Happy first Friday of 2022! This is a special look at one of my top comfort reads! The Magiford Supernatural City universe by K.M. Shea.
I reviewed the first two books of the Hall of Blood and Mercy Series in April 2020, which you can read in full HERE. At the time, I was sooo grateful that K.M. Shea ventured into urban fantasy, bringing along her trademark humor, engaging action, and a sweet (slow burn) romance between a vertically challenged wizard and the most lethal vampire in town. Two and a third series into this world and I am so glad that she has created a non-gritty and humorous take on popular urban fantasy tropes with laugh out loud moments, heart touching FEELS, and sweet romantic relationships that twist certain toxic tropes on their heads to feature healthy relationships between each couple and their friend/family groups.
Hazel and Killian were so much fun and a healthy take on the vampire love interest. And this is not a gritty urban fantasy world.
Even when we ventured into the decidedly toxic superficial backstabbery that was the "game" of the Fae, especially in the Night Court, Shea used humor and a stubborn half-human heroine turned VERY reluctant queen to lighten a potentially gritty entry into something that makes you laugh and warm your heart. The trilogy develops Leila and Rigel (a hero who starts off as the assassin who tries to kill her) and their crazy fun cast including the night mares into an unexpected crew you just need to root for as certain mysteries unfold. You can find fellow blogger Rachel's January 2021 review of the Court of Midnight and Deception HERE.
I am very much a romantic so I adore these couples. They are some of my favorites I've ever read because they're real and adhere to healthy relationships and boundaries. However, I also love the colorful characters who make up the supporting casts from the hilariously morbid poet vampire named Josh to the Paragon of the Fae and his antics (not to mention his Sphinx cat named Aphrodite and all the crazy cat parent actions you could possibly imagine) to the Night Court who are often...confused yet enthusiastic by Leila's clever tricks to beat the "game". The fae playing put-put scene is fantastic! And Chase the werewolf who gives us the road to the newest trilogy, Pack of Dawn and Destiny. I am not going to go into details in this post. I'll just say I love the werwolves. So very much.
This world is one I kept coming back to from the moment I finished the first trilogy. While I've always read and enjoyed Urban Fantasy, I will be the first to admit this genre leans toward gritty. I cannot do gritty in my reading right now at all. If a book or series is described as dark, gritty, angsty, or traumatic, I put it aside for some future time when I can handle the darker books again. So I am focused on reading the lighter feeling books, ones where they can have deep heart touching moments that pluck at the FEELS but also keep the very hopeful and uplifting atmosphere. I need to laugh and smile more than usual these days. I'm sure many of you feel the same. K.M. Shea is one of the authors I can trust to always provide a good read that is ultimately hopeful. And it shines the most clearly for me through the Magiford Supernatural City where urban fantasy is allowed to be funny and hopeful and full of light, cheer, and healthy relationships along with sweet romance.
If' you've never tried urban fantasy before, I strongly encourage you to start here with the wonderful wizards, vampires, fae, and werewolves of Magiford. The trilogies are lightly connected with cameos and a large universe arc as one subplot that is slowly coming together. I would recommend starting with Hall of Blood and Mercy for the most enjoyment and a full appreciation of the delightful cameos.
As a special bonus, Hazel and Killian's entire trilogy is on sale through January 10, 2022, which makes this the perfect weekend to enter Magiford Supernatural City! You can get it HERE!
What are some of your favorite comfort reads?
Kimberly A. Rogers