Heart’s Blood by Gail Dayton is a charming journey back to the world that she introduced us to in New Blood, and — while you don’t have to read them in order, I would recommend it for the background on the world the first book gives you.
This second book in the series focuses on Greyson Carteret, Magister of the Conjurer’s Guild of England and Pearl Parkin — who becomes his apprentice by blackmailing him into it when he is in a vulnerable position…since he is in jail accused of murder at the time. Of course, he didn’t do it, and they are soon on the hunt to discover who did. With the aid of alchemist Harry Tomlinson and his own apprentice, wizard Elinor Tavis, Grey and Pearl delve deeper and deeper into the mystery of who is corrupting magic in an attempt to raise a demon.
The story flows beautifully, carried along by well-drawn characters and a fascinating alternate London where the four magic schools of alchemy, conjury, wizardry, and newly rediscovered sorcery are as integral a part of reality as the prep schools were in the real England of the Victorian era. The world is so rich and fully formed that you become a part of it as you read, losing hours that seem like minutes. A true page-turner.
Unfortunately, I don’t think there will be a third novel in the series, and that is a crime, because there is so much more to see in this world. And there are definitely stories left to tell.