ARC Review: The Thief on the Winged Horse

Thursday, 5 November 2020
Author: Kate Mascarenhas
Edition: Head of Zeus Netgalley e-ARC
Releasing: 12th November 2020
Series: n/a (standalone)
Pages: 400 approx.

**Huge thank you to the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC (Netgalley) of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren't coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop. 
Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires. 
But then, one night, the family's most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime...

The Thief on the Winged Horse intrigued me pretty quickly on reading the synopsis. How could I not be drawn in by a magical doll making family?! It seemed unlike anything I'd ever read before and as someone who's always on the hunt for something completely different in the fantasy world, it was pretty much all I needed for it to reel me in. Although a quick, agreeable read, it ended up not being my kind of book. 

The story follows a host of different characters within the Kendrick family in the fall out after their most precious doll is stolen. Although it was a very unique read - the idea of magical dolls each being crafted to evoke a singular emotion is still a pretty cool concept - I just didn't connect to the story. I often read pretty high fantasy so I'm not sure if that's just because the magic in this story didn't really seem to take the forefront. The story didn't read so much to me as a fantasy story rather than magical realism. 

I didn't really connect to any of the characters either. Although I didn't particularly like any of them, their characters still intrigued me enough to want to see what happened to them. They are all inherently interesting, each with their own flaws and character quirks. We're pretty much never sure who we can trust so that probably contributed to the fact I could never form an emotional attachment to any of them. 

Overall, The Thief on the Winged Horse was an unusual read but just not for me. I would recommend this book to lovers of adult magical realism books looking to branch into lighter fantasy.


Until next time,
Happy Reading!

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