"Centered on more adult concerns than the Harry Potter books, Barker's debut is full of allusions to dark fairy tales and literary romances. If Hermione Granger had been an American who never received an invitation to Hogwarths, this might have been her story."
"Barker weaves together classic fantasy and romantic elements (including shout-outs to "Pride and Prejudice" and hints of "Wuthering Heights") to produce a well-rounded, smooth, and subtle tale."
"Like in Harkness's work, as the novel closes, Barker leaves Nora poised on the brink of a decision that could lead to another adventure. This reviewer can't wait. . . . Readers who love magical fantasy adventures with strong female protagonists will enjoy Barker's novel. And fans of Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" may also want to try this.
"This dark fairy tale has plenty of curb appeal for a wide range of fantasy, time-travel, and alternate-reality fans."
""The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic" is a medieval fairy tale with a deliciously dark twist . . . a thoroughly enchanting read. . . . Barker has spun a clever, lush yarn that is uniquely its own."
"A marvelous plot, clever dialogue, and complex characters distinguish "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic." With the intimacy of a classic fairy-tale and the rollicking elements of modern epic fantasy, Emily Croy Barker's delightful debut will sweep readers into another world. Fun, seductive, and utterly engrossing, this wonderful tale of magic and adventure is a perfect escape from humdrum reality."
--Deborah Harkness, author of the All Souls Trilogy
"To read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic" is to enter a lush, fantastical dream filled with beauty and strangeness, love and cruelty, playfulness and gravitas. Emily Barker has crafted a wholly imaginative and witty debut novel that is unlikenshow more