Recent Release Review- The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

Title:  The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic

The Thinking Woman's guide to real magic

Genre:  Fantasy

Author: Emily Croy Barker

Publisher: Penguin/Viking, Aug 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating:  2.5

Sexy Rating:  5- not explicit, implied

Description from

An imaginative story of a woman caught in an alternate world—where she will need to learn the skills of magic to survive

Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman.  During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she’s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty.  Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true.

Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally—and a reluctant one at that—is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel’s student—and learning magic herself—to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her “real life” against the dangerous power of love and magic.


This is a long book, 572 pages, about 20 hours on my Kindle.  Those are hours out of my life with only a smattering of enjoyable moments.  This book is slow and tedious.  The protagonist has magic done to her and she is never aware so she acts out of her norm and thus conflict is nonexistent. Because she is bespelled her romance and marriage with Raclin is not romantic. How much more interesting if he was truly romantic and then became an evil thing.  When she finally understands the magic that has been done we have a few interesting moments.  Her interaction with Aruendiel is the highlight and her need to learn magic to get back to her world is understood.  This type of fantasy has been done before and has been done much better.

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Filed under Book review, Books, E-Book, Fantasy

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