Comeuppance Served Cold by Marion Deeds

“Tattooed protection sigils were the priciest, and best, magical protection around. An adversary couldn’t yank one off your body the way they could an amulet or a charm. Of all the tales of tattoo magic, one set of needles came up over and over, in stories and in history.”

Comeuppance Served Cold by Marion Deeds

I recently read Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk, and after that I just needed more fantasy set in the 1920s/30s. I was so excited to come across Comeuppance Served Cold by Marion Deeds, and it is such an amazing, stunning novella!! 

This novella is brilliant, and it’s hard to describe how perfectly executed the plot was. It’s told through flipping back and forth through different points of time for the main character Dolly and another character, Violet. Dolly has come to Seattle to work for the Earnshaws, a wealthy and powerful family whose daughter is currently out of control, potentially ruining her current engagement. 

Dolly is hired as a companion for Fiona, in the hopes that she can keep Fiona in line and get her off the influence of shimmer-shim. Dolly proves to be skilled at getting Fiona to fall in line, but there is more going on behind the scenes. 

As the book unfolds, you slowly uncover the pieces of the puzzle. Why did Dolly come to Seattle? Why is she working for the Earnshaws? This book is layered and full of mystery and magic. I loved seeing all the storylines come full circle by the end. It was brilliant!! I can’t say that enough, but really, this book is an absolute marvel!

One of my favorite things about this world was the magic. There were shapeshifters, tattoists who could mark you with sigils that protected you, greengrocers- people who specialize in potions, elixirs and magical artifacts, and herbalists- people who sell healing teas but also create shimmer-shim. This world was rife with such wonderful magic, and I found myself so drawn into the characters and the story. This is one of those stories you step into and get completely lost in. The rest of the world faded away every time I started reading, and I am really eager to read more by Marion Deeds in the future.  

This novella is definitely one of my favorites of all time, and I am so desperate for more fantasy set in this era. If you know of any, please share. I’m not sure my love of these books will be sated for awhile! 

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