The London Coven is made up of the three most powerful witches in the city who have been charged with policing the denizens of the Uncanny Kingdom – the hidden magical world in this series’ universe – and to help keep most humans unaware of its existence. They’ve been doing their job for a few hundred years, but as the story opens, Stella Familiar, a humanoid woman the Coven had created to assist them in their work, comes home to find them dead. Stella quickly begins trying to find out what killed her witches and avenge their deaths.
Aside from a short prequel story I haven’t yet read, “Familiar Magic” is the first book in publisher Genre Reader’s London Coven series, one of at least three series they have that are set in their multi-author Uncanny Kingdom universe. It’s full of action, snarky humor, interesting people and lots of magic. It’s a face-paced tale that still manages to work in some strong world-building and good character development.
Stella makes for an intriguing heroine. She was conjured up, fully grown, by her masters, and she never ages, but even though she was created for a specific purpose, she’s not just a puppet or living automaton. She has a full range of emotions, is smart and witty, has strengths and vulnerabilities and is able to determine her own path, be it what she needs to do in the moment or what plan she had for her own future.
She gets teamed up with Detective David Tyler, who until Stella entered his life knew nothing about the magical world existing along-side the human one. And while he may get flustered when confronted with yet some other new thing or experience, he has an almost unrelenting positive attitude and does his best to just roll with it. Together, Stella and David make for a formidable (and entertaining) team.
This was one of those books I had a hard time putting down once I picked it up. It’s a promising start to what I’m hoping will be a really fun series.