Or, what if the French Revolution wasn’t just fueled by monetary inequality (I’m over-simplifying it), but also by the inequality of use of magical power?

A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry, publishing day 23 June 2020.

In this alternate history set in the late 18th century, spanning the abolitionist movement and French Revolution, magic is hereditary, but only aristocrats are allowed to use it; unless it’s necromancy or stems from vampirism. Dark magic is forbidden and the Knights Templar police the use of magic rigorously.

At more than 500 pages, this novel is on the thicker side. What makes it hard to read are endless pages of dialogues or debates with no action. There was hardly any female character other than the family members of the protagonists, well-known figures of that time like Robespierre, Pitt, Wilberfur. Furthermore I felt that although the story starts with the kidnapping of a young African girl by slave traders, her story wasn’t very well represented – at least not until I DNF’d at about 50%.

The reading experience reminded me of Clarke’s Strange & Norrell [DNF’d], and history lectures at uni [finished that degree]. In other words, I found it interesting, but boring.

2/5 Harpies – purely for research into the historical facts well-done