A Queer Trade
by KJ CharlesGenres: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
Series: Rag & Bone #0.5
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Crispin needs to get them back before anyone finds out what he's been doing, or what his magic can do.
Crispin tracks his quarry down to waste paper dealer Ned Hall. He needs help, and Ned can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the waste-man and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?
A Queer Trade is a fun introduction to two characters who star in one of the few KJ Charles books I’ve yet to read, Rag & Bone. It gives a bit of context to how they met and what they’re like, which feels like a solid way to start off if you’re interested in reading Rag & Bone. It doesn’t give a lot of detail about the judiciary who operate throughout the Charm of Magpies world, so it doesn’t stand on its own very well without having read those, I’d say.
The romance is cute and hopeful, without going too far — it’s not straight to love, but straight to solid attraction, and a connection formed through weird, alarming circumstances that the two of them managed to figure out together.
It’s a quick read; I’m not in a huge hurry to read Rag & Bone, but I’m more tempted to pick it up now than I was before: I love the original trilogy in this world, but I’m not a huge fan of Jackdaw.