House of Cards ~ C.E. Murphy

house_of_cards.jpgNew York City’s only legal counsel to the fabled Old Races, Margrit Knight, is level headed in all matters extraordinary. But when she’s summoned to negotiate a peace treaty among rival factions, her own mortal world threatens to fall apart. Margrit’s been in hot water before, but reentering the underworld brings a new set of problems.

The second book in Murphy’s Negotiator series stands on solid ground after a disappointing start with Heart of Stone. Juggling a large cast of characters can’t be easy, especially when they all have unique personalities, and I think this is where the first book stumbled a bit. Clearly, though, Murphy has taken all of those characters and the many plot lines in this series in hand because House of Cards moves at a much faster pace.

One of the things that I appreciate regarding this series are the selkies, gargoyles and djinn; I wouldn’t go so far to say that dragons are a dime a dozen in genre fiction these days, but certainly dragons and vampires are more familiar to readers. Selkies? Not so much. But they play a very large role in House of Cards and I just bet they’re going to cause lots of trouble in any future installments. Similarly, djinn are fascinating and often under represented (with the wonderful exception of Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series,) as are gargoyles. I love reading about the history of each of the Old Races, but the lyricism of legends are far more present with these three.

If you can stick out the much slower paced first book, Heart of Stone, I think you’ll find House of Cards to be a satisfying addition to the urban fantasy genre.

Heart of Stone Excerpt | House of Cards Excerpt

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