Melissa Marr. Bramble, $17.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-88413-8With this energetic queer romantasy, Marr (The Hidden Dragon) launches an exciting new duology. Librarian Ellie Brandeau’s hobby of researching missing persons cases has convinced her that only interesting people disappear, so she sets out to be as “ordinary” as possible. Then a glamorous woman walks into the library, gives her name as “Prospero,” and kisses Ellie. Ellie’s barely caught her breath from that encounter when a car crash and a series of bizarre hallucinations leave her lost in a strange land—where she encounters Prospero again. This hidden place, Prospero informs her, is Crenshaw, where all budding witches—Ellie included—are brought to learn to use their talents. Indeed, the missing persons Ellie’s been reading about are all here, yanked from their normal lives and, by Crenshaw’s rules, they can only leave if they leave their magic behind. Now the land is ailing and, according to Prospero, Ellie is the one fated to save it. The politics and intrigues of Crenshaw make this feel more fantasy than romance and it occasionally becomes tricky to keep track of Ellie and Prospero’s shifting motivations. Still, deep worldbuilding and a large, lively cast add depth and emotional weight on the way to a cliff-hanger that will have Marr’s fans clamoring for book two. This is a promising start.
From New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr comes a brand new contemporary fantasy novel about an unassuming librarian who discovers that she has fallen in love with a witch.
Ellie loves working in her local library. She loves baking scones and investigating disappearances in her spare time. But all of that is about to change when an intriguingly beautiful woman appears as if out of nowhere. The pull between them is undeniable, and Ellie is not sure that she wants to resist.
Prospero is a powerful witch from the magical land of Crenshaw. She is driven to save her dying homeland, and a prophecy tells her that Ellie is the key.
Unbeknownst to Ellie, the woman she has fallen for is a witch–and clearly a liar, but Ellie still can't resist even as she is thrust into a community college for newly awakened witches.
Prospero is often accused of being ruthless in her goals and ambitions, and Ellie may have the answer to saving their dying magic.
What’s a witch to do?
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