The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett

Jane Austen manners + Bronte sisters gothica + magic = too much pastiche and not enough depth.

I loved the concept of The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, but I just could not remain interested in this book. The writing was lazy, oscillating between high-minded prose awkwardly imitating Austen or George Eliot, and sloppy grammar and anachronisms that brought the whole thing crashing down.

Story-wise, I couldn’t focus on tracking the development of the mythology and presentation of the core story elements for the series because I was so distracted by all the influences I was seeing. Jane Eyre, Middlemarch, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Wuthering Heights, The Turn of the Screw, Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, The Woman in White–I’m sure I’m missing something but I got dizzy watching the story leap from classic to classic.

I just never engaged with any of the characters. I think I could’ve stayed with it, were it not for its abrupt shift from third-person to first-person for a middle segment. I get why author Galen Beckett chose to put one of his protagonists at center stage for his version of Jane Eyre by way of Jamaica Inn and The Turn of the Screw, but the Ivy of this story didn’t seem like the same Ivy of the preceding pages. I experienced a disconnect and never recovered.

I ended up closing this book with about 80 pages to go, which I rarely do, but I just didn’t want to go any further.

2 thoughts on “The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett”

  1. Haha, I’m crushed – I saw the first line, and it was very exciting until I got to the “pastiche” bit. Never mind, I’ve got the sequel to The Meaning of Night coming in for me at the library soon. 🙂

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