Review: Faery Magic by Jo Beverley, Karen Harbaugh, Barbara Samuels, Mary Jo Putney

Posted June 12, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 16 Comments

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Review: Faery Magic by Jo Beverley, Karen Harbaugh, Barbara Samuels, Mary Jo Putney
Faery Magic

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Genres: Fairytale Romance, Fantasy Romance, Historical Romance
Published by Zebra Books
Released on January 29, 2008
Pages: 379
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

Historical Romance blended with fantasy in the form of the fae sounded splendid.  It didn\’t hurt that two of the four authors are already familiar and one is a long-time favorite.


Faery Magic has four standalone novellas that are loosely linked to each other so could be read out of order or pick and choose.

The Lord Of Elphindale by Jo Beverley 3 stars
The faery kingdom is displeased when it seems the humans are forgetting what they owe to the faery realm and mistreating their shared woodlands.  Gwen is told by her faery father that she must get the newest Lord of Elphindale to marry her and help renew the connection to faery.  She would gladly do it since Lord Andrew has been her childhood friend, but he resists and would rather anyone else.

So, two things.  I wanted to kick Andrew in the britches for being a jerk to Gwen.  I learned later that he had his reasons, but it didn\’t drum up any sympathy from me.  I felt Andrew\’s character needed more pages to tease him out better.  And, this is all on me, but I think this story suffered from my too high expectation.  It was the one I picked up the book to get.  I didn\’t hate the story, but wanted more.

The Faery Braid by Karen Harbaugh 3.5 stars

The fae are dying off, but a brilliant plan is hatched.  Convert a human child to faery to be married off and have fae children.  Rowan is that child and she is brought up in an isolated wood learning magic as she becomes a faery.  Jonathan, a war-scarred soldier is found by her and she wants to heal him.  As their relationship grows, it stymies her conversion to fae and that her faery parent can\’t allow.

It was a tender retelling of the Rapunzel tale that I found moderately engaging though it never pulled me in completely.

The Love Talker by Barbara Samuel  4 stars

Galen is the faery version of the rake.  He loves them and leaves the human ladies pining after him.  When one pines to her death, the faery queen has had enough and curses him to a half life until true love finds him. Doomed to a lonely phantom existence when he can\’t touch or feel, Galen has learned his lesson and then some, but his voice accidentally does it again and the woman\’s cousin, Moira comes to the woods to find a way to save her cousin from pining to death over a fae.  Moira is the first person to truly see him and not just as the Love Talker.

I love the darker faery stories where faeries are dangerous to humans and toss in a curse for good measure and I couldn\’t be more pleased.  I was captivated by this one.

Dangerous Gifts by Mary Jo Putney 3.5 stars

Ranulph the faery gets obsessed by human Leah so he thinks to entrap her by offering her a gift.  Leah takes the gift- beauty and irresistible to men- and heads to London.  Ranulph follows, but is himself shadowed by a faery, Kamana (sp), interested in his affairs.  Naturally, Leah finds a human man she loves and mayhem ensues from faery interference.

I kept thinking of Shakespeare\’s Midsummer Night\’s Dream when I read this one though it was not the same story.  Just the feeling, I guess. It was fun.

So, this anthology did what most anthologies do.  It gave me a variety of writing styles and story set ups to enjoy- some more than others, of course.  I loved discovering a new to me author gem and I had a good time visiting their blend of faery and historical romance.  Those who want a set of quick and light, slightly spice historicals and don\’t mind a strong fantasy flavor should try this antho out.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #47
Historical Fiction #52
Reading Assignment Summer #3 Prof Ann Thology



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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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1 year ago

I think I’ve only read Mary Jo Putney

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Melliane

I had read her and Jo Beverley’s books, but it was neat to try some new to mes too.

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
1 year ago

how cool this sounds thanks

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Yeah, the blend of history and fantasy was fun, Debbie.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

It’s nice to read short stories to get a feel for an author’s work without committing to long read. Glad to hear these were enjoyable! 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Exactly! 🙂

1 year ago

I’ve not read these authors – but I’m familiar. I like historical fantasies, so this may be a good anthology for me to try new to me authors. Thanks!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Jen

It was a good way to try others and read a few familiar one. It had some so-so stories.

Lover of Romance
1 year ago

I really do love that anthologies show you the various writing styles of different authors, its like dipping your feet into water before going full body swim into it. Glad you enjoyed this one. I have read all of these authors except for Karen Harbaugh. Very intrigued.
Great review you have here darling.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

For sure. I have read a ton of Jo Beverley which is why I snagged this one, but it was neat to try MaryJo again and all new for the others. Karen Harbaugh didn’t get into a lot of drama and conflict. I don’t know if that was typical or just because this was shorter. Definitely want to try more Barbara Samuel now.

Mary Kirkland
1 year ago

I really like the sound of this one. Thanks for letting us know about it.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, it was great getting this one down off my shelf finally and trying some newbies and oldies. 🙂

1 year ago

I like that about athologies that you can read a veirty of stories and hopefully find some you really like or authors you want to rea dmroe of. It’s always a fun way to find new authors. How neat these were loosely connected, but could work as standalone too, so everyone can pick whether to read them all or only some of them.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Lola

Yes, exactly, Lola! It was neat to try new ones mixed with old favs. I liked that if I only wanted to read one or two then I could do that.

Carole Rae
1 year ago

Same with mellaine. I think I’ve only ever tried MJP. Mhmmm. I am intrigued by all of these shorts.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

It was neat to discover some new stories and I had a good time with all, but one.