With a Book in Our Hands

Eighteen reviewers telling you the good, the bad, and the ugly

With a Book in Our Hands

Eighteen reviewers telling you the good, the bad, and the ugly

April 4, 2021

A Cat’s Guide to Meddling with Magic

A Cat’s Guide to Meddling with Magic
Dragoncat Book Two
by Chris Behrsin

Published 4 March 2021

Rating: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I was provided an eARC copy of A Cat’s Guide to Meddling with Magic by the author, Chris Behrsin, through his ARC reader email list. Thank you for the opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

I read the first book in the series for a blog tour and just happened to be scheduled to share my review a few short days before the ARCs for book two were going out. I loved A Cat’s Guide to Bonding with Dragons so much I just had to see if there was still time to sign up to review the future books, and there was! I wish I had arranged my schedule differently and read the previous book far in advance so I could have had the time to read this one sooner and help get a review out in time for its first week on the market, but I hope my review helps anyway. I’ll be sharing on both my personal book blog and a group book blog. Find it cross-posted on Westveil Publishing.

I was provided an eARC copy of A Cat’s Guide to Meddling with Magic by the author, Chris Behrsin, through his ARC reader email list. Thank you for the opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

Ben, Salaranja, and all our friends from Bonding with Dragons still have a lot of work to do in order to rid their world and all the others of Astravar and the evil warlocks. Astravar can still get inside Ben’s head while he dreams, but now he has a tighter hold on Ta’ra as well, and Ben & Salanraja’s crystal has called for Ben to select a team to hunt Astravar down, rescue Ta’ra, and defeat a demon chimera.

Just like last time, I absolutely adore Ben! I couldn’t have captured a more perfect cat personality in this unlikely hero archetype, and I am thoroughly entertained. I wish my own pair of feline overlords could understand the complexities (simplicities?) of human language so that I could share Ben’s genius with them.

I’m still in awe of the multi-layered world Behrsin has created for this adventure, and I love the feeling that we the readers are only scratching the surface. The author’s note at the end exposes a lifetime of reading Pratchett, and it shows in these books. I wouldn’t say these books are absurdism on nearly the same level, but the humour and silliness are clearly inspired, and these books are the wonderfully clean and just plain fun fantasy books for the whole family that Pratchett and his contemporaries are known for. Although this book isn’t billed as YA and is definitely enjoyable for an adult audience, it’s perfectly suitable for younger readers as well. The language is not too complex and there are no mature scenes.

My only “complaint,” if you can call it that, is that be the time you’ve made it through both of these novels so far (and possibly even the prequel novella) you really do forget that Ben has only been in this world for a matter of weeks, it feels so much longer, and thus it starts to become a little grating that Ben is still dreaming so fiercely of going back to his old life and that he still lets his housecat fight or flight instincts override his morals and duty. I really do feel for Salanraja every time she tells Ben how much it hurts her that he doesn’t take things seriously or that he’s still dreaming of a life without her.

I’m really enjoying the continued romantic intrigue between Rine and his two potential matches, and the budding affections between Ben and Ta’ra are just so darn sweet! I’m really rooting for both Ben and Rine to open up their eyes, grow a pair, and make it official with the ladies they’re clearly best suited for.

I recommend this book to all lovers of clean fantasy and humorous adventures with magic, but I do urge you to read A Cat’s Guide to Bonding with Dragons first. This is very much a second/middle book and would not make nearly as much sense if read first or as a standalone. You can, however, read the prequel novella later if you wish.

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Jenna Rideout
Jenna Rideout
Jenna is an independent editor & illustrator, book reviewer, and aspiring author from Newfoundland, Canada. Although she has been known to read just about anything, her passion is for science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction books for young adult and older audiences. When she’s not working on bookish or artsy endeavours, Jenna enjoys spending time with her family and her feline overlords.

COMMENTS

One comment on “A Cat’s Guide to Meddling with Magic

    […] I read the first book in the series for a blog tour and just happened to be scheduled to share my review a few short days before the ARCs for book two were going out. I loved A Cat’s Guide to Bonding with Dragons so much I just had to see if there was still time to sign up to review the future books, and there was! I wish I had arranged my schedule differently and read the previous book far in advance so I could have had the time to read this one sooner and help get a review out in time for its first week on the market, but I hope my review helps anyway. I’ll be sharing on both my personal book blog and a group book blog. Find it cross-posted on With a Book in Our Hands. […]

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