Title: The Arch-Mage’s Firebird
Series: Kitten & Witch
Author: K.L. Noone
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Shapeshifters
LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Gay MM
Publisher: JMS Books
Reviewer: Eric Alan Westfall
About The Book
Thomas East was meant to be the youngest Arch-Mage in history, a magical genius and a solver of problems. But he hadn’t expected quite so many problems — not to mention the endless meetings, bureaucracy, and political negotiations. So he’s currently hiding in a sleepy California seaside town, working in an ice cream parlor and avoiding everyone he’s let down … until a firebird in need of rescue crashes into his shop.
Nicholas Incandesco has far too many problems. He’s a firebird, a shapeshifter, and a power source, and a lot of magicians could use someone with his gifts. He’s also technically a murder suspect with two magical bounty hunters on his trail. He just wants someplace safe to land, and the attractive witch behind the ice cream counter might offer a sweet refuge.
This encounter might be exactly what both Nicholas and Tom need to find themselves … and rescue each other.
Now, pay close attention, please, because you’re probably not going to “get” this review if you don’t, or won’t. (If you’re a won’t-er, feel free to stop reading. No need for an apology. You have other things you could be doing, I’m sure.)
So…can you follow instructions? Easy ones, that is. Not like the instructions you get with one of those things you’ve bought because you really, really wanted it, but you have to put it together, and the directions are in a language you can’t read, and you’re certain there’s a part missing.
Here, though, no parts missing. Ready, set: Go to [search engine of your choice, but I only know for sure this works on Google]. Search for “danny kaye wonderful copenhagen youtube.” (No period, no quotes, and if you want to be all fancy-schmancy with capitals, fine.)
There’s an image that’s incorrectly labeled, “Beautiful, beautiful Copenhagen.” Click and listen to the song.
Well, go on. This review isn’t going anywhere until you go and get back.
Tap. Tappity tap. Tappity tappity tappity tap tap tap. (The sound of a reviewer’s cyber-fingers cyber-tapping the cyber-desktop adjacent to the cyber-mouse pad, with no hint of impatience. Nope, none, not at all, at all. And eventually, the sound of silence when the tapping stops.)
What took you so long?
Okay. The educational point behind your hoped-for enjoyment of the music is that, far more decades ago than I really care to admit, I fell in love with this song. There’s something incredibly uplifting and joyful about it. So much so, that whenever I see, or hear, or read something uplifting, beautiful, joyful—I hear those three words singing in my head: “Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen.”
For me, hearing that song in my head is one of the highest compliments I can pay a book, or a story.
There was a lot of subconscious singing going on as I read, and full-on, almost out loud (but not, because I didn’t want to hurt my hearing) Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen-ness when I finished.
What a delightful, lyrical, romantical, marvelous work of art, telling a tale of love (with just a pinch of danger in the mix), and doing so in a fantasy world I immediately felt I knew and was comfortable living in. Plus characters I fell for, instantly. And is it as good a second time around as the first, as love should always be? Yes, yes, indeed.
Thank you, Ms. Noone (I’m old, old, old-fashioned, and only courtesy is intended). I’m going to enjoy revisiting this again and again.
p.s. Consider this review a minimum of five stars.
Eric is an American Midwesterner, and as Lady Glenhaven might say, “He’s old enough his first deep sea voyage was with Noah.” In the real world he writes for a living, with some who would claim what he writes is fiction. His partner of thirty years—who died unexpectedly in 1995—enthusiastically encouraged him to try to get his writing published (mostly poetry back then, plus some short stories), but he didn’t have the guts to do so until 2013. After a recent writing lull, well, God willin’ and the crick don’t rise, 2020 will bring three gay fairy tales: Prince Ivan, A. Wolfe, & A Firebird, The Tinderbox, and The Truth About Them Damn Goats (as told by the troll). But real life is, as we all know, a pain in the (anatomical site of your choice)…so no guarantees.