Monday, August 18, 2014

Kindle Spotlight -- Hope and the Patient Man

A while back I reviewed Mike Reeves-McMillan’s charming fantasy novel Hope and the Clever Man. He recently sent me the sequel, Hope and the Patient Man, for me to review, so here we go.

The story picks up not too long after the first book. Hope and her boyfriend Patient have gotten to know each other very well. Unfortunately, she feels no desire for him. This has to do with the curse she placed on her former beau Faithful (who was anything but) that he couldn’t get it up unless he stayed true to his name. She removed it, but there was magical splash-back, rendering her somewhat asexual. The situation has not improved, and her condition is actually deteriorating to the point where she can’t focus on her job or academic pursuits. She has the opportunity to become the youngest ever senior mage at the academy, but her chances look slim unless she finds a cure. Therefore, she and Patient seek out a mindhealer named Lily who is basically a magic-minded sex therapist. Lily has the couple engage in a series of increasingly intimate exercises to get Hope’s brain and libido back on track.

Meanwhile, a wealthy socialite named Industry of Rosewell (AKA “Rosie”) comes to work at the lab. She takes a liking to Dignified the clever man, but doesn’t know how to proceed. Hope and best friend Briar take Rosie under their wing and give her a makeover. Rosie and Dignified then hit it off and things are looking good for them. However, the mounting pressure on Hope to carry out her work for both the Realmgold and the academy is taking its toll, and she doesn’t know how much longer she can last. Not only that, but she must deal with the stunning secret of her birth and her mother’s disdain for her. Is there a happy ending for her and Patient?

I like this series because it takes a very different approach to standard fantasy fare. Reeves McMilan has worked hard to make this feel like a real world with a rich history and customs. It also has real problems; there is no great world-threatening villain, and the evils it does have are fought with debates and legal action rather than swords and sorcery. It’s certainly not for everyone; if you want your fantasy to be action-packed and intense, you should look elsewhere. But for those willing to give this series a chance, you’ll find your investment well rewarded.

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