Jan. 27, 2021

A Conventicle of Magpies

I am thrilled to share this new book! 

A Conventicle of Magpies is the first book in the Bloodskills duology. Today we have an exclusive excerpt for you. You can also get the chance to win a signed copy of the book!

A Conventicle of Magpies

Publication Date: January 6th, 2021

Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy/ Adventure/ Steampunk

Summary: Rook is a thief, and entirely unapologetic about it as she’s determined to do anything to ensure her mother and siblings survive the squalid and dangerous streets of Stamchester.

Rook slips in and out of the homes of the ruling elite of Stamchester, the Avanish, like a shadow taking what she needs without regret.

Why should she? Had the Avanish not stolen her own people, the Saouiasei, from their own homes years before and transported them across the ocean to Stamchester to work as virtual slaves?

And, now the Avanish had no more use for Rook and her people, where they not determined to dispose of them?

The Avanish had already laid waste to a swathe of Saouiasei homes, a region which had become known as ‘The Scar’, in an attempt to drive them out?

However, Rook was not the only person hiding in the shadows. A far more dangerous figure was haunting the filthy streets of Stamchester striking fear into Avanish and Saouiasei alike; Billy Drainer, a serial killer who not only murdered his victims but drained them of every ounce of their precious, life giving blood.

For within blood was a highly sought-after commodity, the ability to enhance a person’s natural abilities through the art of Bloodskill. To be faster and stronger than a normal person was something those with money were willing to pay handsomely for.

‘A Conventicle of Magpies’ is a fast-paced gaslamp fantasy adventure set in a Victorian-inspired world. Perfect for fans of Charlie N. Holmberg’s Spellbreaker and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Add to Goodreads ~

Excerpt

Safe and sound in the Magpie’s Nest, Rook divested herself of her corseted dress and heels and returned to the comfort of a shirt and trousers. The young woman fell into an armchair, threw her booted feet onto the battered coffee table, and plucked up a newspaper. Even though she’d been out all day, she hadn’t seen the latest in the Stamchester Review. As she scanned the page, Rook shook her head, and a lock of black hair fell over her face.

YET ANOTHER BLOODLESS CORPSE

At two o’clock this morning, a police constable came upon the scene of yet another gruesome murder. The body, which has not yet been identified, was found on the southbank end of the Buxridge Bridge. Like the other five bodies found in similar circumstances over the last few months, the corpse appeared to be drained of every last ounce of blood. Suspicion for this killing falls once more on the elusive fiend known only as Billy Drainer, although Inspector Kip Kerstammen declined to comment on this observation.

Rook licked her thumb and flicked to the next page. Inches and inches of news stretched through the broadsheet, as always full of sensationalism and very little fact. Only two parties enjoyed Stamchester’s string of murders: so-called Billy Drainer himself, whoever he was, and the newspapers. Both made significant gains from the events. News was always a profitable commodity in Stamchester, but blood was more valuable than gold. Those corpses weren’t bloodless for no reason.

A cough came from the doorway. Rook glanced up from the grim columns. A slim figure stood in the doorway, a tiny girl at the end of her teenage years. Pigeon stood in the low doorframe that led to the main Nest bar and jerked her head. The action sent her mass of dark curls tumbling to one side.

Available on Amazon ~

About The Author: I’m LMR Clarke,though you can call me Rain, and I’m a writer from Northern Ireland. I’m thirty-something, a parent, and a teacher. I love books and I also draw.

I’m an enby (non-binary) and am still finding my way! My stories are all about identity and acceptance and trying  to find your place in the world.


My Review

"People hate what they don't understand and what they think is lesser than themselves. The Avanish have always thought of us as less than them, right back from when they marched onto our islands and took what they wanted. They didn't ask. They didn't think to ask..."

~ Kestrel, page 150

A Conventicle of Magpies follows Rook, a young warrior out to protect her people, the Saouiasei. The Saouiasei are being discriminated against and oppressed in many ways. The Avanish, who have torn down Stamchester, her home, now have new plans to destroy Rook's family and friends.

Rook, who is in a Conventicle of Magpies, a group based in protecting the Saouiasei lives, will not stop until she makes sure her people are safe. The Avanish need to get what they deserve.

I liked how engaging and fast-paced the story went. There were little to none, explanations, and you had to figure out the world-building as you went. The characters are also incredible! I love, love, love how diverse the characters are. I'm not sure if this is confirmed, but I also think we got LGBTQ character(s) too. If what I said was correct, I'm going to cry.

Steampunk + Fantasy + Adventure + POC + LGBTQ?? This is a dream come true.

As for the story, we don't get as many resting moments. That is another reason why I say "fast-paced" because there was always something going on.

The only issue I had with this book is the summary. When I first read it, I was confused about what was going on.
And this isn't even a big problem because I enjoyed this book very well. So this is probably more of a personal reason, but I just wanted to point it out.

All in all, I am excited to see what lies next in store for this series.

I highly recommend this one!


Click the link below for a chance to win a signed edition of A Conventicle of Magpies (International)


Book Tour Organized By: 


Book Tour Schedule

February 1st

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Books Rambling and Tea (Review) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/

Debjani’s Thoughts (Spotlight) https://debjanisthoughts.wordpress.com/

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

@brendajeancombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

February 2nd

Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) https://gwendalynbooks.blog/

I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com/

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

February 3rd

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

@better_0ff_read (Spotlight w/ Review to follow) https://www.instagram.com/BETTER_0FF_READ/



The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/the_magic_of_worlds/

February 4th

Book Review Crew (Review) https://bookreviewcrew.blogspot.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Sophril Reads (Review) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com


February 5th

@ypsylynn (Spotlight w/ Review to Follow) https://www.instagram.com/jypsylynn/

Bonnie Reads & Writes (Review) https://bonniereadsandwrites.wordpress.com

The Invisible Moth (Review) https://daleydowning.wordpress.com

Michelle Meng’s Book Blog 4 (Review)

@hoardingbooks.herdingcats (Review)  https://www.instagram.com/hoardingbooks.herdingcats/