Witchmark

Narrated by: Samuel Roukin
Series: The Kingston Cycle, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (202 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

A stunning, addictive fantasy debut that combines intrigue, magic, betrayal, and romance in an original world with a historical WWI tone. In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a world war, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own. 

Moving at a brilliant pace and pulsing with deadly intrigue and unforgettable characters, Witchmark grabs listeners and doesn't let go until the thrilling conclusion. 

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be a slave to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn't leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family. Even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veteran's hospital, Miles can't hide what he truly is.

©2018 C. L. Polk (P)2018 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    116
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    112
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    115
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A worthwhile add

This was well written, had engaging characters and maintained an engaging momentum. Fantasy with a LGBTQ character that was relatable and easy to invest in. I enjoyed the world building and am curious to see it expanded upon. I am looking forward to more from this author. In need of a good read, I'd recommend adding this to your library.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing read

This book was a wonderful suprise. It was well written and kept me engaged and guessing through out. The main characters were likeable/hateable and I'm hoping there is a sequel because it is a Great story. Cant say enough how much I liked this one.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

hell of a ride

I know nothing of romance books, but Witchmark by CL Polk was the HEA bookclub pic for december on r/fantasy, and I’d heard only good things about it, so I went in. I was expecting a nice chill love story between two men, maybe some sort of fantasy of manners. I was not prepared for the wild ride this book had in store for me. Yes there was a love story and it was very sweet and I liked it, but oh boy was there a lot of story beyond that, and it got seriously dark.

It starts off pretty slow and chill, with Miles Singer working at a mental hospital. He’s a very good man by the way, he’s so compassionate and kind, a sort of Hawkeye Pierce but with magic instead of sarcasm. Then a poisoned patient is brought in by a handsome stranger, and I thought oh right, this is gonna be a murder mystery, nice. While trying to find clues about this murder victim, Miles is also trying to solve a medical mystery, a dangerous madness that affects soldiers recently come back from war. So about a third/halfway into the book I thought, ok this is gonna be about solving this puzzle with the soldiers. But then in the last third it becomes clear that there’s an even bigger fish, strap in everybody cause it gets insane. The final showdown ending scene is so dramatic, powerful and emotional. I wasn’t expecting it all to wrap up so well in a relatively short book, but I was very happy with the ending.

I really liked Miles, but I’m generally a huge fan of good characters. I passionately hated his sister, especially because she was seemingly moderate, wanting change for the oppressed class, but really pulling the same oppressive shit herself. She’s gonna be the protagonist in book 2, and I’m very concerned over how that’ll go. I thought love interest was interesting enough, though I was expecting a lot more of the book to be focused on their relationship, that’s not a complaint just an observation.

Oh I almost forgot, bicycles are an important part of worldbuilding, with even a bicycle chase at one point, and that’s super cool.
The narration was lovely and atmospheric

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

More than a bit of a cliffhanger, but so good it's worth it. The narrator has a really pleasant voice. He doesn't provide distinct voices for each character, but somehow that isn't confusing. I did understand who was talking at all times.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Magical plot, world, and LGBT romance

4.5 stars
I absolutely loved this!
Anyone looking for an adorable LGBT+ romance, historical fantasy, murder mystery, that explores upper class privilege, and the consequences of war? It's right here!
The beginning was a bit tough for me because I thought it would be more historical urban fantasy, and it did vaguely resemble England after WWI, but the places and past events were all made up, and the magically system is very unique.
I loved all the characters, Tristan reminded of Howl (from Howl's Moving Castle only more put together). The murder mystery was intriguing, and I had a ton of fun finding out were it lead, and how everything tied together. What an interesting outcome it had in the end!
Miles and Tristen where so cute, and I eagerly await the next book to see what happens to them.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book with a poor narrator

This was a fantastic story, original and interesting. The characters were well flushed out so that you felt like you knew them. The bad guys were completely believable; what they did, although evil, is something people would do when hungry for power. The downfall of this book was the narrator. Quite often it was difficult to determine who was speaking and when the speaker changed. This was annoying to say the least. Might be a better experience in book form.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

It didn't win the Nebula!?

Spare, warm, intriguing, exciting, a rare treasure of a story. This is a masterful writer who controls his prose and brings us something entirely new. I liked it so much I listened to it twice in a row.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

New Favorite!

This book was very well written. Excellent performance from the reader. I can't wait for the next one!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific book

Well written and paced, well narrated and fascinating alternate world building. Can’t wait a year for the sequel! Highly recommend. I will surely come back and listen to this one again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

very cute very very cute cute cute and cute it was

cute very cute and beautiful and adorable but it's a little bit good to have

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Talli S
  • Talli S
  • 03-14-19

A fascinating story

At first there were parts of this book that irritated me, and then as I thought about it, it was things that happened in books that featured a M/F romance and we come to not be ready to see them in M/M romances. I actually loved Miles and Tristan (again if my spellings are slightly off, I am dyslexic and listened to this book on audio), they are exactly what I needed to see. I know it is weird but this is the kind of book that you could easily do as a different romance. It was so good, and honestly it was great to see a book with many characters who are LGBT and don't have that as their primary characteristic. Miles is interested in Tristan, but he's also brave, a doctor, a rebel, inquisitive, intelligent and kind.

