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The Magpie Lord

Written by: K. J. Charles
Narrated by: Cornell Collins
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.

Exiled to China for 20 years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He's also inherited his family's enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn't expect it to turn up angry.

Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane's family. Unfortunately, it's his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he's ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude...and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That's definitely unusual.

Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane's dangerous appeal isn't the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can't find a way through it - they're both going to die.

Warning: Contains hot M/M sex between a deeply inappropriate earl and a very confused magician, dark plots in a magical version of Victorian England, family values (not the good kind), and a lot of swearing.

A Charm of Magpies, Book 1

©2013 K. J. Charles (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Good and Bad

The story was entertaining and engaging as a fascinating depiction of magic and romance, but I feel it would all be much more believable and endearing if the author had dragged it out a bit more. As is, the quick succession of events take place too quickly and too much with the author saying, "Trust me, it's all great and of course these two are perfect for each other," without showing as much of their relationship aside from instant attraction to place the two in a sensible romance. The author makes this mistake a frustrating amount of times, in the relationship and in the basic dialogue, using the line, "And he told them," in replacement of actual words in the tensest of scenarios. I don't know if the author simply didn't get around to writing what was actually said rather than just telling us that something witty and cutting was said, or if they lacked the creativity to come up with something that didn't sound basic, but it came across as lazy and anti-climatic. If you brush past those flaws, it is a good story, and probably would have reached a greater audience if it didn't fill it's lack of substantial chemistry between the main characters with dramatized and brutal sex scenes. There is nothing I want more than well-written LGBT fantasy stories that entertain out of the bedroom, and I truly believe this had the potential to be more than a E rated fanfiction filtered through a publisher, but as is, it has buttonholed its audience through this narrow lens and likely will never reach beyond the niche following that usually would have read something of this nature for free on AO3. If you are of that niche, read on confident this book will entertain, but if you hoped for anything more substantial, I'd suggest you stop here.
I hate being critical of this book, and I hope you will understand that. The characters were interesting and unique and I had clear images of them in mind as I listened, and the action of the story, while not always fast-paced or intricate, painted a fantastic picture of the horrors and wonders possible in a magical world. If it were not so short, if the author had respected the delicacy of the main character's relationship before thrusting them into each others arms, if it didn't act as if it had to make up for its own lack of content with graphic sex scenes, it would have been excellent. Perhaps I don't understand the reasoning for putting the sex in. Perhaps this book was written specifically to contain them and my wishing it hadn't spotted unexplained sexual tension in every chapter like bait is me being prudish. But I can honestly say that if Day had held out a bit on Vouldrey, I would still be engaged in the story and intrigued by their budding relationship. As is, everything was thrust into this first book like it would be the last, with not even a breath for explanation or restraint.
With all the terrible things I'm saying about this book, you'd wonder why I gave it so many stars. I'm sure if I had read this on paper, I would not have gotten past the first blowjob, and I can only thank the narrator's excellent performance in keeping me entertained. While he jumbled the main characters voices at times so that it was unclear who was speaking, he read with a gravitas and emotion that put everything into a greater perspective. He did an excellent job and likely saved this book in my eyes. It is a shame the book was so short and uneventful; it is a classic tale of potential rushed out only to fall flat on its face.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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captured me from the first minute

what a super great book. Terrific story, scary, thrilling, sexy, soft, harsh and I could go on - have to get the second book as soon as I can - the narration by Cornell Collins was wonderful. How he managed I have no idea. But kudos to Cornell Collins

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Would Listen Again In A Heartbeat!

I absolutely adored this book. The characters were well developed and utterly entertaining. I've never read a fantasy/paranormal historical romance before, but I've definitely been made a fan. I loved the mystery, the danger, the suspense, and the fun with magic. This was exciting and engaging. I didn't want it to end!

Luckily, there are two more books in the series, and I've bought both. I seriously can't wait to listen to them! Kudos to the author, K. J. Charles on a fantastic book, and to Cornell Collins on the narration!

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  • Riva
  • 2018-02-03

Excellent story and Performance

What a great listen. I loved this book when I read it and loved it even more in audiobook format. This my first time listening to this very British narrator and he really gives an A++ performance. He brought Stephen and Lucien to life. I have read the entire series, so I can't wait to hear more of the MCs adventures with this narrator. As an extra special treat, Book 1.5 is is also included in this audiobook for free. Highly recommend.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Ronny Bea
  • 2018-01-31

Marvelous

I've been waiting for years for this trilogy to come out as audiobooks. Selecting Collins as the narrator was a brilliant stroke and he did a fantastic job. This is hands down one of my favorite stories and I very much enjoyed it in this medium. And now, on the book two.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • t
  • 2018-05-22

Absolutely outstanding

When I first read the book several years ago, I liked it, but it didn't stick with me. When I saw it was on audible and listened to the sample,I figured - hey, it's just a credit, why not try it?

What a wonderful investment of a credit. The Magpie Lord, narrated by Cornell Collins, is now one of my favorite audible books ever. He did the inflections in their voices so well. He had me laughing, excited, and on the edge of my seat at times. 'I expected a shaman, not a pint-sized counter jumper" has got to be one of my favorite lines ever.

Love. Love. Love this book now. When I pulled up the ebook and read it, I could hear the words in Collins voice.

And, let me say, that since I downloaded it a bit over a month ago, I have listened to it no less than 10 times. I just keep coming back to it. Did I mention I love this audio book? I love audiobooks, but very few have to be listened to over and over. It now joins:

Heartstrikers series by Rachel Aaron, The Coursodon Dimension series by ML Ryan, the Hexworld and 'Whyborne & Griffin' series by Jordan L Hawk, and now The Magpie Lord series by K, J,. Charles.

Those are my go-tos when I want a good listen I can get into from word One.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-02-20

Absolutely floored

if you love yourself, or have hopes of one day loving yourself, read this book

finding a non-YA LGBT book is impossible enough on its on, but to find a series where this is the case AND the whole point of the story ISNT "they're gay" is unbelievable. I need seven more just like this one. unfortunately for me, there are only two.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-06-12

Fun, exciting, and surprisingly hot.

And such lovely size kink. Oh my God. The thumb on the lips I can't even

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Isabella Betita
  • 2018-02-27

Delightful!

A thrilling adventure, involving Victorian England, magic powers, and a lot of sexual tension. The story was enjoyable and entertaining, and the narration is superb. One of the few instances where I felt like the audio is the best format for this kind of book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel ogubunka
  • 2018-02-25

good read

a nice series in the making can't wait for the rest of the books promised this series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AlexJouJou
  • D.C.
  • 2018-02-17

Sublime - easily one of the very best historicals!

What made the experience of listening to The Magpie Lord the most enjoyable?

The narrator - when coupled with a tightly woven, intricate plot - amazing characters who come literally alive in the voice of the narrator.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Magpie Lord?

The furball. I cannot describe it more than that. UGH!

Which character – as performed by Cornell Collins – was your favorite?

Merrick is my favorite - something about his being a secondary support character had me wanting more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 2018-02-14

Fun & engaging series

I've already listened to all five books. They were charming, lite, fun. I liked the characters & enjoyed hearing how their relationships progressed. I also enjoyed the cameo appearances of the main characters from the first three books in the last two. Paranormal, gay, a romance & a mystery - well that checks all my boxes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-01-29

Even better with Audible.

The Charm of Magpies universe is made even better, and it was awesome to start with, by the addition of Narration.
Cornell Collins voices the characters beautifully: accent, timing, and emotion brought out perfectly. I'm off to listen to book two, now...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful