River Magic by M.A. Phillips is witch lit, romance, and magical realism and I heartily recommend it. This is a contemporary set novel with a main character exploring the Druid path in America. It’s a really lovely book with a great deal to recommend it.
While this is a straight romance, there are a number of queer characters in the story, which made me really happy. It turns out that I enjoy het romance a lot more when it isn’t set in a hetronormative context. Much of the book deals with the developing relationship, not just the opening gambits of getting into a relationship – I really like this I think we need a lot more stories about people who are together rather than just obsessing over people getting together.
The Druid content is perfect – because the author is a Druid. It goes deeper than the rituals and beliefs though. This is a story that is absolutely rooted in a landscape and where the seasons are intrinsically part of life. There’s great richness to the writing around the river, the mountains, and trees that not only brings the story vividly to life but really conveys a sense of lived Pagan experience. I loved reading this, and realised how much I need this kind of story that reflects my values and priorities.
The magic is compelling, and Pagans who have had their own woo-woo experiences will recognise the challenges this brings. It’s one thing doing a tarot reading for love guidance and quite another acting on otherworldly instructions. Again, it’s wonderful seeing this sort of content handled by someone who clearly knows what they are talking about. I also really like the way the author tends to avoid big drama, and keeps the characters in a more realistic relationship with reality.
This is a beautiful book, and I loved it and look forward to the rest of the series. It’s very human, and warm and grounded, while also being magical and soulful.
More on the publisher’s website – https://shadowsparkpub.com/ma-phillips
This is part of a blog tour, and you can find out more about that here – https://www.storytellersontour.online/2020/10/20/tour-schedule-river-magic-by-m-a-phillips/