Power and Majesty is the first book in the Creature Court Trilogy. The second book in the series, The Shattered City comes out in April of this year.
But on with the Story
Power and Majesty charts the story of Velody and her two friends Rhian and Delphine, as they move to the city of Aufluer and begin their apprenticeships as Seamstress, Ribbon maker and Florist.
The setting is an interesting mix of renaissance Rome with perhaps a sliver of steampunk-the characters catch a train to their hometown and machinery is used to sew garments.
The night she arrives teenage Velody is kissed by a strange boy that falls from the sky, he manages to steal a bit of her innocence as well as a dormant magical power- her Animor.
But before the story can turn into a coming of age tale, Roberts fast forwards five years to where Velody and her friends are running their own business.
Unbeknownst to Velody and indeed the entire daylight world, an age old invisible battle is being fought against the sky by the mysterious and internecine Creature Court - humans with the ability to transform into animals and wield Animor(magic). The Sadistic Power and Majesty(the title of the Ruler of the Court) falls in one of these battles and the Animor he stole from Velody as a girl returns to her, brining with it enormous power and good dose of trouble to go along with it.
Power and Majesty is then chiefly about Velody's coming into this power, the power plays within the Creature court, the political and personal manoeuvrings - all the while dealing with being a dressmaker with two very ordinary and troubled friends.
What I liked.
I found the concept, the setting and the writing original. While the ability of magic users or Fae to transform into animals is an old trope, I felt that Roberts had an original spin on this and that the descriptions and the visuals of the Creature Court transforming into their various forms had an almost anime like quality. It was this that steered it away from what could easily be seen as a paranormal romance. While there’s love and lust within these pages, there’s also a good deal of blood and violence. I think Roberts has struck the balance right with this one.
What I didn't like.
The cover- which shouldn't really bother me since its an eBook. If I didn't know Tansy's work I wouldn't have picked this book up of the self. I much prefer the style of the illustrations found at Creature Court website or perhaps something similar to Kate Elliot’s Cold Magic.
A well written, original fantasy of which I will be buying the next book in the series. Tansy has roped me in with her pace, deft handling of emotional content and the intriguing and manipulation carried out by the various characters of the creature court.
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