Flight of Magpies by K.J. Charles (A Charm of Magpies, #3)

Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink.

With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student flying off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And the strain is starting to show in his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane.

Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.

Then a devastating loss brings the people he most loves into bitter conflict. Old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies are painting Stephen and Crane into a corner, and the pressure threatens to tear them apart...

Book 3 of the Charm of Magpies series. Previously published by Samhain.

TITLE: Flight of Magpies
AUTHOR: K.J. Charles
PUBLISHER: KJC Books
YEAR: 2014
LENGTH: 239 pages
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Paranormal Romance, Historical Fiction
RECOMMENDED: Yes

Queer Rep Summary: Gay/Achillean Main Character(s).

FLIGHT OF MAGPIES beautifully wraps up the trilogy "A Charm of Magpies" with serious discussions and passionate sex while Crane and Stephen try to reconcile one's overly demanding job investigating murders and the other's need to leave England. 

This was a great end to the trilogy, I feel good about where the characters are literally and emotionally at the end of it, and I have a sense of what they’ll do next. There is a related book which continues the story of a minor character from FLIGHT OF MAGPIES, but as far as I can tell the story of Crane and Stephen is finalized here. It wraps up a bunch of stuff from the previous books, even reaching back to close things left open or ambiguous from book one. There is a storyline (the murders and immediate danger) which start here and weren't present previously, but this is by no means a stand alone book. It has a major thing introduced and resolved wholly within this volume. As the last book in the series, does a great job of wrapping up things from the trilogy as a whole and it feels finished. I'd happily read more in this world, but my immediate questions are answered. The main characters are the same as the previous volumes. They have very different styles from each other, but are consistent with their characterization in the other books. This wouldn't make much sense without reading the rest of the trilogy, even the sex is intertwined with their past history and current circumstances in a way that makes it matter to the plot. 

The ending is fantastic, one strength of this trilogy has been the heart-pounding danger which is inextricable from the love between the protagonists and this takes it to a great and beautifully literal place.

I love the relationship between Crane and Stephen, and I'm very happy about new developments for Merrick (which I will not spoil). This has an appropriate amount of tumult in figuring out how to fit together such different lives as the ones they led before their first meeting, and it feels like the story takes that seriously without slowing down the sexiness or distracting from the murder investigation. I had a great time and I'll definitely be checking out more from this author.

CW for misogyny, homophobia, cursing, sexual content (explicit), body horror, vomit (minor), blood, gore (graphic), violence (graphic), torture, child death (backstory), murder (graphic), death (graphic).

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Two men silhouetted sitting on an iron bench, while magpies fly above them.


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