Review – Hummingbird




A Charade Of Magic #1


Helen Harper


Urban Fantasy


The best way to live in the Mage ruled city of Glasgow is to keep your head down and your mouth closed.
That’s not usually a problem for Mairi Wallace. By day she works at a small shop selling tartan and by night she studies to become an apothecary. She knows her place and her limitations. All that changes, however, when her old childhood friend sends her a desperate message seeking her help – and the Mages themselves cross Mairi’s path. Suddenly, remaining unnoticed is no longer an option.
There’s more to Mairi than she realises but, if she wants to fulfil her full potential, she’s going to have to fight to stay alive – and only time will tell if she can beat the Mages at their own game.
From twisted wynds and tartan shops to a dangerous daemon and the magic infused City Chambers, the future of a nation might lie with one solitary woman.


3stars rating

I really liked the setting for this book; while we still have elements like mages, daemons and the like, it felt original! The scenes were clear and well detailed. The only thing messing with me was the slang used. It’s in Glasgow, so I guess it’s only normal, but it pulled me from the story all the time. I just couldn’t cope with it 🙁

Character development:

Mages being the bad guys, who would have thought 😀 it’s a nice twist on things, to be honest.
Mairi is mute but soon discovers that she has a lot of power stuck inside. Her life wasn’t easy for far, and it doesn’t seem it’s about to get any easier. I didn’t dislike her, but she didn’t really do anything for me. Nickolas is someone who did pique my interest, just not enough to save the story 🙁

Pacing & Flow:

The book was pretty slow, setting up the stage until about halfway when we got a few good twists and things sped up a bit. It was, however, a bit of a struggle to get to the point as I just couldn’t get into the story.

The book itself:

The book itself was well written with no (noticeable) errors. There is sex described (if that is important to you).
It has 286 pages spread over 30 chapters and is told from Mairi’s point of view.

Final Thoughts:

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book, and all in all, this was unfortunately not my cup of tea. I wonder if things would have been different if I could set aside the language issues and immersed myself in the story.
Check out the sample chapters, I mean, the premise is great, and it might just be what you’re looking for!