Book - 2018 | First edition.
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In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own. Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn't leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans' hospital, Miles can't hide what he truly is. When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles' healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient's murder. To find the truth he'll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he's ever seen.
Publisher: New York : A Tom Doherty Associates Book, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781250162687
Branch Call Number: FIC POLK
Characteristics: 318 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Witch mark


From Library Staff

I thoroughly enjoyed this original novel, which combines elements of fantasy, mystery, and romance. Great characters, hard-to-put-down suspense. A great weekend read!

An aristocratic born magical doctor hides from his family (and the threat of being committed to an asylum) in a downtrodden hospital where he heals shell-shocked veterans. When a mesmerizing stranger brings him a dying man, they seek to solve the mystery of his murder in this Edwardian England-ti... Read More »

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Mar 24, 2019

Great murder mystery with a queer romance and fantasy elements set in alternate-universe Edwardian England. Every single page was a delight to read. I was rooting for the characters the entire time, intrigued by the murder mystery, and viscerally engaged by the drama. There are enough little details to make the world vivid, while the prose remained light and streamlined. In a lot of ways this book is a very fast car: you can see the engineering that went into it while laughing out loud at the thrill of going very very fast around sharp turns.

Mar 19, 2019

Nominated for Nebula Awards 2019

Hillsboro_ElenaG Feb 25, 2019

This was an absolutely delightful gaslamp fantasy full of magic, mystery, and romance. A battlefield surgeon turned psychiatrist for veterans (and secret mage on the run from his mage family who wants to enslave him) ends up wrapped up in investigating a mysterious death by poisoning and a mental illness afflicting veterans that may have magical origins...with the help of a very handsome gentleman who knows more than he ought to know about magic. I closed this one with a soul-deep happy sigh.

Feb 15, 2019

Tale of Dr. Miles Singer, a young man who ran away from his family-ordained destiny as Secondary to his sister who has the power to influence the weather--the only magic thought to be of use in their country. That he joined the army and trained as a surgeon makes no difference to his very powerful father--a storm-singer and Chancellor to the reigning queen. Then as the war winds down, Miles sees more and more veterans sent home with a strange disease. When a stranger brings in a desperately ill man who collapsed in the street, Dr. Singer starts to realize there is more to the illness than he thought.

JessicaGma Dec 21, 2018

This was different than I expected so perhaps much better as a result. It takes place in a magical land where they have had a similar event to World War I but there's magic that add in another layer to this tale. Dr. Miles Singer is a psychiatrist treating soldiers with an insidious form of PTSD. But there's a lot of hiding, conspiracies and half truths which makes for a great read.

JCLHebahA Nov 06, 2018

I'm such a sucker for fantasy worldbuilding, and Polk combines worldbuilding skill with characters I grew to really care for. You don't see a lot of fantasy taking place in a setting analogous to WWI, and that's what we have here with an industrialized setting where bicycles are the more common form of transport (cars being for the wealthy) and society is dealing with a massive number of soldiers returning home with a form of what we would now call PTSD, albeit a magically amplified form. I'm now eagerly awaiting its sequel.


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