I have to say that this one didn’t wow me at all.
The main character Nora was not a thinking woman as the title makes us believe. Nora is an English PhD candidate whose dissertation is falling apart. She knowingly chose a topic already plowed over by, not hundreds but, thousands of other students. And now she tells her TA that she is shocked that she can’t complete it and she wants to change topics. I mean if she were a thinking woman wouldn’t she have had more sense?
The story itself wasn’t much better. Again Nora strikes me as a woman with no brain. She stumbles onto a house in the middle of the woods and drinks the provable Kool-aid down to the last drop. She goes through many magical like situations all under an enchantment, from marriage to being pregnant, and it was just weird how she just…WENT A LONG WITH IT!!!
At about 150 pages I gave up. It just wasn’t going anywhere and I really wanted to jump into the book and slap Nora upside the head. Didn’t her parents ever teach her not to take candy from a stranger?
So in the end you need to go into this knowing the following
Nora was stupid and not a good role model.
The magic is very inconsistent
MC has tons of tantrums
No real ending (cheated and skipped after I gave up)
The promo for this book states it is for lovers of The Magicians and A Discovery of Witches. I take personal offense to that. This is nothing like those awesome books.
An imaginative story of a woman caught in an alternate world—where she will need to learn the skills of magic to survive
Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman. During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she’s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty. Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true.
Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally—and a reluctant one at that—is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel’s student—and learning magic herself—to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her “real life” against the dangerous power of love and magic.
For lovers of Lev Grossman's The Magicians series (The Magicians and The Magician King) and Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy (A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night).