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Guest Review: TRACES OF MAGIC by Monica Fairview


Elizabeth and Darcy are finally settling down at the Netherfield Royal Mages Academy when a mysterious flare of magic sends them scampering to discover what is happening. But they are soon left with more questions than answers. Why has Elizabeth’s sister Lydia gone missing? Who is the mysterious gentleman they encountered at an inn? And more importantly, why have they been summoned to London to attend to the Prince Regent himself? As Elizabeth and Darcy grapple with unsettling revelations, they find themselves caught up in a web of deception that could lead to the downfall of the Kingdom itself. If you enjoy your Pride and Prejudice with a twist of magic and a hint of Harry Potter, you will love following Darcy and Elizabeth’s romance in this rollicking Jane Austen fantasy adventure set in the Regency world. Traces of Magic is the third book in the magical Mr. Darcy series. It can be read as a complete, standalone story, although it might be useful to read the earlier books.


Opening line:

It was amazing what a difference the presence of eleven fresh young gentlemen from the Kent Magical Academy made.


Three books in for a series of books--that must be read in order--and Monica Fairview continues to dazzle with her blend of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice world with magic and mystery.


Traces of Magic opens at Netherfield Park, the temporary home of the Royal Mage Academy where twin Janus Mage pair and married couple, Darcy and Elizabeth, work to prepare the young mages for their future role, influence the Mage Council to come out of the dark ages and consider newer innovations in spellwork, and combat open enemies and those hiding nearer to hand.  The Darcys have come a long way from hostile, reluctant partners to a pair who respect, trust, and know each other well.  This is good because they are called upon to split up when two equal needs are imperative.  Never fear, fans, they have some pivotal moments back-to-back and side-by-side.


The book adds Lydia Bennet as a third main character, and she steals the show. If the series wasn’t lively enough, the entre of Miss Lydia Bennet to the mix causes palpitations for many.  Her gutsy naiveté may be just the exploitive weakness needed for an enemy to break the defenses of the Royal Mages straight to the British throne. She knows enough about magic to be dangerous and has never been reined in. Lord was she a pill to read about, but that means she was written in the spirit of Austen’s original fifth Bennet daughter.  She faced all Lizzy faced when she first encountered the denizens of the Royal Academy, but her spoilt, petted nature gave her no means to cope with the rigors of academic life, rules, and bullies which drew my pity and had me longing for her to learn from it and get better.  I thought bringing out her flaws in this painful way and then sending her on a misadventure of her own making was an interesting character-driven side to a plot also loaded with good build to the action so that the climax made for a frenzied page-turner.


Incidentally, a certain antagonist will add some spice to the story, too. They get away to show up later in the series, no doubt.  And, Mr. Bennet, well look at him surprise everyone about his past and his ability at crunch time.


Traces of Magic read swiftly and, while it didn’t appear to progress the series much, I suspect the intro of new characters and that which the villains brought to light have crucial bearing on what comes later.  I enjoy the blend of Regency manners with the magical world in this gentler-paced though exciting "Mr. Darcy’s Magic" series and recommend it to Gaslamp Fantasy fans.

Traces of Magic by Monica Fairview

#3 "Mr. Darcy’s Magic" series

Gaslamp Fantasy

Publisher:  White Soup Press

Published:  9.28.23

Pages:  240

Source:  Author

Sellers:  Amazon


Monica Fairview, author


Monica Fairview writes Jane Austen variations and sequels as well as Fantasy Pride & Prejudice variations. After graduating from the University of Illinois, she worked as a literature professor and then as an acupuncturist in Boston before moving to London. Monica enjoys reading Jane Austen, historical, fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels, but avoids zombies like the plague. She loves to laugh, drink lots of tea, and visit Regency houses, and she is convinced that her two cats can understand everything she says. If you'd like to be notified of her latest release, please press the FOLLOW button on Monica Fairview's Amazon page. If you'd like to find out more about Monica, you can find her Darcy Regency Novels website , Austen Variations, and her own blog.


Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, baseball, cats, Scooby Doo, and chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. In 2012, she submitted her first book review and is currently an associate reviewer.

Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Sorry, no horror...or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.




Sep 13, 2023

Thank you for having my review on your site, Christina! And many thanks to Sophia Rose for her charming review. I very much enjoyed seeing the novel through Sophia's point of view. Many thanks to you both.

Sep 13, 2023
Replying to

Ah, a pleasure, Monica! Thanks for popping in.

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