Review: Uncertain Magic by Laura Kinsale

Monday, May 31

Title:  Uncertain Magic*
Author:  Laura Kinsale
Series:  N/A 
Genre:  Historical Romance w/ some paranormal elements
Publisher:  Casablanca Sourcebooks
Format:  Trade size paperback
Date/Year: May 2010 (previously published in 1987)

*This book was provided to me by the publisher for review

Summary from the publisher:

A man damned by suspicion and innuendo

Dreadful rumors swirl around the impoverished Irish lord known as “The Devil Earl.” But Faelan Savigar hides a dark secret, for even he doesn’t know what dreadful deeds he may be capable of…

A woman cursed by the gift of sight

Roderica Delamore fears no man will ever want a wife who can read his every thought and emotion, until she encounters Faelan. As the two find their way to each other against all odds, Roddy becomes determined to save Faelen from his terrifying and mysterious ailment. But will their love end up saving him…or destroying her? A breathtaking historical romance filled with poignancy, darkness, love, and an unexpected twist of Gaelic magic…

My Musings:

Roderica Delamore has been gifted with the ability to feel and experience the emotions of everyone around her, both in humans and animals, which she oftentimes feels is more of a curse than a blessing.  She fears that she will never experience love or have a family, until she meets The Devil Earl, who seems to be the one person that she cannot “feel”, so she offers him her fortune in the hopes of having an amicable marriage of convenience with the dream of a loving relationship.

Faelan, The Devil Earl, is a brooding and haunted hero who believes the worst of himself and decides to throw caution to the wind at an early age and earn the title he has been given.  His past and his memories surrounding the death of his father have led him and the Ton to believe that he murdered his father.  His guilt drives him to lead a life of reckless abandon, until he finds Roddy.  She becomes his desperate chance to save his soul as well as his Irish estate.

Their journey to love takes them from the English countryside, to the hustle and bustle of London, and finally to the wilds of the Irish estate that had been abandoned and neglected where they find themselves embroiled an Irish revolt against English rule, as well as Faery magic.  Roddy and Fealan’s story is rich in emotion, love and experiences that I loved from beginning to the end.

I loved UNCERTAIN MAGIC!  It’s not a new release, rather a re-release of the same title previously published in 1987.  I found it interesting that it felt like a book that was written decades ago, not because it seems dated, but because the plot is much more expansive than romance novels that are currently being published.  It’s approximately 455 pages, whereas most romances today are usually no more than 350 pages (if that), and I think that allowed the author much more freedom to explore the hero and heroines love story in much more depth with many twists and turns that kept me guessing right up until the end.  I would have given it a perfect 5.0 stars, but I thought the ending was a little weak after the magic of the rest of the story.  I highly recommend it to anyone who loves historical romance....with just a touch of magic.

Favorite Pivotal Moment: (the heroine is gifted with the ability to read peoples minds, which has been a blessing and a curse, and until this moment has never been able to read her husbands mind)

"He was not the Devil Earl—he was only a man, and he needed her.  Wanted her.  Let her look at him and see into his soul laid bare and still loved her, with a fierceness that made her want to laugh and cry at once.  The way he saw her….she never would have guessed:  her strangeness he thought beautiful; her obstinance he called courage; her childish whims were joy and laughter to him, who had never known innocent laughter before."   p. 477-478  Uncertain Magic by Laura Kinsale


Overall:  4.50 stars
Sensuality level: 3.0 (while the love scenes are not lengthy or as detailed as romances currently published, our hero is a very passionate man)

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Armenia June 3, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

I loved your review of this book. After finishing Lessons in French last week. I was not ready to put the book down, it was that enjoyable. Luckily towards the end the publisher included Chapter 1 of Uncertain Magic, and I was quickly hooked.

To my amazement its not a new release but a reprint. So where have I been? I could not find any Laura Kinsale books at the library. Heads will be rolling once I'm through, and they'll just get my wishlist to replenish those missing books on "K" shelf in the Romance section. Whew!

Anyway, thanks for the recommendation. I just love the bigger size on this mass market edition.

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