The Familiar
Book Review

Thank you Flatiron Books for sending this fantastic promo box for The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo.

Review for The Familiar

The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Familiar is a standalone historical fantasy from the creator of the Grishaverse and author of the Ninth House. It is set during the Spanish Golden Age. The setting is immersive and it reads more like a historical novel with a touch of magic. I think it will be perfect for fans of Addie LaRue.

“Fear men. Fear their ambition and the crimes they commit in its service. But don’t fear magic.”

The Familiar follows a young kitchen maid named Luzia who hides her ability to perform small bits of domestic magic. But when her mistress finds out, she tries to use her abilities to gain favor with the king. Her mistress informs her husband and they hatch a plan to enlist Luzia in a tournament. Luzia agrees, even though she despises them, because she craves more and imagines a better life.

“Let it be my ambition and not my fear that seals my fate.”

Her master enlists the help of a mysterious man named Guillon. Known as “the Scorpion”, he is rumored to be immortal. He has the ability awaken more of Luzia’s magic and begins to teach her how to control it. What follows is a unique friendship and a delicious, dark slow burn.

“His belief in her was wine on an empty stomach and it left her light-headed.”

The closer Luiza becomes to Guillon, the more people warn her of his ways. She should not trust him. And yet he seems to be the only one that truly knows her.

“You make the blood flow in my veins. You remind my heart to beat.”

However, they are playing a treacherous, deadly game. The novel is set during the political and religious turmoil of 16th century Spain. So as Luzia’s power grows, so does her danger. Under Catholic rule, Luzia’s magic can be considered either a gift from God or the work of the devil. She is at the mercy of those who rule over her.

“If she were to die, then she would die with memories worth keeping.”

The Familiar is inspired by Bardugo’s own history and heritage. It looks at the weaponization of faith and ways that class and gender can come under conflict.

Thank you Flatiron Books for the early release and stunning promo package.

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