Series: The Kingston Cycle #1
Author: C.L. Polk
Length: 318 pages
Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆
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.
Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved 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, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.
When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.
This is a great book with an aesthetic that I hadn’t seen before: first because it’s Edwardian England instead of the usual Victorian so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of social classes or technology. Second because the magic was so different that I wassucked into the world. AND there’s
fairies otherworldly creatures that also come into play
The story plays with how magic would influence societal structures and how the higher classes would keep their control over everyone else. It gets dark and it’s awesome
Our main character is a medic who used to work for the military and is doing everything in his power to help but when the government is obsessed with just results and doesn’t care about the state the soldiers end up in… it’s not easy.
Things change with a murder and a hot guy, as they tend to do. And that’s as far as I’ll go without spoiling you anything. Suffice to say I loved this book and In recommend it 100%
Miles deserves only good things in his life. He got out of an abusive home and decided to go help people the only way he knew how (getting traumatized in the army) then came back and kept helping everyone. It’s a testament to his character that everyone seems to like him or just ignore him, he is reserved but not rude. Then a dead man asks for his help and he gives it, it’s not like Nick was gonna come back and ask him if he found his murderers but he does it anyways; and then this hot stranger wants to get involved as well and Miles works with him as well. My baby didn’t deserve to get pulled back into that toxic family but I’m glad everything worked out in the end (somehow)
Tristan is amazing and I love him. Which I say about most love interests but I don’t care, that the point of them. He is a Gentleman (TM) and he is so kind to everyone, although he is almost a god he prefers to pretend to be a human and talk to people. I loved the bonding in the end, especially the fact that he did it out of need and he’d undo it once Miles healed, even if they were gonna bond again later, because consent. He is the perfect man and it makes sense because he isn’t actually human…
I reaaaaaally disliked Grace. She was not only useless but actively damaging to her brother. She even pretended to care for him to then enslave him and then refused to set him free, and had the balls to blame their father?? as if she couldn’t snap that old bastard’s neck with a thought? She even treated Tristan like shit because she thought he was a witch and she didn’t want him being with her brother (the audacity), when he was nothing but kind and accommodating for both of them,
The romance was exquisitely done and I’ll go down with this ship. They are so tender with each other.
This book was dark without falling in cliches. I mean, we are talking about possessions and soul-stealing and murders and all kinds of dark magic but I still enjoyed it and didn’t get bored and the story didn’t become predictable
So. Much. Bike. Riding. It made me want to ride my own bike through the city just because.
Creepy aristocratic families founding fake asylums to keep poor powerful people contained and drain their resources? There’s so much social commentary in that one that I could write a whole thesis.
The copper thing was genius, I never suspected but when it was revealed it blew my mind. The way technology and magic interconnect and how one boosts/dampens the other is really interesting to me in fantasy worlds so this plot twist won me over.
As I said before, I didn’t love Grace, I felt like, as a reader, I should have had a moment where I understood her motivations and forgave her or whatever but everything she did just made her look worse to me.
I feel like Mile’s father should have been a bit more prominent in the story if he was gonna play such a role in the finale, maybe being more in the background, it just feels like he came out of nowhere.
I have so many questions that I hope book 2 answers so I’m not putting them down as things I didn’t love, just things I hope to love on the next installment
Do you have any idea how much work it is to be makestic?
“I thought you were immortal”
“Only if we live a boring life”
Let me think of coming back to you.