on June 25, 2004
Vorador is a terrific hero: a handsome, slightly arrogant, powerful wizard with a good sense of humor. Petra has no magic--not a single drop--a rare condition that results in her accidentally playing havoc with Seattle's most powerful wizard's spells. In addition, Petra's outspoken "curses" wreck havoc with Vorador's affinity with fire. The result of these two facts is some highly amusing moments (the fighting action figures and "Great balls of fire!")
The murder mystery is well-plotted and moves at a good pace. The only drawback there is the villain's stereotypical tell-all explanation when victory seems imminent.
The romance is witty and interesting if not as emotionally deep as one might hope. Sparks fly fast & furious, but our couple keeps getting interrupted--a situation that no doubt annoys them more than it might the reader.
This book missed 4 stars primarily because some things are never explained, like Vorador & Petra's almost uncontrollable lust, or are not weighty enough to support the necessary emotional turmoil, such as Vorador's need to protect his clients.
Not a perfect book, but a very enjoyable one.
on July 22, 2003
Let me first preface this review with the impression I had upon reading the back cover and book description. I 'assumed' this was going to be a time-travel that would be taking me back to a medieval type locale with wizards and magicians. It was not anything like that.
The setting is modern day in a world that accepts the existence of humans who have unusual magical type powers - wizards, witches, amazons - you get the drift? Petra Fields happens to be the daughter of two very powerful wizards, but she did not inherit any magical powers from her parents gene fields at all! She had an interesting yet loving childhood and grew up thinking to marry a wizard type (Harold) until she found that he was playing her - primarily to get closer to her illustrious parents. Doing what she did best - after doing a number on Harold - she ran off to Seattle, a 'Mecca' for wizards.
Petra is getting ready to host a party and all of a sudden, this rug she had bought exhibits a big bloody stain that she can't get rid of. She calls for a 'wizard' company (yes, it does get a little far-fetched) to come and 'zap' the stain out. The company that shows up is not the company called upon but they encounter a problem and end up calling their 'grand wizard' out to rectify the problem. Well the 'grand' wizard is a real hottie (with a penchant for fires actually) and Petra is really dazzled by his maleness and the wizard, Vorador, returns the sentiment! He is uncommonly attracted to Petra, a non-magical type, whom he generally stays far away from!
Well, the stain turns into this massive complication as it belongs to a murdered wizard who had cast a spell as her life's blood was draining from her body. Because of his uncommon attraction for Petra, Vorador is not functioning at his best and because Petra has been burnt by a magical type before, she is fighting a huge attraction where she would like nothing better than to jump all over him and the sparks do fly back and forth - but unfortunately - they are just sparks (and a lot of flames) until practically the end of the book. But the slapstick episodes and unusual supporting cast of characters just keep rolling on and on!
The character portrayals were interesting in that Petra was not your stereotype svelte and beautiful modern day heroine but slightly chubby and out of shape with a very sarcastic attitude (self preservation) towards the 'grand poopah wizard' in spite of her attraction. Vorador was a bit of a mystery - not wanting to reveal his real name until the end of the book. There was even a stray cat Bosco arriving on her doorstep the same day as the carpet who had a secret. And, on top of the murder mystery I felt was an even bigger mystery of who or what was Orwell (That you have to find out for yourself!) Suffice it to say that the story is full of numerous zany characters, a lot of magic, and some snappy dialog. This was a decent read even though my assumption of the plot I was expecting was a bit off. I will definitely keep my eyes on this author though, as her imagination and sense of humor were quite unique for this debut novel.
on July 12, 2003
Well when I started this book i had no idea what I was gettin into.
It starts in Petra's arpatment in a time when magic and wizards are ovbiously out in the open. Petra has purchased a rug with pigs on it( she loves pigs). There is a blood stain on her rug that will not go away so she called Rapid Renovations. The EKG beats rapid renovations. Needing a specialist they bring in Vorador.(Whose character i immediatly fell in love with!)
Vorador and Petra both have HUGE desires for one another which seem to constantly be put on hold. Suddenly the blood becomes a hole and Petras cat Bosco jumps into it. Vorador and Petra go lookin and find the Califronia Hotel with a strange occupant. An amazon warrior name Kitoka. Petra soon learns she is trapped in a murder case.
The author did an amazing job swirling passion, magic, humor, and mystery into to this book. With Petra's sarcastic nature and Voradors flames this book was great. I'm not going to ruin it for anyone so just read it!
on June 17, 2003
This is the first book I've read by this author, but I'm now looking forward to the next. What a good gauge of fantasy, romance and humour. It is very difficult to write a story that combines the classic elements of romance and fantasy, with their natural inclination towards the dramatic, and the lighter aspects of a comical touch. Anderson certainly succeeds with this one.
