Title: Beggar Magic
Author: H. L. Burke
Date read: April 25, 2017
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Fantasy / Steampunk
Year pub: 2014
Pages: (Kindle copy doesn’t have page numbers… Amazon claims paperback version would be 208 pages)
Fave character: Brick (also Vickers, near the end)
Source: Either got it free on Amazon one time, or free for signing up for H.L. Burke’s newsletter; don’t remember which.
Notes: I read this book for the Fellowship of Fantasy book club April 2017
Links: Goodreads • Amazon • Author Website • Author Blog
Ten Thoughts on Beggar Magic:
- Another fun yet genre-defying read! (Apparently I really love those. XD) It started out like a mild Steampunk story with elements of very original fantasy, and then turned into a sort of academy-story, which turned into a murder mystery, and all with a strong thread of friendship and a dash of romance. Basically it was great. 😀
- The world was super interesting! It’s a psuedo-19th-century kind of feel, with a Steampunk flavor, but some other parts of it seem kind of more old-fashioned. I loved the fantasy element of the “Strains” which are musical wisps of something like magic/sprites. There are class-distinctions based on how well you can hear/use the Strains. And much of the story takes place in a sort of academy thing in an intriguingly-arranged city with different sections specializing in different things. Anyway, for some reason I found the whole world and setup super fascinating. I could also see everything SO clearly. And the “costumes” and rifles and just—LOVE!
- There were several directions I would think the story was going, but it kept doing something totally different and unexpected. I don’t know if that means I’m disappointed, or if it means it was awesome because it was so surprising and original and kept me on my toes! I guess I’m not actually disappointed, just… mentioning it was different than I thought. It also got QUITE intense near the end there! I kept forgetting to breathe. o.o
- Brick! I really liked Brick. 😀 Brick is a deaf guard who is absolutely epic but also kindhearted and sweet—basically Brick is awesome and he was my favorite. 🙂 All the parts with him were the best. ❤
- Leilani, our heroine, was all right—for some reason I felt a little detached from her? But I liked her okay. I thought it was neat how in most books she’d be considered the “side-kick” and Zebedy would be the hero, but Leilani got to be the heroine of this. 😀 Leilani only has “beggar magic” which means she isn’t particularly gifted or special, like Zebedy is… so normally, Zebedy would be the heroine and main character, and I thought it was neat how it’s basically a story from the POV of the “chosen one’s” side-kick. So cool!
- Zebedy was spoiled and I didn’t usually like her too much, but I didn’t always dislike her either… and sometimes I felt sorry for her… Eh, I don’t know. I might have liked her more if the story was from her perspective, but like I said above, I did like how it was told from Leilani’s POV.
- Leilani’s and Zebedy’s friendship was really cute (if occasionally rather trying, as many besties-stories can be…). 🙂 As were… other relationships which are spoilers. Much cuteness all-around! ❤ EEP. My little adorableness-loving heart is VERY happy. ^_^ (Especially with how everything turned out at the end. :))
- I was really surprised by Vickers’ character—at first I SUPER disliked him (and for some reason thought he was way younger than he was), but somewhere along the way I realized I’d actually… grown to like him. o.o Rather a lot, actually! I wished we could have seen more of Vickers. But this hardly ever happens where I dislike a character but then end up absolutely loving them! So kudos on that.
- THERE WAS A PLOT TWIST. WHICH I SUDDENLY GUESSED DUE TO A SUBTLE HINT. AND I WANTED IT TO BE TRUE. AND THEN IT WAS. AND IT MADE ME HAPPY. 😀
- Overall, there were a couple things—hard to pinpoint—which kept this from becoming a top-favorite-of-all-time, but it still seems to deserve a spot on the 5-star list, and on the whole it was a super fascinating, suspenseful, original read, and funny with great dialog too! I’m actually super fond of this story and really enjoyed it! 🙂
“Jess and I do not flirt. We converse.”
“I didn’t know conversing involved so much eye-batting.”
“Walk like a lady.”
Like a quick lady, Leilani decided.
“It’s a long story, but Vicky is my nemesis.”
Leilani mulled over this as the girls took the path back to the maze entrance. She had never known anyone with a nemesis before.
Leilani hoped she wouldn’t lose her ability to think if she ever fell in love.
“I don’t understand it either, but Art fellows like things that don’t make sense.”
“That’s Art. They get all the odd ones.”
“Vickers Buffet, eighteen.”
“That is Buffet as in to hit someone repeatedly with a blunt object? Correct?” A smile played about Zeb’s mouth.
Vickers smirked at her. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
“Not really. Did you get that, Leilani?”
Leilani quickly scratched out the information. “Vickers Buffet, eighteen, likes to hit things repeatedly with blunt objects. Check.”
[Leilani reading a book:] It was a romance, the dry kind where the boy and girl fought for foolish reasons, and she kind of hoped one or both would die before the end.
“Did you come here just to insult my office?” [Vickers, of course. He is awesome. XD]
~ ~ ~
What do you think? Intriguing? Do you have any favorite steampunk-esque, or academy-type, or unique fantasy-world books?
Thanks for reading! 🙂
Dream away in those pages . . .
~ The Page Dreamer