C. L. Polk
Witchmark Cover



This debut novel by C.L Polk introduces us to Miles Singer, a gifted surgeon lately returned home from a WWI-like war. Miles lives in Aeland, currently at war with the kingdom of Laneer. His 'gift' is the ability to wield magic, specifically to help with his healing work. The problem is he must keep this a secret or risk personal disgrace and the threat of being locked up in an asylum.

Polk builds a fascinating world to set her story in. Refraining from dumping huge blocks of exposition, she instead reveals the details of Miles' world piece by intriguing piece. There are echoes of Edwardian England with its class divisions, manners, and fashion. Instead of electricity they have something called 'aether' which is a kind of magical element. Technology is limited, and there are some wonderful descriptions of the way people ride bicycles in the city, in groups almost like flocks of birds.


Witchmark is a delightful story. I found it very readable and after a gentle start it became increasingly exciting as one plot twist quickly followed another. It has elements of historical fantasy, murder-mystery, political conspiracy, and romance. The world-building is very impressive and has left me wanting to return to Aeland for more adventures. I haven't heard about a sequel, but I would look forward to it if Polk decided to write one.

(Full review can be found here: https://biginjapangrayman.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/witchmark-2018-by-c-l-polk/