Monday, May 17, 2010

Review: Uncertain Magic by Laura Kinsale

Product ISBN: 9781402237027

Price: $9.99
Publication Date: May 2010
(A re-issue, originally published in 1987)

From the publisher: "Rumors of ruined maidens, coldblooded duels, swindles, and murder swirl around the impoverished 'Devil Earl.' But Faelan Savigar hides an even darker secret. Roderica Delamore longs for a normal life but fears she'll end up mad or suicidal like the forebears from whom she inherited her "gift" of sensing others thoughts and emotions. As the two find their way to each other against all odds, Roddy's growing love for Faelen may end up saving him or destroying her… A breathtaking historical romance filled with poignancy, darkness, love, and an unexpected twist of Gaelic magic…"

My Thoughts :

Nineteen year old Rodrica Delamore has a gift; she can read the minds of others. Unfortunately, Roddy deems it a curse. What she wants is to be normal and to eventually marry and have a family. She thinks no one would marry her if they know she could read their mind.

When she meets Faelan Savigar, Lord Iveragh, at a fair, she can not get any feelings from him. She thinks he would make an ideal husband. Roddy gets her father to agree even though no one else considers Faelan suitable and others are appalled due to his reputation as a ladies man and possibly a murderer. Supposedly he killed his own father when he was only ten years old. The marriage Roddy thought would be one of convenience; she would get a home and family and he would get the money he so desperately needed. What Roddy didn't count on was falling deeply in love with him. He touched her heart and soul in ways she never thought possible. After the honeymoon, Faelan shows Roddy a dark side that she had never seen before. Which is the real Faelan? Maybe some of the rumors about him are true and Roddy may not be the only one with a secret in her nature.

Faelan moves them to Ireland to his old family home that is a burnt out shell. Good thing Roddy has a lot of money because Faelan has a plan. But the best laid plans often go awry. During this time, Roddy and Faelan suffer a rough patch in the marriage due to their own stubborn pride and failure to communicate. This was when the story hit a slow point for me. I just wanted to shake these two and tell them to speak honestly with each other and a lot of this foolishness would have been avoided.

This was a time of much unrest in Ireland with the Iveragh lands bearing the brunt of English brutality and senseless destruction. The parts of the story of rebellion rang very true to me and I did enjoy the historical fiction very much.

Kinsale weaves a tale of two people with deeply passionate natures either for family or each other. Unfortunately, some of it really was a stretch of the imagination. The fey parts of the book were not developed enough. Faelan's dark moods, inability to remember what happened when his father died and Roddy's odd disappearance for a few days with no memory of being gone tested my belief in the story. These elements could have been better tied up sooner in the book. The story started out with much promise, sort of fizzled in the middle except for the historical parts, and ended quite predictably. The romance part of the story was repetitive and sometimes the characters aggravated me. An okay read but certainly not stellar. 2.5**

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Sourcebooks, Inc.


  1. Too bad the book didn't live up to what seems to be a perfect story. The setting of the book is one of my favorite's for historical fiction. Since this is a re-issue, I wonder if the author has gone on to write more and developed her stories better.

    Thanks for sharing this one though!

  2. Well, darn. This is on my tbrasp list (to be read at some point). Sorry it didn't thrill you.

  3. I like..make that love...Ireland, and I will accept the fey part, but this one does not sound like my cuppa tea.

  4. Hm I have heard good things about kinsale, too bad that it didn't make it all the way for you

  5. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I have one of Laura Kinsale's books but not this one.

  6. It sounds like it would have been better without the fey aspects.

  7. Hopefully the author will read your review and make some changes to her next book!! I wonder why they don't test drive the book with regular readers before releasing it??? Sorry that it turned out to be a 2.5 book..what a shame!

  8. You write such great reviews and I always appreciate your honesty and constructive criticism. It's good to know what works and what doesn't. It does sound interesting but not quite for me anyway. Awesome job Kaye! :)

  9. Awesome review..somehow I wanted it to work...sounds like it didn't at all. Thanks for the review and have a great week.


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