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Title: Illicit Magic
Complete series reading order:
More than three hundred years after the most terrifying witch hunts the world has ever known, it's happening again.
When an attack by ruthless witch hunters forces twenty-four-year-old Stella from her home in London into the protection of the powerful Witch Council in New York, she has to put her faith in strangers just to stay alive, yet she might not be any safer in their midst than the danger she ran away from.
Hidden from the Brotherhood in an extraordinary safe house by the sea where she is sent to learn her craft, Stella finds there is more than one dark secret in her new family: Étoile’s sister is spoken of in fear and sadness; Marc is supposed to be a powerful warlock but is missing his magic; where does the owner of their safe house vanish to every day and why does Evan have the eyes of someone not quite human?
One secret is important enough to kill for and it's a secret so powerful it could destroy the fragile threads of Stella's new world.
Amazon UK Top 10 contemporary fantasy bestseller
Amazon US Top 45 fantasy bestseller
Amazon US Top 50 contemporary fantasy bestseller
Download Illicit Magic - Chapter One
Excerpt from Chapter One:
Sharp, murmured voices passed me on the wind. I couldn’t make out what they were saying but there was the sound of confusion and dissent; then a barked order calmed them. I caught the sole word “silence” from a low voice as it hissed past me. The footsteps shuffled and stamped again but no one uttered a word. It was like they were all listening for me. I felt like a fox, terrified and cornered, knowing that the beagles were just behind me, waiting to catch my scent.
Above me I could just see the first quarter of the moon breaking in the sky, casting a dim glow over the city. My jacket was a dark padded cord, good for blending in with both the hedge and low light. My breath was catching like little puffs of cloud in the air so I pulled up my cheap, striped scarf and covered my mouth to keep the plumes from straying to where they could be seen.
Without moving the rest of my body, I strained my head towards my pursuers, the scarf tightening about my neck until I tugged it loose again. I tried to count how many footsteps I could hear as they shuffled, fanned out and regrouped.
With only my pounding heartbeat for company I waited for what seemed like eternity. I tried to count Mississippi’s to gauge the time but my mind stumbled over the count and I threw the thought away. I waited for seconds, minutes, hours for them to rush past me, or at least turn and stamp a different way, hoping miserably that they really hadn’t seen me dart into this street.
Finally I couldn’t hear a thing but the blood rushing in my ears. Had I made it up? Was I really paranoid enough to think someone would bother following me? Probably. Possibly. It wasn’t the first time I’d been extra cautious, but it was the first time since the news has been full of murder. I shivered and tried to shake away the icy fear.
Edging my way across the privet, the leather of my long boots brushing against each other as I sidestepped, my toes scuffed against the scrub of garden. Fronds of hedge needled my back through my winter coat as I brushed by and fresh drops of dew slid uncomfortably past my scarf and inside my collar.
With my mouth set in a firm, grim line, clamped so tightly shut I was close to grinding my teeth, I poked my head forward, mere millimetres from the hedge but enough to see a gloved hand shoot towards me and grab my coat, the fingers clawing at my shoulder to snatch a handful of material and drag me into the open. A gasp escaped me. How had they gotten so close without me realising? Another hand, yellowed at the fingertips and reeking of tobacco, reached for my neck.
A gruff male voice snarled, “Gotcha!”
I shrieked and my whole body went rigid as I closed my eyes tightly. The air went thick and heavy around me, the cold momentarily disappeared and the blood in my veins surged as electricity crackled through my body. For the merest second all the low light and dull sounds of the city disappeared as the power rushing through me overwhelmed and took possession of me.
With the hand at my neck and the fear pumping alongside the electricity, I thought I would die in this moment, but when I opened my eyes again I was on the other side of the street, looking at my attacker grasping at the air where a second ago my neck had been. I saw his fist punch savagely through the air where my jaw should have been. If I had still been there, he would have smashed it for sure.
I felt dizzy and willed myself not to faint. The last of the shriek ebbed in my throat as I realised that I had barely focused on the task but had ended up exactly where I thought I should be when I’d glimpsed that section of empty street. Perhaps my strange gift (I never could decide what I should call it) only worked properly when I was terrified. Moving through space wasn’t something I had even been able to control before. And right now, I wasn’t afraid to admit that I was absolutely, gut-wrenchingly, terrified.
Cover designer: Robin Ludwig
Editor: Teri @EditingFairy
WTF Are You Reading?
(a 4* review - thanks!)
WTF Are You Reading says, "If you like a well written tale, full to the brim with British wit, murder, mayhem, love, and a surprise ending...this is the read for you."
Awesomesauce Book Club
A 4* review - thanks!
Awesomesauce says, "This book was pure action from the first chapter or two... By the end of this book I wanting so much more. Meaning more of the story! This book was friggen awesome. I absolutely love Stella... There are some major twists that you don't see coming. The fight scene at the end of the book was crazy and awesome."
Livia says, "All in all, I say this is an entertaining read, with characters that could develop really nice throughout the series and a plot that has a lot of potential." Read the whole review here (3 butterflies - thank you!)
The Readers Roundtable Infinity & Beyond
4.5 seashells - thank you!
"llicit Magic is an enticing read with engaging characters and action-packed adventure that will have you biting your nails as you delve deeper into the mystery, madness and mayhem of Stella Mayweather’s life. Things aren’t always as they seem as secrets are revealed, the plot thickens, allies become enemies, friendships are tested, and love begins to blossom. Therefore, if you haven’t picked up a copy of Illicit Magic by Camilla Chafer then you’re definitely missing out."
Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More
"Illicit Magic kept me engaged from the start. I like Stella's character, and there is a great mystery about her that readers find out about in slow trickles, keeping up the suspense and intrigue... There's some unexpected twists that had me raising my eyebrows and turning the pages. It's a great opener to a series, and I enjoyed the many elements of this book."
Lissette E. Manning
"This book is the beginning of a great series. Action packed and quite addicting to read, the reader finds him/herself immersed in a world full of magic and intrigue. A world where appearances are definitely deceiving. I’m definitely look forward to what comes next!"
Between Dreams and Reality
(et le avis en francais)
"The end, however, is rich in revelations and surprises! ...a pretty entertaining read, and the sequel promises to be very interesting." 3/5 - Thanks!
Snowdrop Dreams of Books
"Honestly it took me a bit to get into this book. I almost gave up and said not my thing, but with the insistance of my best friend (who had read it previously) I kept reading and I am so glad that I pushed myself that little bit further into the book. Once I got past the third chapter, I devoured this book...I think the reason I loved Illicit Magic so much was that Stella made it easy for me to like her...Illicit Magic has some pretty amazing magical happenings including some pretty hilarious scenes where Stella is still learning to control her magic and some pretty freaky scenes filled with death and carnage. It's interesting to see two sides to magic, but it helps to realize that there are always the sides of good and evil."
"I loved that the author had a nice mix of supernatural creatues...I loved seeing Stella grow into a powerful witch and still be her girl next door self. The budding romance that brewed between Stella and Evan was almost magical. It was like they were under a spell all their own and I loved it...This was a great read and I highly recommend it to lovers of witch stories."
Cindy's Love of Books
"This book had everything I loved a little romance, a little mystery, a little action, cute guys and some humor. I really like Stella. There was so much about Stella that you wanted to know about and she gradually let us know. It wasn't all at once but gradually as the story progressed so did Stella which was nice because it kept you reading and wanting to find out more about her past."