Title: The Midnight Bargain.
Author: CL Polk.
Format: E-ARC (Thanks to Edelweiss, all opinions are my own!)
Page count: 304.
Release day: October 13th 2020.
Genre: YA, Fantasy.
Rating: 2.5 stars.
What is it about? (Summary from GoodReads)
Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.
In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.
The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?
I think the beautiful cover got to me! It was definitely one of the reasons for me to request this book. And unfortunately I didn’t really connect with the story very much.
This book is very slow in the beginning, which for me made it very hard to connect with the plot and the characters for me. I did think it was quite interesting that both men and women could become a mage, but for some reason it was seen as a bad thing for a women to become one. As a woman you either had to choose for magic or a family and you can’t have both. We follow Beatrice who wants to become a mage, but in order to save her family she has to marry well. Which is conflicting, and gave us an interesting story. So in the beginning of the book we just follow her meeting some suitors, and trying to make them not want her.
Then the middle definitely picked up, and I started to enjoy the story way more here. We got to see way more of the magic. And we got to learn the Lavan siblings, who were both very interesting. Although it was a bit hard to care too much about the characters since I didn´t connect with them in the first part.
And the ending happened, and I was a bit disappointed again.. It just felt a little bit ‘too easy’.
This book was definitely more focussed on romance than fantasy, so if that is something for you I hope you will enjoy this one!