RogerBW's Blog

Wards of the Roses, Celia Lake 13 February 2023

2019 romantic fantasy, fourth of its loose series. Kate Davies is a Guard, one of the magical police force of England. There was more interesting work when the men were off at the Great War, but what's left is better than nothing. Her new assignment is to help out Giles Lefton, mathematics professor and puzzle-solver, as he tries to solve the riddle of a country house that has suddenly appeared, surounded by a mass of roses.

Giles was blinded in a gas attack in Flanders. He already has a companion to help in his daily life, Phillip Vale, but it looks as though solving this puzzle will also need someone a bit more active. Shame the companion objects to Kate's very existence…

An unexpected joy is the well-researched material on just how blind people lived in the 1920s (braille, specific help from their guides, standard places to put things, and so on, most of them of course still relevant in the modern day) – and there's no happy magic cure either (after all, if there had been, Lefton would have had it already). Also, while the overall plot outline is not entirely unlike that of Magician's Hoard in that two strangers of opposite sexes are working together on a magical problen, this time there's a bit more attention paid to the actual magical puzzle, working out when the house disappeared, why it behaved the way it did, and what's going on now.

Quite possibly my favourite of the series so far.

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Previous in series: Magician's Hoard | Series: Mysterious Charm | Next in series: In the Cards

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