Review: The Seat of Magic by J. Kathleen Cheney

July 14, 2014 4 stars, Book Review 24 ★★★★

Review: The Seat of Magic by J. Kathleen CheneyThe Seat of Magic by J. Kathleen Cheney
Series: The Golden City #2
Published by Roc on July 1, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Historical Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
My Reviews in this series: The Golden City

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

Magical beings have been banned from the Golden City for decades, though many live there in secret. Now humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as evil stalks the streets, growing more powerful with every kill….

It’s been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, can’t escape the feeling that, though she’s supposedly returned home to her people, Oriana is in danger.

Adding to Duilio’s concerns is a string of recent murders in the city. Three victims have already been found, each without a mark upon her body. When a selkie under his brother’s protection goes missing, Duilio fears the killer is also targeting nonhuman prey.

To protect Oriana and uncover the truth, Duilio will have to risk revealing his own identity, put his trust in some unlikely allies, and consult a rare and malevolent text known as The Seat of Magic….


Selkies, Sereia and Otterfolk are being preyed upon – lock up your womenfolk

The Seat of Magic sets the stage with a string of grizzly murders of young women that all happen to be a non humor. The methods of their death are each different and yet somehow tied together. In addition there are a large number of deaths in the city where the deceased appears to have suffered no obvious cause of death. How are all of these people tied together? Duilio and his cousin Joaquim are determined to find out – all the while Duilio is agonizing over when Oriana will return from her homeland.

A little sizzle if it pleases you

So in it’s predecessor we saw the setup for what was potentially going to be a romance between the two main characters of Duilio and Oriana. Many a reader will be pleased to know The Seat of Magic delivers much more romance between these two.

Some odd bit of perspective

For the most part this is a dual perspective story told from the POVs of Oriana and Duilio. However, occasionally a third perspective is thrown in, that of Duilio’s cousin Joaquim. While I think he is a great character I find myself torn over whether or not his perspective was really needed. I know that the bits he contributed via his POV were necessary in setting up portions of the story but that is all it felt like they were to me – setting up parts of the story. I still care about this character and find him interesting but I think he needed to be made more interesting or given a truer chunk of the novel if he was going to have these inclusions. Otherwise he’s just a convenient plot device at times.

Politics and personal vendettas

The Seat of Magic has a bit of politicking and personal agendas going on and where one lets off another one begins. It isn’t as complicated as it sounds and all comes together towards the end very nicely. I definitely enjoyed the direction things went for all of the characters and eagerly await the third volume that is going to take us into the heart of Oriana’s Sereia homeland.


Read my review of Book 1 : THE GOLDEN CITY

Guest Posts from the author J. Kathleen Cheney

J. Kathleen Cheney discusses Selkies, Sereia (Sirens) and Mating – oh baby

The Things the Writer Isn’t Telling You (Even When We Want To)

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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24 Responses to “Review: The Seat of Magic by J. Kathleen Cheney”

  1. Danya @ Fine Print

    I know some people aren’t so fond of it, but I love it when fantasy novels have some good politicking going on! That combined with the info that the romance is ratcheted up in this volume has made me basically 100% convinced that I need to give this series a go. Everyone seems to be loving it! There’s something about a historical police procedural – be it fantasy, steampunk, or some other genre – that just gets me every time.
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Audiobook Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona AndrewsMy Profile

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I’m not always a fan when a random character’s POV is thrown in for a couple of chapters. It just seems like there’s another way that part of the story could be told. Anyways. I like that the romance has developed! Yeah, I admit it. I like romance in my stories.
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  3. Mogsy

    Glad to see there will be more sizzle between Oriana and Duilio. There was clearly a lot of set-up for much more to come, but was hoping the author wouldn’t keep us holding our breaths for too much longer.
    Mogsy recently posted…PANELS: X-Men: Regenesis #1My Profile