Petra W Field has moved to Seattle, a city hip deep in magic, although she has not a touch of magic herself, unless it is to make the magic of others a little screwy. This the master wizard Vorador finds out when he's called in on an emergency mission to remove some blood from Petra's newly acquired rug. Eventually they work out that the blood is from a (presumed) dead Amazon wizard, and the curse placed on it will not be removed (and hence neither will the blood) until her murderer is found.
Petra sure is a character - she's slightly wacky in that she's non-linear, she's lived with magic all her life and hence knows it well, and is aware of the effect she has on wizard's as a result of her mere presence. Vorador is everything someone in top magical form should be - handsome as can be, good at what he does, talented and of course a little bit full of himself as a result. Nothing like the non-linear to demolish a little arrogance, even as she sets him alight.
There's a cat that isn't, wizards, clones, pigs and a darn good mystery between these pages, as well as a clearly well thought out plot, a fun romance, a good bit of steam (largely unfulfilled until the end of the book, but there's plenty to keep the heat up along the way) and a large helping of teasing in both the passionate and comic senses. It perhaps goes a little over the top in the last few pages, but was I found it easy to overlook this small flaw. A successful blend of many elements has made a unique tale that sparkles. I think this is a fabulous book, and an author to watch out for.
on April 29, 2003
Right before her party is about to start, Petra discovers that her new rug has a huge blood stain, one that is resistant to all attempts to clean. It must be a magical blood stain, so she does the only logical thing and attempts to hire a wizard to remove it. After coping with magical voice mail, which is much worse than mortal voice mail, she finally gets someone to come over; in fact, she gets twice as many wizards as she was expecting. The competition shows up as well.
Removing the stain is not a simple process. The stain is a clue in a magical attempted murder, involves multiple spells, and creates a hole in her living room, through which her cat disappears. If there is anything fortunate about the whole mess, it's that the wizard in charge is a sexy as sin hunk, and has as many lustful thoughts about Petra as she does about him.
***** Be prepared to have fun when you read this fast paced, witty novel. Part screwball comedy, part cozy mystery, and totally hot (not just because the hero shoots flames eitiher) this is a debut that heralds a sparkling future.
on April 22, 2003
Earth, 50 years after it is learned that magic and physics can be combined:
Petra W. Fields, daughter of two powerful wizards, is one of the rare individuals who have no magic at all. That being the case her childhood had been a difficult one. Unfortunately her relationships with the magical breed gets no easier for her in adulthood. She had fled her faithless fiance, who had only wanted to attach himself to her parents, to the one place he (and the police) would never think to look for her - Seattle, the hotbed of wizardry.
As usual magic is at the root of her latest problem. She's having a party in an hour, and the perfectly spotless rug she'd purchased at a flea market now sports a magical blood stain. Naturally a magical stain requires magic to remove. She puts in a call to Rapid Renovations, but the owner of the competition, Emerald Rennaisance Garments arrives first. Strapped for time, she hires his firm.
The stain is more complicated than first assessed and the company wizard arrives. Petra can't help notice that he's one hot hunk, but of course her track record with magical men hasn't been great. Vorador, who is Seattle's Grand Wizard, had been the anomaly in a family proud of their non magical pedigree. Compared to his childhood, Petra's had been a picnic. He tends to avoid non magicals like the plague, but he's stunned speechless by Petra W. Fields. Instead of suave and competent, he comes off as haughty and arrogant. Ouch, He promises to have the stain removed by morning. Then they can go their separate ways, but when Petra wakes up she finds a hole in the floor where the stain had been.
Bosco, the stray cat that had arrived on her doorstep the same day she bought the carpet jumps in, and naturally Vorador follows. When neither returns, Petra decides to look for them. She lands in Voradors lap. Not a bad place to be, but this is not her basement. Nope, its a manifestation of the spell cast by the crime victim to leave clues about the identity of the murderer. And so the adventure begins. As the pair attempts to discover who done it, they drive each other crazy - mostly with passion.
Whew! This book was hilarious, suspenseful, and really hot, while subtly driving home a point about prejudice. An astounding magical debut that is not to be missed. ---Leslie Tramposch ~ PNR Reviews
on March 17, 2003
The basic summary is that Petra is about to have a party. Unfortunately, the rug she bought has a blood stain that won't go away because its magic related. So she calls in a magical specialist to come clean it. The competitor company ends up getting to her house first for the clean. Afterwards she finds out that the rug has been involved in a murder mystery. From then on out, the Wizard cleaning the rug tries to investigate the murder and figure out why Petra causes his powers to malfunction.
