*3.5 of 5 Stars*
The Stella Mayweather series is a charming, engaging series about a witch who is learning to make her way in a supernatural world she never knew existed. Conflict comes at Stella from all sides, from power-hungry witches, an evil brotherhood out to exterminate all magic users, and romantic entanglements. In Devious Magic, the 3rd installment of the series, Stella Mayweather’s past comes back to haunt her, this time in the form of the mysterious brotherhood who want to eradicate all witches. Stella is targeted by the brotherhood and forced to travel to England to confront the group and save a friend. In the meantime, relationship troubles arise between Stella and Evan, and Etoile proves to be a true friend. Stella is determined to rescue a friend from the brotherhood, even if it means making drastic decisions.
I really like how this installment does not focus on the witch’s council and all their drama. The focus is centered on the brotherhood, an original enemy that we haven’t heard much from since book 1, which gives the story a new feel and adds in some intriguing new characters. Also, Stella goes back to England and learns more of her past and begins to figure out where she belongs in life. I really like Stella’s character, she has a girl-next-door feel, she is not your typical kick-butt, tough heroine. Stella is a woman unsure of her abilities and her place in the world, but she is fiercely loyal to her friends. The more Stella adjusts to and learns her magic, the stronger she becomes. I get annoyed at Stella at times though, she has a tendency to be very passive. She lets Evan, and sometimes her friends, dictate to her, and while she eventually stands up for herself a bit, she is always apologizing. Her character really is growing, so I hope that she continues to stand up for herself and become more confident.
Another aspect that I really enjoyed with Devious Magic was Etoile and her openness with Stella. In the past, I have never really known what to make of Etoile. She acted as Stella’s friend, but she was often stand-offish. In this book, Etoile and Stella grow closer as friends, and Etoile starts to open up a lot more, which is a big step for a private, proper person such as Etoile. Next, I just hope Stella can work out which men in her life are really good for her.
The pacing in Devious Magic can be slow at times, part of this comes from Stella’s character being a bit more on the passive side. The characters are not big “charge-forward-ask-questions-later” characters. There are lot’s of discussions and details that slow down the storyline at times. However, a good portion of the detail is important at later points in the story making for a well rounded plot line. The story itself is engaging and there are several new characters that caught my attention. I was very pleased with how this story wound up, and the setting is set for future books.
Devious Magic is a solid, satisfying installment in the ever-charming Stella Mayweather series. The quality characters and writing earn this book a Book Savvy Babe rating of 3.5 of 5 stars. The Stella Mayweather series is one that has fully captured my interest and I have enjoyed reading each book in this series. I am invested in the characters and the story as a reader, and I am looking forward to future installments. As a side note, while there is some sexual content and romance in this book, romance in not a focus of the story, which is why I classify this series as a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series, not so much a romance. I recommend the Stella Mayweather series to readers who enjoy paranormal and urban fantasy books.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)