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Reviews by Contributor: Polk, C. L. (5)

My Soul to Keep

Even Though I Knew the End

By C. L. Polk  

20 May, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


C. L. Polk’s 2022 Even Though I Knew the End is a stand-alone modern fantasy novel. 

Helen Brandt, disgraced sorcerer, formerly of the Brotherhood of the Compass, now ekes out a precarious living as an investigative warlock. A client asks her to investigate a murder scene, latest of the so-called White City Vampire serial killings. The scene reeks of powerful magic. Helen takes photos and prepares to leave, when she is interrupted by former colleagues from the Brotherhood of the Compass, who warn her away. 

Helen very much wants to please her client, Marlowe. The pay is lucrative and will add to the nest egg Helen plans to leave her girlfriend Edith. It will be a great help to Edith in her (planned) new life in San Francisco. But it will be a life without Helen. Helen knows she will die January 13, three days away. That’s something Edith doesn’t know.

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End This World of Slavery

Soulstar  (Kingston Cycle, volume 3)

By C. L. Polk  

8 Jan, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


2021’s Soulstar is the third book in C. L. Polk’s Kingston Cycle.

Newly crowned King Severin of Aeland inaugurates his ambitious reign by abolishing the misleadingly named Witchcraft Protection Act. Witches will no longer be dragged off to asylums for brutal (often lethal) exploitation and those in asylums will be permitted to leave. All across Aeland, people are reunited with loved ones they had had no hope of ever seeing again. It’s a happy end to a tragic era.

As Robin Thorpe, recently reunited with her witch spouse Zelind, could tell Severin, the situation cannot be resolved with a quick decree.

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When the World Is Breaking My Heart

The Midnight Bargain

By C. L. Polk  

31 Aug, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews


C. L. Polk’s 2020 The Midnight Bargain is a secondary world fantasy, due out in October.

Beatrice Clayborn could be one of Chasland’s greatest magi — if only she were a man. But she is a woman and the only roles she’s allowed are those of wife and mother. Oh, she can do a little magic once she is too old to bear children, but even that permission is grudgingly given and strictly circumscribed. 

But women will hone their talents, disregarding patriarchal restrictions. There are grimoires intended for women, disguised but recognizable to those with talent. Beatrice, desperate to escape matrimony, has been methodically searching them out. The final volume she needs, the one that will permit her to summon a greater spirit and propose the pact of the great bargain,” thus becoming a mage of unquestionable power, is one quick purchase away. 

And then…

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No Pill’s Gonna Cure My Ill

Witchmark  (Kingston Cycle, volume 1)

By C. L. Polk  

19 Jun, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


C. L. Polk’s 2017 Witchmark is the first volume in their Kingston Cycle. 

Having survived a lamentable childhood and a bloody war, Doctor Singer would like to put his past behind him and focus on healing people. His good Samaritan instincts betray him when he tries to assist Nick Elliott. The dying journalist refers to the doctor as starred one” in the hearing of Tristan Hunter. Elliott might as well have called Singer a witch. 

If Hunter were to report Singer to the authorities, it would be disastrous for the doctor. The nation of Aeland has a firm policy where witches are concerned: dispatch them to asylums as soon as they are discovered. But Hunter, a foreigner, isn’t interested in exposing Singer. Hunter simply wants the doctor’s help in learning who murdered Elliott — and why.

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