ARC Review: The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner

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Star rating: 5 ⭐ / 5 ⭐

Synopsis: from Goodreads

A charming historical fantasy with a tender love story at its core, from the author of Unnatural Magic.

Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.

At first Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere.

General information: This book will be published on January 12th 2021 by Ace Books. A big thank you to the publisher for the ARC of this book!

My thoughts:

Y’all, this book was so good!

It made me laugh out loud at least once a chapter. I loved all of the characters, especially Delly Wells and Winn, her love interest. Their relationship was beyond adorable, and the friendships of the women in the book were all interesting and well written.

The use of language was inventive, funny, and perfect for the setting. I felt immersed in the world from the very first page, something I love in fantasy books. The setting was well done and very creative- I love a good historical fantasy!

This book felt quick, in a good way. I never felt the pace dragging on too much and I was invested in the various misadventures of Delly and company. It almost felt like a Terry Pratchett novel and that’s a really, really good thing.

The plot was fairly simple- you didn’t see too many twists and turns- but I feel like it worked well to the book’s advantage. There was a lot of worldbuilding to keep up with, so I’m glad the plot wasn’t too convoluted. The worldbuilding was done well, though, and I really enjoyed learning about the Victorian-esque world of Dellaria Wells.

The ending was very satisfying, to me. I loved the culmination of Delly and Winn’s romance arc- they were adorable and I loved their slow burn. They were charming and a little awkward in a perfect way.

I highly recommend this to fans of historical fantasy, sapphic romance, funny fantasy, or an adventurous novel that moves along quickly! This book comes out today so grab a copy if you can!

Content warnings:

This book contains depictions of addiction, violence, and major character death.

Have you read this one? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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