As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Review: Chaos and Conjurations – K.L. Noone & K.S. Murphy

Chaos & Conjurations - K.L. Noone & K.S. Murphy

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical (Regency)

LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Gay

Reviewer: Whiskey November

Get It At Amazon

About The Book

Captain Henry Tourmaline is having nightmares again. And this time he’s not even cursed.

But Henry is worried. He might be healed — but the healing spell left his lover Theo in pain, their magic tangled together. They’ve uncovered an ominous plot — but, without evidence, the Royal College of Wizardry refuses to believe them. And Theo’s brother, the Duke of Baselton, wants to meet Henry — but also wants to introduce Theo to a wealthy baron, a more suitable match … who might possess more sinister intentions.

Theo Burnett tells himself he has no regrets. He’s in love with Henry, and a permanent magical headache isn’t too high a price to pay for Henry’s recovery. But he misses his peaceful life in the College Library, before he became entwined in cultists’ plots and perils. And now he’s got his brother to deal with, and a baron asking questions about him. And Theo’s last magical secret is about to come to light … explosively.

Together, Theo and Henry will face curses, cultists, and chaos … and their own emotions, as they fight for their magical happy ending.

Sequel to Spells and Sensibility.

The Review

First thing you need to know is that Chaos and Conjurations (“C&C”) is book 2 of a trilogy. If you have not read the first book, Spells and Sensibility (“S&S”), be not afraid; the first 30% of C&C should bring you up to speed. However, the back half of S&S contains a big action / suspense set piece that is fun to read, prompts some important character development and relationship conflict, and sets up the Big Bad for C&C and, presumably, book 3.

Chaos and Conjurations is an entertaining alt-historical M/M fantasy romance set in a Regency England wherein the historical framework is sketched by brief references to Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, and the Prince Regent. The primary setting is a magical college not unlike Hogwarts, but for grown-ups. The main characters are the college’s head librarian and a survivor of the recent war’s magical combat and intelligence corps.

In both books, the characters contend with class divisions, PTSD, magical and physical violence, injuries and deaths among friends and colleagues, real and perceived inequality within the central relationship and within the community, and the inevitable personal conflicts arising when people need help but hate asking for it. Fairly high angst quotient here.

The difficulty of plotting and pacing over a three-book arc cannot be overstated; the difficulty of producing multiple volumes which can be read independently but which, taken together, provide a richer reading experience is even greater. If you have read S&S recently, the story in C&C may seem to get moving a bit late; be patient.

K.L. Noone has a distinctive writing style which dominates the character work in both books. The central intimate relationship will also be familiar in tone and practice. This reviewer has not yet read any separate titles by K.S. Murphy, but finds this collaboration intriguing. 

C&C builds well on the plot arcs of S&S and also has some interesting things to say about allyship. I’m looking forward to Book 3. Recommended, especially for fans of alt-historical fantasy romance.

The Reviewer

Whiskey November is an urban professional with close family & friendship ties to the LGBTQ+ community. She supports the work of GLAAD, Broadway Cares, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, among others. She reads in excess of 250 books a year (romance, mystery, science fiction, history, and memoir) and is a self-published writer of contemporary and historical romance.

Join Our Newsletter List, Get 4 Free Books

File Type Preferred *
Privacy *
Queer Sci Fi Newsletter Consent *
Please consider also subscribing to the newsletters of the authors who are providing these free eBooks to you.
Author Newsletter Consent *
Check your inbox to confirm your addition to the list(s)