Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘River Magic’ by M.A. Phillips organised by Storytellers on Tour. I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE).
There is also a giveaway where you can get your hands on a signed paperback of this fantastic book, and the link to that can be found at the bottom of the page.
Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’
Budding clairvoyant Lacey Moran seeks to understand her dreams and find her life’s purpose along the St. Lawrence River. If only her visions of silver arms and Cian O’Connor’s blue eyes were easier to understand! The pieces begin coming together when she encounters a mermaid in the river, joins a group of Druids, and opens herself to romance with an old friend.
Can Lacey overcome her doubts, or is she in over her head?
River Magic is a book that surprised me in all the best ways. It took me a few chapters to get into the flow of this one, and then seemingly between one breath and the next, I was hooked and unable to stop reading.
This is a book that appealed to me on several levels, firstly was the use of folklore and mythology that permeated throughout the book, some of which I was familiar with through a fascination with Celtic mythology and folklore, although I liked the twists the author put on certain aspects to tailor them to the setting. In particular, I enjoyed the various aspects of the mermaid, and her role in the story, and how Phillips used this magical aspect to also explore a very real environmental concern, and how the river, which was as much a character as a location in this book had a voice through her.
Secondly, was the exploration of faith and beliefs, and how people can explore their paths and find their own one changing through new encounters and experiences. This was something that resonated very deeply with me. It was done beautifully here, and from various angles, and I enjoyed how Phillips looked not just at the challenges and conflicts, but at the quiet moments, the blossoming moments – and how it flowed out into each person’s wider life, such as Lacey’s inspiration to write growing as she found herself and her path. It felt very natural, very human and very relatable. River Magic is very much a story of life and change and growth, from personal growth with relationships and changing family dynamics, to the community, to the more natural sense with the passage of seasons, growing faith.
River Magic is a very character-driven story above anything else, and Phillips did an excellent job of creating a fascinating cast of unique voices that each brought something different to the story, even those who were in the background stood out as individuals. And as mentioned above there was a lot of growth, and this was particularly evident with the characters, and I enjoyed how we got to experience most of that growth and change alongside the characters as it happened, and for me that always helps to bring a story and characters to life. I particularly enjoyed Lacey and thought she made a fantastic protagonist, and I liked that her ability didn’t give her an unfair advantage, and indeed brought complications and conflict, but beyond that, she was a very relatable character. I also loved Lidia and their relationship, and how it shifted and changed throughout the book, and it was a genuine, believable friendship.
All in all River Magic was a delightful read that hit on a very personal level in places, and one that I would highly recommend. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for more books in this series and by this author.
About the Author:
M. A. Phillips lives in Northern NY with her husband, daughter, and three cats. She is a writer, English teacher, and practicing Druid. Some of her short stories have been published in Stone, Root, and Bone magazine. Her debut, River Magic, is an adult magical realism novel featuring a friends-to-lovers romance, contemporary Pagans, and a vengeful mermaid.
When she isn’t writing, you can find her in the garden, sewing, or enjoying a book with a side of tea. You can read more about her spiritual and creative journey on her blog ditzydruid.com, or on Twitter & Instagram @ditzydruid
River Magic (Rituals of Rock Bay #1) – M.A.Phillips – **** (4/5 Stars)
Prize:River Magic by M. A. Phillips – One (1) of three (3) signed paperbacks
Starts: November 22nd, 2020 at 12:00am EDT
Ends: November 29th, 2020 at 11:59pm EDTa Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
You can also enter: HERE
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.