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April 13, 2023

The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox ~ a Review

by MK French

Ivy Radcliffe is now Lady Hayworth, owner of Blackwood Abbey in the Yorkshire moors. She has nothing keeping her in London after her brother died in the Great War, so she moves into her new property. Its library is wonderful, with familiar works mingle with strange, esoteric texts. There is a presence in the library and rumors about the abbey’s previous owners. Odd events occur and grow more sinister, so it's up to Ivy to uncover the library’s mysteries.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of magical realism novel The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox
April 2023; Graydon House; 978-1525819568
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); magical realism

Ivy is new to the nobility, so she isn't comfortable with the distance servants have from her or that she is expected to live a life of idleness. Odd things happen to her almost immediately, feeding her belief in spirits. It doesn't help that staff warn her away from doing things without explanation because that only makes her double down harder. She gets caught in that same snare so that the actual explanation comes too late for her to do anything about it. Ivy is forced to be clever, as she's essentially alone against a group of men willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want. The ending wasn't exactly what I expected; I thought a lot of the negative effects would be completely undone. But magic leaves its mark, even if curses can be broken, just as the war left trauma in its wake. It fits and is a hopeful ending to build from.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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