try Sorcerer to the Crown or Shades of Milk and Honey instead.
Magic & Manners is quiet and unassuming and perfectly lovely. The characterization is full of depth and charm. I actually enjoyed all the sisters, and their friends and admirers.The countryside descriptions are idyllic and come to life easily while listening to the superb narrator. If you like your alternative history not to became a historical fantasy with paranormal elements, this book will be more to your liking. Unfortunately, I am used to stronger stuff in my fiction, and I found it lacking.