Book: Devon Monk’s ‘Magic to the Bone’ – short on fairy dust

Magic to the Bone’ was on my someone-else-buy-me-this wish list for ages, based purely on the fact that the title seemed fun and I’d seen a few good reviews.

I stumbled across a copy in a charity shop and bought it for myself. I loved the idea that magic was an independent entity “Using magic meant it used you back. Forget the fairy-tale, hocus-pocus, wave a wand and bling-o, sparkles and pixie dust crap. Magic, like booze, sex, and drugs, gave as good as it got.”

Allie Beckstrom definitely does not live in a fairy tale world, she is pretty broke, lives in a lousy flat in an old building and isn’t having a very good birthday – even before she has to face her father and finds out that the cute guy who seems to be following her (Zayvion) has been hired by him.

magic to the bone

Anything more about the plot would start being a bit of a spoiler, so I will leave it there!

There are some nice details about the world that the book is set in; the idea that using magic has a price, but that with training you can control what toll the magic takes (a disbursement) or even pass it off onto someone else. Allie has an added unwanted side effect of using magic, it sometimes steals some of her memories, leaving her constantly writing important things down in her notebook.

Allie is stubborn enough to be mostly interesting, smart enough to make stupid mistakes and has a knack of being in the wrong place but trying to do the right thing.

I got distracted by the snippets of third-person scenes by the chap with the kitten – I personally didn’t get anything additional out of those and my concern for the kitten encouraged me to skim read them rather than risk reading something that I didn’t want to!

munchkin fairy dust

(Photo from

This is the first in a series of nine books but as I liked individual parts of the book better than the whole I am not overly tempted to read the rest. Maybe the plot developed a little too slowly, maybe the world was just a bit too gritty for my tired mood, maybe everyone in the book had their own agenda too much and were untrustworthy – apart from Allie whose poor memory was so moth-eaten that she was an unreliable narrator.

I felt that I should like this book, but perhaps I need a bit more fairy dust in my reading material right now.

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