The House on Durrow Street is the second book in a fantasy series by Galen Becket set in the magical island of Atlantia. This series takes place during a timeline that is very similar to Regency England and the books have an Austeneque feel to them. This alternate world is in habited by witches, magicians, and humans.
At the end of the first book, The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, Ivy Lockwell had married Mr. Quent and had been triumphant over an order of magicians determined to obtain a magical artifact which had been locked away by Ivy’s Dad in his house on Durrow Street. Ivy, Mr. Quent and her two sisters, Lily and Rose, have moved into the house on Durrow Street and hope to learn more about Mr. Lockwell’s mysterious past.
Meanwhile, Mr. Quent is rewarded by the King for his success at stopping some political uprisings and becomes Sir Quent. This change in social position makes Mr. Quent’s job more difficult, now he has to worry about staying within society’s rules, and also requires that Ivy move about in high society, something she was not trained for but seems to which she takes to fairly well. While this part of the plot does seem to slow down somewhat, we do get to see Ivy making small discoveries about her father and also making necessary renovations to the house on Durrrow Street, which almost becomes a secondary character in itself.
Additionally, characters from the first book make additional appearances in this book, Mr. Rafferdy learns more about magic and the House of Lords. He is also still somewhat obsessed with his love for Ivy, which continues a thread that was started in the first book. Mr. Rafferdy is somewhat of an unusual secondary character because he actually has a larger part in the book than Ivy’s husband, Mr. Quent, who is absent due to his work during large portions of the book. His presence also seems to put somewhat of a strain on the developing love between Ivy and Mr. Quent. Eldyn also makes several appearances in this book, although he doesn’t interact with the primary characters in this book but only with some of the lesser secondary characters.
Ivy also makes some discoveries in this book about her father’s contemporaries and what they discovered as young men. Their secrets are no longer secret and these men now find themselves in danger from old enemies and an otherworldly danger which makes an appearance in this book. Ivy also finds some additional artifacts at the house on Durrow Street and it will be interesting to see how this will influence Ivy’s decision about practicing magic or simply being a woman of high society. I also wonder about their importance to Atlantia’s survival due to the conflict between magic and politics. There is a third book planned in this series and I look forward to seeing these characters again.
“A charming and mannered fantasy confection with a darker core of gothic romance” is how New York Times bestselling author Robin Hobb described Galen Beckett’s marvelous series opener, The Magicians and Mrs. Quent. Now Beckett returns to this world of dazzling magick and refined manners, where one extraordinary woman’s choice will put the fate of a nation—and all she cherishes—into precarious balance.
Her courage saved the country of Altania and earned the love of a hero of the realm. Now sensible Ivy Quent wants only to turn her father’s sprawling, mysterious house into a proper home. But soon she is swept into fashionable society’s highest circles of power—a world that is vital to her family’s future but replete with perilous temptations.
Yet far greater danger lies beyond the city’s glittering ballrooms—and Ivy must race to unlock the secrets that lie within the old house on Durrow Street before outlaw magicians and an ancient ravening force plunge Altania into darkness forever.