Jackdaw takes place in Charles’ Charm of Magpies universe, a series of Victorian-era queer paranormal romance novels. It isn’t a strict perquisite to read the first three books in the series, but readers will benefit from a better understanding of the larger story arc.
Jonah Pastern played a supporting role in Flight of Magpies, the third Charm of Magpies book. I don’t want to reveal too much, but I will say that Jonah appeared as one of the villains of the piece, so right away, it’s interesting to see him as the protagonist in a romance.
Once upon a time, Jonah met Ben, and they were very happy together.
Until they weren’t.
Ben has every reason to be angry with Jonah for betraying and abandoning him, but he can’t stop thinking about his flighty erstwhile lover.
So, they decide to try again, and things seem to be going well for them.
Until their past catches up with them.
Oh, gracious, I loved this book so much. It was full of angst and heartache, but there was always a glimmer of optimism- hope springs eternal, and all that. Ben has lost everything because of Jonah, but he can’t walk away from their shared past. Jonah has never had anyone care about him; he spent most of his life only caring about himself because that’s what he had to survive. It’s not that he doesn’t care, but having to consider someone else’s feelings is new for him.
And that’s the most fascinating part of this book: not only do we see the redemption and reformation of a former villain, but we also learn more about his motivations for taking on such a villainous role. Furthermore, I’m going to choose my words carefully to avoid big spoilers, but Jackdaw contains even more role reversal, and frankly, it was terrifying to see familiar characters appearing in a different dynamic.
I have loved all of the books I have read by KJ Charles, but Jackdaw stands out as one of my most favorite. I would absolutely recommend it to others.