Sunday, March 18, 2012

Smoke and Magic by Patti Larsen - Review

Smoke and Magic by Patti Larsen
Blood and Gold series, Book 1
Published: February 9, 2012 by Patti Larsen Books

Banished to Victorian London
“Auburdeen Perneila Hayle,” Sassafras hissed, the amber glow from his cat eyes growing until the front of the wicker cage shone with it, “you will do whatever you can to behave yourself, to not embarrass me or your mother and to absolutely under every circumstance maintain a firm hand on your horrid temper.”

My anger simmered. Yes, I had a temper. And yes, it had taken me into situations in the past that perhaps I shouldn't have been part of, situations that usually devolved into fistfights and incoherent yelling at the offender. He should be grateful I always kept control of myself enough my magic never came into play. Except that one time. But it wasn't my fault. Not really. And the offender recovered. Eventually.

Auburdeen Hayle is the sixteen-year-old daughter of the next leader of her coven. When the transition of power becomes tense, Burdie is sent from her home in America to stay with old friends in London to keep her safe. But a handsome young man chooses to hide from the police in her hansom, drawing Burdie into an underground world of magic that challenges even her sense of adventure and puts her at odds with the very people who are meant to protect her.

My Review:
Auburdeen (Burdie) Hayle is the sassy daughter of the future leader of their coven. She isn't happy about being banished to London during the transition of power from the previous coven leader, but Burdie is now suddenly next in line to be a coven leader after her mother, and she must be protected.  Burdie is sent to stay with an old friend of her mother's, a woman who is also the leader of her coven. Sassafras, a demon boy in a cat's body, is sent to London with her, to try to keep her out of trouble and to serve as a connection to communicate with her mother while she is there. The first day she is in London, Burdie encounters Jack, a young man who hides in her hansom when he is being chased by the police. As she gets to know Jack, she starts uncovering secrets of the family she is staying with and is put into direct conflict with them.

My favorite sentence of the entire book is: "She can have a lady or she can have a coven leader. She can't have both." This sentence describes Burdie's personality perfectly. She is not the demure "lady" that was expected during that time in London. She is respectful of others, but she has a strong willed personality. You can definitely picture her as a strong, powerful coven leader.

Patti Larsen is an amazing author. She describes her characters and their personalities in such detail that you feel as if you know them. You are drawn in and engaged immediately and want to keep reading to find out what happens. My only complaint about this book is that it ends right in the middle of the action, so you are left wanting more. The good thing is that the next book in this series is already available.

Smoke and Magic is a historical, paranormal YA, but the history is very subtle. The main focus is on the characters, especially Burdie, and the situations she gets herself into. It is the first book in a new series, Blood and Gold, which is a prequel to The Hayle Coven novels. Burdie is the ancestor of Sydlynn Hayle, who is the main character in Patti Larsen's Hayle Coven Novels. I would recommend this book (as well as the Hayle Coven novels) to anyone who enjoys paranormal YA.

A copy was provided by the author for review.

About the author:
Patti writes a lot of middle grade and YA paranormal books for someone who is afraid of the dark. And she wonders why she has to sleep with the lights on. Sometimes life is a teenaged B horror movie and she’s the one who investigates when the scary music is playing. But the voices are calling and resistance is… Yes. She is a Star Trek geek, too. And a fan of RPG’s. With a slight coolness factor since she's been told she's allowed to join the pops. At least, she likes to think she’s cool...   

You can find out more about Patti and how to connect with her on her website or her blog.

I have previously posted a guest post from Patti Larsen about Sydlynn Hayle and a review of Family Magic, the first book in the Hayle Coven novels. 


  1. This sounds like an exciting new series and i love the line you quoted. Lovely review, so glad you shared this book with us.

  2. This does sound like an interesting story. I am sure taht it was very difficult for young women to try to be "ladies" during the past, I know I could not do it. I would have ended up be banished from the ton, lol.



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