I loved the elements of politics in this, with the secondaries and primaries, it was something I loved to read about and wanted to know more about it. I loved understanding how the system worked, how it was flawed and how it needed to change and found myself just as frustrated as Miles was with the position he was dealt in life. I felt his struggle and could really relate to him.

I just loved this book so much, there is no way for my to express how much I loved it, although I found it, in part, predictable. I know that the sequel is a change of main character, and possibly a companion novel rather than a traditional sequel, but I am excited to read about Grace and what she does after the end of these events (and hope that there will be some more information about Miles and Tristan because I need to know).

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Payton L.
  • Payton L.
  • 02-07-19

Okay

Good narration though I found myself losing interest in the mystery aspect of the book. Though the playfulness between the protagonists was enjoyable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-21-19

Really enjoyed this

Really great story and excellent narration. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for easyreader
  • easyreader
  • 09-09-18

Fascinating!

What a clever story! I listened to the audiobook first, which I always find harder as I have to rely on the narrator to create voices and atmosphere; if I’ve read the book first, I’m able to use my imagination to fill in the gaps! That said, Samuel Roukin did a super job. There were a couple of times I stumbled and wasn’t sure which character was speaking, but on the whole, it all flowed well. The story was complex and I should have read it first to enable me to form a complete picture but instead, I listened to the complete story twice! What an unusual and interesting world C. L. Polk has created. There was a mystery to solve and as the story unfolded, the true horror of what lay beneath, revealed! The story was told through Miles, who was strong, steadfast and good. An unlikely partnership develops and we see the bonds of friendship grow and strengthen between the two leads as they unravel the strands of what begins as two mysteries, but which ultimately lead to the unveiling of all! All very well executed and a refreshingly good read (listen!)

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-29-19

WITCHES

ok I'll be honest. I struggled to start because I realised I had the same narrator from a previous book and his continuous tone never seemed to change. The tone suited to the dramatic parts but not for the more mundane. Story was interesting, a bit slow developing, but again, I nearly gave it away because of the voice. He is clear and well enunciated but the content tone that never seemed to change irritated me immensely. it might just be me but that is how I felt.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-08-20

Good Plot, Lacklustre Performance, Dull Characters

I'll be honest, I only persevered through this because I knew it would be a short one. The narrators constant monotone and almost nonexistent voice-acting made the story not only difficult to be drawn into, but hard to follow (there were moments of dialogue exchange between the main male characters that was impossible to follow because both of them sounded the same - and they obviously talk a lot to each other!).

The story line was interesting enough but I felt like so many things were left unexplored, which is almost expected with such a short novel, but considering the rich world was one of the only highlights of the book, it probably deserved a bit more attention.

The characters were frustrating and I felt a bit one-dimensional. While I really wanted to get behind the main romance - it just really lacked any depth, mostly because the characters involved did. Observing the story unfold from Miles' eyes would hopefully give him a bit more substance, but unfortunately he too is a bit of a wet blanket. The story starts with the intriguing premise of him 'running away from his past' and once he begins to be inevitably drawn back and you learn what he ran from, well. He doesn't really put up much of a fight about it. It's a wonder anything got done by the main trio between the disfunction and distrust between Miles and Grace (No redeeming qualities about that sibling relationship in my eyes), and the complete lack of chemistry in the romance. (If I had to give a star for characters it would be one, and that would be solely because of Robin. Any and all the personality and admirable qualities went to her.)

Three stars goes towards the world-building - which I only wish was built more. A beautiful magical historical setting. I think my favourite scenes would be those of Miles cycling around, or doing idle rounds in the hospital. The mundane little fillers really made this world.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Fiona
  • Fiona
  • 08-23-19

More than a beautiful love story

If only there was more..

At first I found the narration droll but the voice was so unusual I kept listening. I am so grateful I did. The narrator was the perfect fit; emotion creeping ever so gently as the bond between characters grew.

Mystical with an aged historical element, I loved truly this book. Thank you .

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Patris
  • Patris
  • 07-02-19

Quite boring

The main plot was interesting enough but there wasn't much else going on. Not nearly enough to make it interesting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tim
  • Tim
  • 06-11-19

loved the story engaging characters

thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters, I found the ideas novel and intriguing. thanks to the author

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for jasmin
  • jasmin
  • 06-17-19

different read. really enjoyed it

I really enjoyed this book it was different and made a new world to find out about. I would love to learn more about this world if a second book was written ill get it. great read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-23-19

Great book.

Could have used a few sex scenes.

Excellent mystery of the lost souls.

Looking forward to more.