Geek Witch and the Treacherous Tome of Deadly Danger by Rebecca Buchanan is a delightful new urban fantasy novelette. The story’s narrator, Ermentrude Wainwright, is the middle-aged proprietor of a games, comics, and sundry adventures shop, and the action opens in the middle of one of her role-play campaigns. As the players roll a twenty-sided opal die that will determine their in-game fate, readers begin to realize that the urban landscape the characters occupy is every bit as magical as the games they play.
Outside of the games, Ermentrude lives in a world that has witnessed the destruction of cities by occult magic. She uses sigils and potions to ward her store and home from dangers, but when she is accused of practicing malefic magic (a type of occult magic that carries a negative intent) she finds herself in trouble. Ermentrude falls under suspicion because she is in possession of a rare Change Your Destiny book that contains dangerous spells once used to destroy Chicago. When intruders break into her home to steal the book, she must navigate a complicated world filled with secrets to keep the book out of the wrong hands.
Geek Witch and the Treacherous Tome of Deadly Danger has a splendid cast of characters, but none is more inspirational than Ermentrude. It is not often that magical quests are completed by single, overweight, middle-aged protagonists, and Buchanan’s creation makes a wonderful addition to the fantasy genre! Although an endearing group of misfits helps out along the way, it is the narrator herself who manages to save the day, telling herself ”Okay, Ermentrude. Time to be the hero of the story.”
I loved every word of this entertaining novelette! The plot offers the perfect blend of adventure and humor, and the twists and turns kept me smiling. I devoured the story in one sitting, but lingered over the insightful descriptions of what constitutes magic in both the fantasy and everyday worlds. If you love stories with enchantment, dragons, quests, old bookshops, clock towers, and lovable characters, then Geek Witch and the Treacherous Tome of Deadly Danger is for you! Although the tale wraps up with a satisfying ending, I hope there will be more Ermentrude adventures to come!
You can find the book here.
Kelly Jarvis works as the Assistant Editor for The Fairy Tale Magazine. Her poetry has been featured or is forthcoming in Blue Heron Review, Mermaids Monthly, Eternal Haunted Summer, Forget Me Not Press, A Moon of One’s Own, The Magic of Us, and Corvid Queen. Her short fiction has appeared in The Chamber Magazine and the World Weaver Press Anthology Mothers of Enchantment: New Tales of Fairy Godmothers. She can be found at https://kellyjarviswriter.com/