The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffin

Kate Griffin's writing is realistic and magical.
The Midnight Mayor book cover

When you review books for a site called “Fantasy Book Review” you’re going to get a lot of stuff that harkens back to Tolkien, or Brooks, or Lewis, or whoever. So it’s wonderful when you get something that doesn’t seem to harken back to anything, or if it does, it’s Neil Gaiman.

Kate Griffin is one of those authors who I’m going to be in love with for the rest of my life. Her writing captures London – I imagine – so well that it feels like I’m there, with her and her characters, walking through those same streets.

Add to that the sheer depth of the world and magic that Griffin has created, and you are awarded a story that is definitely deserved of any and all praise that comes its way.

‘The Midnight Mayor’ is the follow up book to Griffin’s ‘A Madness of Angels’, which tells the story of resurrected sorcerer Matthew Swift, as he struggles through modern-day London trying to save the world, or at least his small part of it.

The book is ‘urban fantasy’ or ‘urban magic’ depending on what you’re focus is. But there is none of the silly werewolf and vampire romanticism here, if there ever should be: Griffin tells a gritty story, with characters that belong on the streets of London or in the towers of its office buildings, but who never belong in a Mills and Boon spinoff. Blood is spilt, lives are lost, and no one escapes unharmed or miraculously alive. Strangers are out to kill and friends are ready to backstab.

Life is magic and magic is life, and Griffin manages to weave together the idea of modern day magic being born of the city, of life, of humanities constructs, with an obvious affection for London and a depth of understanding of the human race. There is no ignoring the old world and ways, but simply a focus on what the world has evolved into. There are times when I have no doubt Griffin is simply writing a documentary of the way things really are in London, and no doubt, the rest of the world.

I was ecstatic when I realised that there was a second book (not to mention a third) in Griffin’s series of books, depicting a world that, not only do I want to read, but one that I want to live in and be a part of. Failing that, I will continue to read, because I simply can’t get enough of Griffin’s London, both the magical one and the real life one she writes her magic in.

If I could say one thing for Kate Griffin and her writing, it’s this: it’s realistic and it’s magical.

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