The Seat of Magic: A Novel of the Golden City


Magical beings have been banned from the Golden City for decades, though many live there in secret. Now humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as evil stalks the streets, growing more powerful with every kill….
It’s been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, ...

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The Seat of Magic: A Novel of the Golden City

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Magical beings have been banned from the Golden City for decades, though many live there in secret. Now humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as evil stalks the streets, growing more powerful with every kill….
It’s been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, can’t escape the feeling that, though she’s supposedly returned home to her people, Oriana is in danger.
Adding to Duilio’s concerns is a string of recent murders in the city. Three victims have already been found, each without a mark upon her body. When a selkie under his brother’s protection goes missing, Duilio fears the killer is also targeting nonhuman prey.
To protect Oriana and uncover the truth, Duilio will have to risk revealing his own identity, put his trust in some unlikely allies, and consult a rare and malevolent text known as The Seat of Magic….

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The mesmerizing sequel to The Golden City shows the deepening relationship between two non-humans living clandestinely in an alternate early-1900s Portugal. Though mer-folk such as beautiful sereia Oriana Paredes and half-selkie Duilio Ferreira are officially banned from the mainland, they choose to live there and use their superhuman abilities to protect their friends. The two are brought together by their mutual attraction and the discovery that someone is butchering sea-folk to steal their supernatural powers, part of a plot to gain control of the throne. Despite a somewhat rambling plot, Cheney assembles the necessary details to build convincing scenes of unpleasant things happening to the believable, fallible, mostly sympathetic characters. Oriana and Duilio’s efforts to stop the grotesque mutilations turn out to be less interesting than their attempts to figure out what future they have together. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
Cheney follows her debut (The Golden City, 2013) with a killer sequel filled with magical sea people, both living and dead.Police consultant Duilio Ferreira is not surprised when his brother comes to him for help finding a missing girl instead of going straight to the police. In the Golden City, a richly drawn version of 1900s Lisbon in which the reigning prince has banished magical creatures, nonhumans have to keep a low profile. Like the brothers, the girl is a selkie: a seal person with an alluring scent and irresistible charm. When she turns up dead, Duilio and his police officer cousin, Joaquim, deduce that her killer has skinned her alive to harness the magical qualities of her pelt—and she’s not his only victim. It’s a clever spin on the police procedural trope of a predator who targets illegal immigrants, prostitutes or other women society neglects. And as the medical examiners get a good look at the unusual bodies that crop up, so do the readers through Cheney’s detailed descriptions of scales and tails in varying stages of decay. A medical journal calledThe Seat of Magic may shed light on the killer’s motive if Duilio and his crew can track him down without drawing attention to themselves, and an underground network of sympathizers who leak information to Duilio at great personal risk help underscore the growing unrest within the city that may be explored in future books. Meanwhile, the private detective turns up the heat with Oriana Paredes, the former spy for the sereia (or siren people), who's masquerading as a handmaiden after being left for dead. Though she hates hiding her gills beneath a high collar, Oriana hopes to make Duilio her mate. Oriana is no wallflower: Sereia women court the men, not the other way around. Readers may want to bookmarkthepage where she shows Duilio her dorsal stripe.Intriguing and fun, the mystery unfolds like a socially conscious tour through a cabinet of curiosities.
Library Journal
Nonhumans are not welcome in the Princedom of northern Portugal at the turn of the last century, which means that Duilio Ferreira and his family must tread carefully, despite their immense wealth. Duilio's mother is a selkie, but he has instead inherited his father's ability as a seer, which he uses to assist the police. When magical creatures are being murdered in the Golden City, Duilio is uniquely placed to investigate. VERDICT In addition to the wonderfully painted picture of an alternate-history Portugal in 1902, this title has an added benefit of highlighting a growing romance between Duilio and the siren Oriana (heroine of the series debut The Golden City) and a compelling mystery that draws Duilio into royal politics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451417763
  • Publisher: Roc Trade
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Series: A Novel of the Golden City Series , #2
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 280,467
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Kathleen Cheney is a former teacher and has taught mathematics ranging from seventh grade to calculus, with a brief stint as a gifted and talented specialist. Her short fiction has been published in such venues as Fantasy Magazine and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her novella “Iron Shoes” was a Nebula Finalist in 2010. She is the author of The Golden City.

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