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The Midnight Bargain de C. L. Polk

The Midnight Bargain (edição: 2020)

de C. L. Polk (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2632379,481 (3.9)37
Título:The Midnight Bargain
Autores:C. L. Polk (Autor)
Informação:Erewhon (2020), 384 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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The Midnight Bargain de C. L. Polk


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Mostrando 1-5 de 23 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
***directly after finishing***
read this because it got nominated for the 2021 Nebula award

My rating has everything to do with my reading experience. I didn't enjoy it. But that's a Me-Problem. The thing is the story is fine. The characters are developed and although I didn't like everyone, they felt whole. The world building is super interesting and I wanted to know more. Also it felt vaguely regency era-ish but without the nonsense of not having other cultures/people in it except pale paler palest because of 'historical accuracy' in a fantasy story.

It was also depressing as hell to me. .Women weren't allowed anything. Every step that was made became 2 steps backwards. Every accomplishment women made was pared with 'but she was an exception because women aren't allowed that'. Even though two of the characters became friends it didn't feel until the very end that they were friends? I had no sense of community between the women. Not between the mothers or the young ones. And where were the widows? And when the characters did find one community of course they weren't allowed to participate. It had a somewhat hopeful note at the end, but even that was impacted by negativity.

Like I said. I'm fully aware that the way I feel about the story is a Me-Problem. I enjoy happy happy joy joy stories and this was... Not that. It wasn't without hope but it showed how much it sucks to be a woman. And even if things have gotten better, with every step we take somewhere else 2 steps back are being taken (looking at you Texas/USA). It depresses me. And I use stories to not be confronted with reality.

I do recommend this to people. It held my attention well enough but I also complained the whole time I was reading. ( )
  Jonesy_now | Sep 24, 2021 |
Definitely a 3.5 but I can’t make myself round up to 4.

I haven’t read any of the author’s previous books even though Witchmark has been on my tbr for a while now and I really wanna get to that trilogy. But when I saw the gorgeous cover of this book, I couldn’t resist and I was so happy when I got the ARC. And while I did find it entertaining, it also let me down a bit.

The writing is easy to breeze through, and the descriptions are quite beautiful, and once I put my mind to reading it, I could finish it in just a few hours. This maybe a fantasy world but it’s very similar to the Victorian England setting we are so used to reading in historical romance, with traditions like debuts, seasons, courting, attending balls, women’s fortunes and most of their rights being tied to either the father or the husband - all with different names and a slightly magical twist that women here are prohibited from becoming Mages and are collared as soon as they get married so that they can’t practice magic. And this is exactly where I felt let down. While the similarity of the setting was a comfort, the magic system itself felt like a plot device. We get to know some of the procedures and rituals involved in how to summon spirits and how people become Mages, but there’s absolutely nothing about how this magic is used in this world, what roles do Mages perform and what roles do the spirits play once they become companions - it all feels like an afterthought.

The characters are okay to follow along. I kept liking and disliking most of them at different parts of the story, but I mostly did enjoy getting to know them. Beatrice’s struggle in wanting to be both a sorceress and with the love of her life, Ysbeta’s yearning for freedom and knowledge, and Ianthe’s sparkling love for both the women, were all quite lovely to read about and also pretty relatable. But Ianthe was definitely my favorite of the lot because he was open minded and did what he could to protect both the women. I also loved the dynamic between Beatrice and Ysbeta because they started off on an antagonistic note but it transformed into such a wonderful friendship. But I definitely had problems with Beatrice and Ianthe’s instalove - I usually don’t have a problem with the trope but it came on too quick in this one and I couldn’t believe she was thinking about giving up her ambitions after meeting him only a couple of times.

The side characters didn’t really leave much of an impression, probably because I hated most of them. Except Nadi who was the best part of the whole book and I would love a delightful spirit companion like him too please, who would threaten to hex anyone who made me sad.

Overall, I did have a good time reading this book but I know it’s not gonna be a very memorable one. Maybe if it had a slow burn romance or if it had expanded on its magic system, I could have loved it more. But currently, it feels like a historical romance with feminist themes which also has some magic as an aside - and if that feels like something you’ll enjoy, do pick it up and have fun. ( )
  ksahitya1987 | Aug 20, 2021 |
3.5 stars

Beatrice wants to spend her life learning magic, doing magic, and becoming a mage. With this, she wants to help her merchant father. Unfortunately, society (and her father) have other plans for her: marriage and children. And as soon as a woman is married, on goes the collar to stifle all magic because it might hurt any forthcoming children. So, women don’t get to do magic (only men) until they are beyond childbearing years.

In a bookstore, as Beatrice hunts for grimoires (textbooks) to help her learn magic, she runs into a brother and sister from a wealthy family who could have an influence on her father’s business. The sister, Ysbeta, wants the same grimoire Beatirce has her hands on. Playing peacemaker, Ysbeta’s brother suggests Beatrice and Ysbeta learn together, but Ysbeta buys the book and walks out without providing an invitation/calling card for Beatrice to meet her to study. In the meantime, it is bargaining season when the eligible men come to woo the eligible daughters and/or bargain with their fathers.

This was good. Fantasy can be hit or miss for me, depending on the type of fantasy. This was urban fantasy, so more my “thing”. There is also a romance mixed in, but not too much romance for my liking, either. Overall, I liked it. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jul 14, 2021 |
In a patriarchal society that collars female mages to prevent their unborn children from being possessed by spirits, a young woman studies magic and hopes to avoid collaring with the help of the secretly printed grimoires for women. There’s love and loyalty and, possibly my favorite, dedication to helping people put above personal romance. It’s generally good fun though perhaps a bit sanguine about the easiness of big social change. ( )
1 vote rivkat | Jun 24, 2021 |
This book was on the Canada Reads shortlist this year. It's a fantasy novel that mixes magic and romance in a fictional Victorian-style setting. After reading Polk's debut novel Witchmark, I had high hopes for this book but the story and characters did not appeal to me in the same way. However, I did like very much the character Nadi, an impulsive and capricious spirit who possesses the main character Beatrice in order to experience the pleasures of the human world. ( )
  mathgirl40 | Jun 13, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 23 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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» Adicionar outros autores (1 possível)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
C. L. Polkautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Alciano, MicaelaCover designer & interior elementsautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)

813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century

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