Although I enjoyed Petra's quirky thoughts, I found that I got kind of frustrated by the sexual tension in the book.
Petra, the heroine, is different from many other books because she is not the typical beautiful, slim, and young virgin. She's actually some what chubby, and has a penchant for collecting all things with pigs. Petra was born from 2 wizards, and has absolutely no magical skills. Unfortunately, she has a tendancy to cause other people with magic to backfire. This was never really explained thouroughly.
Vorador, the hero, sounds like the typical hunk with a tragic past, who has no clue why his magic has gone hay wire since meeting Petra. He is the Grand Wizard of Seattle. He has a taste for women who are voluptous and look like the old Bath models in old paintings.
I liked the dialogue between the hero and the heroine. There was a lot of sexual tension between the two. Unfortunately, that was pretty much all there was between the two until the last couple of pages. It was kind of frustrating reading about that no kind of sexual fulfillment between the two occurred until the end. Well, there was one incident of Petra getting fulfilled but not Vorador. I'm not exactly sure either why they were fighting the attraction for each other either. Most of the book, Petra never hid her desire for Vorador, but she or he always ended up backing away.
The plot was good until the end. I didn't like the way the story ended. The killer ended up being who Petra thought it was all along. I kept expecting a twist, but there was none.
There were some side things I was not clear on. Why was Vorador's lab broken into and searched, if the Killer had no idea that the Amazon Wizard was there? Why did Petra the effect of making other's magic out of whack some times and not others? There were a couple of other open issues that were not resolved in the book either.
The whole Petra being in paranoia mode was annoying in the extreme too. I thought that could have been cut out. Even the whole Fytch jealousy issue seemed a little ridiculous as well.
Overall, I'm glad I didn't pay full price for this book. I bought it from [the store] for about [$]. I probably won't ever re-read it again, so its not going to be a keeper. It's most likely going to head to the used book store. If you buy this book, don't pay for it full price. I'm not sure if I would recommend this book. I liked the quarky sense of humor, and the potential of a good story line and characters. I will however keep an eye on this author for future books. She does have a lot of potential.
on March 1, 2003
Although it was discovered how to combine physics and sorcery over a half-century ago, not all states have passed laws that makes it legal to practice. Even though Petra Field doesn't have a magical bone in her body, her parents are both powerful wizards so she had to move to a place where magic is acceptable. Seattle is a Mecca for wizards and since Petra now lives and works there; she calls a wizard agency to remove the magical bloodstain from her carpet.
When Vorador answers Petra's cry for help, he's more interested in the woman than the rug. When she denies the sparks that flare between them, the wizard tries to remove the bloodstain only to find a hole in the floor under the rug that leads to the Hotel California in another dimension. Vorador realizes that Petra's cat is the sister of his partner's lover. Someone Petra stubbornly needs to find out who bewitched her carpet while Vorador prefers she keeps placed an amnesia spell on her so she doesn't recall who tried to murder her sibling. out of it so she stays safe. Both of these wannabe lovers are in danger from a powerful wizard who hides in plain sight.
Garthia Anderson has written an enjoyable romantic urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of Rosemary Edgehill and Jody Lynn Nye. On an earth where magic works, readers will want to believe in the fantasy. The protagonists squabbles are a form of foreplay that add a piquant sense of humor to the story line. It is to be hoped that Ms. Anderson will write more stories in this fascinating universe.
on September 26, 2003
I read the review of the book, and since I enjoy mystical & magical stories, and haven't read a good magical romance in quite a while, I figured to try this book. And was I glad !!!!! The characters were 3 dimensional, funny & unpredictable. The story line was interesting, even though I got to "who-dun-it" before the hero...The use of magic as an every day sense was blended in well. The romance was woven in well, as part of the storyline. When this author writes her next book, I hope the setting is the same, sounds like a great place to live. Imagine calling a wizard to remove a bloodstain from a new rug*
on December 31, 2003
I bought this book because I was desperate for something to read and I had already read all the other books available. It was the best full price purchase I have ever made. As an avid Romance reader, I can easily read upto 12 full length novels a week, I found this story to absolutely riveting. The whole futuristic medieval setting, a roller coaster plot, and the wonderful lifelike characters were truely unique. I read this book twice just to catch all the little details. Ms. Anderson is the best new writer I have ever had the good fortune to read. I can hardly wait for her next book.