The Darkling Thrush

Colin Bliss is a book hunter working at the Imperial Arcane Library. Although he has had experience back home in the United States as a book hunter, he has seen little more than desk duty at the Library and he wants more. The opportunity arises when he receives a private commission to find The Sword's Shadow - a witches' grimoire that is both legendary and dangerous.

Septimus Marx has the rank of "Magister" with the Library and it is a rank that is rumored to allow for the "disappearance" of texts that are deemed to be especially dangerous. Considering the nature of Colin's commission, Septimus does his best to keep Colin from accepting the commission.

Colin has other problems as well. These include a strange woman who appears at inopportune times and looks to be a faery as well. Not only that, but there also seems to be someone who is working with Irania Briggs behind the scenes. Colin also keeps being accused of betrayal by his employers.

What should he do? Especially since it may be too late to for Colin to stop.....

As with Mr. Lanyon's other stories, I enjoyed reading The Darkling Thrush. I liked the idea of the book hunters for books on different subjects dealing with the occult and arcana - as well as for certain members of the Library making certain books disappear. I also liked Colin and Septimus: their personalities, quirks, and how they meshed together (even though it didn't seem likely at the beginning).

Having said that, I can't say that I liked The Darkling Thrush as much as I liked Mr. Lanyon's more contemporary stories. There was something missing for me and I have not been able to put my finger on what it is exactly that makes for the lack.

I would still recommend the book to fans of Mr. Lanyon's works and it makes for a nice addition to any library.

Book Blurb for The Darkling Thrush

Fed up with his desk duty in the Imperial Arcane Library, book hunter Colin Bliss accepts a private commission to find The Sword's Shadow, a legendary and dangerous witches' grimoire. But to find the book, Colin must travel to the remote Western Isles and solve a centuries' old murder.

It should be nothing more than an academic exercise, so why is dour -- and unreasonably sexy -- Magister Septimus Marx doing his best to keep Colin from accepting this mission -- even going so far as to seduce Colin on their train journey north?

Septimus is not the only problem. Who is the strange fairy woman that keeps appearing at inconvenient times? And who is working behind the scenes with the sinister adventuress Irania Briggs? And why do Colin's employers at the Museum of the Literary Occult keep accusing Colin of betraying them?

As Colin digs deeper and deeper into the Long Island's mysterious past, he begins to understand why Septimus is willing to stop him at any price -- but by then, it's too late to turn back.

(This 48K+ short novel was previously published by Loose Id Publishing)

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2011 4.00