- Publisher: Gollancz
- Format: Paperback | 544 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 36mm | 299g
- Publication date: 1 April 2014
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0575098406
- ISBN 13: 9780575098404
- Edition statement: New ed.
- Sales rank: 52,997
Sometimes a bit of magical help might cost more than you bargained for ...London is hosting the Carnival Fantastique, and Genny's job has never been busier or more fulfilling. Only not everyone is so happy. Genny believed she'd cracked the fae's infertility curse ...but the fae are still barren. It's a devastating plight to which the mysterious Emperor may have the solution - if Genny can find him. She needs help. She turns to the vampire Malik al-Khan, only to find he's wrestling with his own demons and, when the police request Genny's assistance with a magical kidnap, her own problems multiply too. Is it all unconnected, or can the Emperor help her solve more than the fae's infertility? Soon Genny is hard on his trail, so it seems she'll have a chance to ask ...but will the answer cost more than she's willing to pay?
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Suzanne McLeod has been a cocktail waitress, dance group promoter and barmaid at Coventry City Football Club (she had to pay the rent somehow!). After years in retail management, she started writing. She lives with her husband and dogs in Bournemouth.
By Claire Smith 15 Aug 2012
Spellcrackers.com fans will not be disappointed with this latest instalment. In my opinion this is the best book yet by far. The story starts 3 months after The Bitter Seed of Magic finishes and our heroine Genny is now acting as boss of Spellcrackers.com whilst Finn is in the Fair Lands looking after his pregnant daughter Nicky. Even though the Fae community know what happened to the fertility curse and that its spell was trapped in the pendant that DI Helen Crane kept, it is still hanging over their heads as a missing item has to be found and linked with the pendant in order to break the curse. The problem is nobody knows what it is that is missing or where to look for it. So Genny is sort of stuck in limbo and to top it off the gorgeous master vampire Malik Al Kahn is keeping his distance from our favourite bean sidhe.
If I could have written a wish list to Ms McLeod as to what I wanted to happen in this book these are some of the things I would have asked for. I have always wanted Gen to come face to face with her vampire husband Bastien aka The Autarch. I have always wondered what would happen. Would Bastien still be interested in Gen, would he punish her for running off, would they have a massive fight or would he keep her as a blood pet? I have also wanted to know more about Malik's history and his connection with The Autarch and last but not least I have also wanted some kind of resolution between Gen, Finn and Malik. Would she ever end up sleeping with one or both of them, would she choose one over the other? So are these issues addressed in The Shifting Price of Prey......well you will just have to read it for yourself and find out.
Even though the story is still dominated by the fertility curse this book does revolve a lot around the vampires and their politics and it is great. There is a lot of double crossing and not knowing who to trust as well as huge shocks. I love Suzanne McLeod's writing and the fantastic world she has built. This is a great Urban Fantasy series with a big emphasis on the Fantasy part. Where else could you get magical Viagra made from the corkscrew penis of a garden fairy? I found this to be a thrilling read from start to finish and the ending has me pining for the next book immediately but I guess I am just going to have to wait another 12 months. If you like Urban Fantasy books I implore you to try this series. I have given all of the other books in the series 5 stars and I think this book is the best in the series. I can't go back and mark the other books down so it only seems fitting to give The Shifting Price Of Prey 6 stars.
By Mardel 09 Aug 2012
Reading The Shifting Price of Prey, like other books by Suzanne McLeod, reminds me of the many layers of petals on a rose - or the layers of an onion (but every one uses the Onion Layer thing). The first layer of petals is the beginning of the novel - Genny is checking out a Gnome's business, and his use of naturally dying garden fairies. Something strikes her weird about this...and on top of that, this creepy Gnome keeps offering her refreshments that a fairy would eat - insects, slugs, etc., though she reminds him that she's Sidhe, NOT a fairy.
In another layer of petals there's Tavish, who is affecting her more strongly than ever. In fact, a few people seem to be affecting her in a lustful, wanting to jump bones kind of way. Finn, her sometimes boss and possible love interest is out of town, 'In Between' taking care of his daughter and she hasn't heard from him. Even though in the last novel/adventure Genny had managed to (if you haven't read any of the novels, this could be a spoiler...) grab the fertility spell, something's not quite right about it, only one of the fae has become pregnant, and Genny is finding herself obsessed with the shape and majestic breasts of Sylvia - the pregnant fae. Tavish brings her some information help that actually causes more questions than answers, and Genny decides she needs to talk with Malik, and then in another layer of this rose being peeled, plucked away, also finds herself in a situation with him.....oooh, boy.
Meanwhile, the Carnival Fantastique is being hosted by London,bringing its own set of potential problems of the magical variety so there is a lot going on there, the pixies are showing up everywhere causing pixie mischeif, there are prank spells appearing here and there and a visiting abassador's family disappears - is it a kidnapping?
