Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch (standalone)
Themes & Genres: LGBT, M/M, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, magic, folklore
WARNING: Mature Content
Lord Thornby has been trapped on his father’s isolated Yorkshire estate for a year. There are no bars or chains; he simply can’t leave. His sanity is starting to fray.
When industrial magician John Blake arrives to investigate a case of witchcraft, he finds the peculiar, arrogant Thornby as alarming as he is attractive. John soon finds himself caught up in a dark fairytale, where all the rules of magic—and love—are changed.
To set Thornby free, both men must face life-changing truths—and John must accept that the brave, witty man who’s winning his heart may also be about to break it. Can they escape a web of magic that’s as perilous as love?
What I think of the book:
Today’s review is going to be on Lee Welch’s Salt Magic, Skin Magic, which comes out on August 9th of this year. As you’ve probably guessed, I got an ARC of this book, and I’m so, so happy that I did.
Lee Welch’s writing style and take on magic are absolutely captivating. Usually, when I read a book with a magic system in it, I find gaps in said system, but here everything made sense even when it didn’t make sense. The author has laid the foundations so well that when the character who practices magic – John, says he don’t understand something magical, you believe it’s possible as it was previously established that even though magic is taught to and studied by a selected few, they don’t have all the answers and there’s room to wonder.
And there were details that made the magic both familiar and new. For example, John uses sigils, which is common in such books, but he also befriends the materials and tools of his craft, which sets this aspect of the story apart from many others. The author gave inanimate objects personality and made me fond of them, even though they are not mine and therefore, I have no sentimental attachment to them. Seriously, I was actually worried about the fate of a pile of salt. Yes. You read that right: the author made me feel anxious that a pile of salt would separate from John for good.
John Blake himself is a very charming character, and so is Soren, a.k.a. Lord Thornby. Their relationship develops pretty fast, but with everything Lee Welch throws at them, it feels that weeks – if not months – have passed. The author also makes them so well suited for each other that the feelings they grow towards one another feel genuine and not rushed.
I’d also very much like to talk about the plot, but unfortunately that would mean spoilers, and I keep my reviews spoiler-free. All I’ll say on the matter is that it was highly engaging.
So are there things I didn’t like or felt they were out of place?
There was one thing: I think John has the experience and knowledge to figure the mystery out sooner than he did. Of course, that would’ve taken away from the story, so I can see why the author didn’t have him solve it earlier, and to be honest, I’m not really bothered by it. It’s just that I’d figured that particular part already so while I was reading, I kept expecting him to have an “Aha!” moment and that didn’t happen until the very end of the book.
My only other complaint is that this book is a standalone and I wouldn’t be able to read more about these two characters and their world.
Who would I recommend this book to? I’d recommend this book to everyone who enjoys magic and folklore, and especially to fans of KJ Charles’ A Charm of Magpies series (read my review on Book 1 – The Magpie Lord, here).
My rating: (5/5 seashells)
Would I re-read this book? Hell, yes!
Am I interested in other books by this author? Yes.
Where can you pre-order/buy the book*?
*Links take you straight to the book.
Add Salt Magic, Skin Magic to your Goodreads shelf (link takes you straight to the book)
Have you read anything by Lee Welch?
What did you think of it?
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