Touched by Magic is the first book in Celine Jeanjean’s new series The Razor’s Edge Chronicles. It introduces Apiya, barber to the magical creatures of Panong.
Although now that I’ve mastered the art of trimming a weretiger’s regrowth, my biggest challenge is fielding the insults of the shop’s cat. Sometimes I wish I had enough magic to go deeper into the city’s magical underbelly
Apiya’s barbershop is in a down-at-heel part of the island city of Panong, due south of Hong Kong. She looks like a local, but her London accent gives away her roots. Accompanied by a sarcastic witch’s cat, Timothy, she gives a mean shave with a cut-throat razor and she has been “Touched” by magic. That makes her superior to the Mundanes but her weak powers mean that she is looked down upon by all the Mayaks in magical society. Despite these magical and rather terrifying creatures in the city, we would recognise the cars and motorbikes and could use smart phones or the internet.
Apiya is thrown into the spotlight when she is entrusted with the guardianship of a pari-pari egg. Terrified that it will soon hatch she seeks help from her mentor Mr Sangong and her good friend, Chai, a talented sculptor. She follows Mr Sangong’s advice in seeking out Sarroch but this could have been her worst mistake. He appears in “the glamour” of a handsome man in his 30s but what creature is he really and how does he so easily take over her mind? This vibrant city comes to life at night when Apriya is threatened by vicious vampires and only her faithful dog Hunter tries to save her.
Like Celine’s previous series The Viper and the Urchin, Touched by Magic is character driven, with a heroine you can’t help liking and the settings are fantastic but credible. The details of the scene at Luyang Temple are steeped in Eastern mythology and I am so glad there will soon be a second book in The Razor’s Edge Chronicles.
Touched by Magic on Amazon UK
My review of The Viper and the Urchin by Celine Jeanjean