I'm wary of writing any spoilers, I think I might have mentioned some minor spoilers already. But The Shifting Price of Prey is such a multilayered story - Those rose petals keep being peeled away, each time revealing another twist or turn in the plot - just enough information to drive Genny forward, until the center of that rose is completely opened and the final event is brought to a close....and then there is this chilling set up for the next book...that would be those thorns of the rose...(*g*). Thorns aren't always bad - you just have to use care, and I loved every minute of reading this novel. In this metaphor, the thorn is the wait for the next novel to come out, and it's promising to be a hell of a story. But those thorns just make roses that much sweeter for the risk. (is that too much metaphor? time to get off the metaphor train? nah, I might have more) Hey - I'm not a writer, and it shows with this metaphor attempt, doesn't it? *g*
One of the things I'm always impressed about with McLeod's writing is the world building. Her London is amazing. The varied species of fae, faelings, vampires and other supernaturals is very fun, and she describes them so well. All different types are peppered through out the story, some as secondary characters, main characters, and peripheral characters. There are spells, magical items, myths and legends with her spin on them. Genny Taylor herself is a mix of Sidhe and Vampire. Her pupils are shaped like a cat, and even though she has this heritage of magic, Genny herself can't create magic, unless magic decides to use her. However, she does have this talent - cracking spells, SEEing spells and absorbing spells. There's this other talent she's picked up lately, you'll see it used in the novel.
One of the great things about a Suzanne McLeod UF - there will be female friends for the main character. Genny is not the typical (though some writers are getting better about avoiding this particular pitfall) tough girl that has virtually NO female friends yet many men panting after her. Sure there are some men that want Genny, but then it fits the story, the fae/vampires aren't saddled with old fashioned morals that humans have. This is represented very well, with the way McLeod writes Genny's appreciation of the handsome dryads, the Satyr in his natural form, the Kelpie in his forms, and so on. There are Gay and Lesbian characters within without it being a big deal, it's just part of the life within the novel (like it should be in real life - natural) and Genny herself has a few run-ins with feeling a bit of desire for a female here and there without getting all freaked out about it. I find this refreshing.
Within her world building are mentions of historical events - like an alternate history of the world and London that she briefly salts throughout the novel - kind of like on a need to know basis. I always enjoy when authors handle information giving like this. As well, there are landmarks of London that she involves in her stories, and it's fun to try to picture all the places she uses in her books - the Gardens, the fountains, the London streets, and The Eye - which I try to pick out when I'm watching a movie or Dr. Who show set in London. I'm pretty sure I can match at least a few of the visuals with her descriptions.
Then there is the narration and dialogue. The narration is first person, and just flows - you find yourself reading along and finding it hard to put down for things like real life, eating, talking to people (lol, this can be fun - using a great book to avoid people, 'sorry, didn't hear you, reading this enthralling novel' lol). Add to that her skillful use of language, speech styles and dialects and the characters feel like they could be any mix of people you might hear on the streets of a major city. And then there is Malik's formal way of speaking, along with Tavish's oh so interesting brogue. Love it. I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention something, but it boils down to this; The Shifting Price of Prey is as fresh and exciting novel as the first, second and third in her series, and I thoroughly enjoyed every novel I've read by Suzanne McLeod. She has done a brilliant job of keeping the Spellcrackers series alive, fresh, interesting, and heart thumping. There's a little bit for everyone's taste in good proportions - adventure, danger, lust, relationship issues (not over done, thank god) and all around exciting reading. Can't wait to get to the next one, might even start re-reading the series if I feel like I'm going to go into McLeod withdrawal. *g*
See? A rose, this story is, a multi layered rose with many petals to pluck as the story unfolds.....
For a small taste of an in between story - take a look at Full Scale Demolition in the Home Improvement anthology (edited by Charlaine Harris).
A series that doesn't so much break the rules of urban fantasy as take them apart and reconstruct them in a gloriously pyrotechnic display. -- BEN AARONOVITCH, Sunday Times Bestselling author of Rivers of London and Whispers Under Ground
Back cover copy
Genny's the new boss at Spellcrackers, and while London is hosting the Carnival Fantastique, her job has never been busier or more fulfilling. Only not everyone is so happy. Genny believed she'd cracked the fae's infertility curse, especially as her friends are expecting the first full-blood fae baby to be born in almost a century . . . but the rest of the fae are still barren. It's a puzzle to which the mysterious Emperor may have the answer - if Genny can find him. She needs help. She turns to the vampire, Malik al-Khan, only to find he's wrestling with his own demons. Genny's own problems are about to multiply too. Finn, her sometimes-boyfriend, finally returns from the Fair Lands just as an old flame arrives with a tragic problem, and as the police request her urgent assistance with a magical kidnap. Is it all unconnected, or can the Emperor help her solve more than the fae's infertility? His predatory cohorts are stalking Genny, so it seems she'll have a chance to ask her questions . . . and that she'll have no choice but to pay for the answers. 'I can't wait to read more from this author.Fang-tastic!' lovevampires.co.uk 'Refreshingly original . . . a series worth following. As the details of the world unfold, it only grows more compelling.' A SciFi Now Must Read! SciFi Now Magazine