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Book Review - A Madness of Angels, Kate Griffin - Ed's journal
Book Review - A Madness of Angels, Kate Griffin
This is the first in ... sort of two series of books. (as in, there's two sets in the same world, but following different lead characters, mostly).

It's an 'urban magic' books, set in London. Having typed that, you may be thinking of several other really good examples of 'urban fantasy' - such as Dresden Files, or Alex Verus, or perhaps Rivers of London. It's a little like those, but perhaps more the latter.

I have to say, I found it somewhat hard going at first, because - well, because I was expecting more of the same - a Wizard, who happens to live in a city type of story. And it's not like that at all. It's more sorcery and shamanism than wizardry. By which I mean - the 'magic' of the city is bound to the patterns of life _in_ the city, so some of the time, the story telling seems almost dreamlike.

It also starts in a bit of a rush and confusion - which is difficult at first, but gets easier. Bear with it - the protagonist has been out of circulation for a while (which helps with introducing you to the shape of the world).

It's also incredibly evocative - the underpinning principle is that magic is life, and the power of a modern sorcerer (or shaman, or warlock, or wizard) are innately tied to the patterns of life within the city. I like that it's set in London - which is a city with an awful lot of history to it. And that history is part of the magic. So you have the 'powers of the city' - the bag lady, the beggar king, the neon court, the graffiti artists. You have the magic of pigeons (which see everything) and foxes. You have the power of a warding, based on the terms and conditions of the London underground, and graffiti paint being (potentially) magic sigils.

It's a different sort of thing, because it is innately tied to the magic of a city, and I think it's really marvelous as a result (if slightly harder going).
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