Kingsley Ward’s wolfishness was a problem. If it weren’t the howling, it was the occasional desire to bite boorish people, which was rarely acceptable, no matter how boorish the boor. If 1908 were going to be a good year, however, he would have to maintain his control when it was his turn to walk onto the stage of the Alexandra Theatre.
The Extraordinaires series is a favourite of mine. Written by one of my favourite authors, Michael Pryor, it’s full of fun, adventure, witty dialogue and great characters all nicely packaged in two well written novels.
What can I say about this series without sounding like a crazy fangirl? Probably nothing, I’ll continue nevertheless. The series follows the adventures of Kingsley, an aspiring escapologist. He was raised by wolves and is extremely loveable. Kingsley is aided by the fabulous Evadne, who’s sassy, clever, layered and interesting while avoiding becoming one of those all capable, completely flawless ‘strong’ female characters. The adventures these two get up to are exciting, unexpected and rollicking good fun.
Book one, The Extinction Gambit, sees Kingsley getting caught up in a plot for world domination, immortal sorcerers, Neanderthals, underground worlds and magic.
Book two, The Subterranean Stratagem, continues the adventures but becomes more personal, focusing more on Kingsley’s quest to uncover his mysterious past. The twists and turns are plentiful and satisfying and it’s funny, the entrance of the character Finny is one of my favourite moments of the novel.
Both books have great pace, stories and an array of interesting characters that keep you entertained and interested. The second book is my favourite by a smidgeon, but both are amazing self-contained stories.
One of the things that I love about these books is how Pryor handles multiple points of view to give the reader more access to what’s happening in the story, creating tension by letting the reader know more than any single character. What makes this even more special and delightful is how each different point of view it written differently to make you feel like you are in the minds of these characters.
In a lot of ways the series is similar to Pryor’s outstandingly amazing The Laws of Magic series, yet equally it’s quite different. It’s similar in that it’s set in an early 20th century Britain with magic, has a sassy female character and an extremely likeable male protagonist. But it is different in how it sets up magic, the dynamic between the two leads, its use of multiple points of view and the overall feel of the world and story.
If you loved Pryor’s Laws of Magic series (and why wouldn't you?), I think you’ll love this.
I’m incredibly sad there is currently no third novel coming in the foreseeable future, but at least I am able to reread the glorious two that are available to me!