3 March 2016

Magpie by Kim Dare

Hey everyone,

Kim Dare cemented herself as one of my auto-buy authors when she wrote Axel’s Pup last year. So when I was stuck with what to read I decided to browse her back catalogue of work and came across Magpie. This is the second book in her Avian Shifters series and shouldn’t be read without first reading Duck! Luckily I read that a few reads ago so I dived right on in.

The book:

Everet has found his perfect place in the nest. As a raven, he’s ideally suited to his new role in the nest’s security flock. Some of the jobs it entails have been far more enjoyable than others, but when he’s called to retrieve a magpie, whose got himself into trouble in a local human club, it becomes a truly life changing experience.

Magpie shifters have always been looked down on by other avians. Just as attracted to shiny things in their human bodies as they are in their avian forms, everyone knows they’ll do anything for money—and they’re not above stealing what they can’t get by more honest means.

Kane knows what being a magpie means, and he’s got the bruises to show for it. When Everet rescues him from his latest scrape, Kane knows better than to believe the raven will actually take an interest in him and his welfare, but it’s just possible that Everet is different to any other man Kane has ever met.

My thoughts:

In the world Dare has created bird shifters have an extremely strict hierarchy and a lot of prejudices about how certain species of birds should behave. These concepts were explored in Duck! and continue in Magpie, with our new heroes Kane, the magpie shifter, and Everet, the raven shifter. In the bird-shifting world Magpies are looked down upon and assumed to be gold-digging drug addicts. Amazingly, given what was expected of him in life, Kane has become just that. Since running away from his family he has survived by whatever means necessary.

“You’re a cop?” Kane didn’t even try to hide his horror. Everet could obviously be crossed off his list of possible sugar-daddies. Cops weren’t just trouble; they were usually broke, too.

On the flip side Ravens are seen as respectable and law abiding, if not a tiny bit possessive towards people they love. When Everet is sent by the nest to rescue Kane from an unpleasant situation he starts to feel responsible for him. Even taking on the task of becoming Kane’s ‘dominant’ to save him from being punished by the nest. Kane's crime is being a Magpie. I warned you they were prejudiced. Kim Dare’s book almost always have a BDSM element in them and within the Magpie she lightly plays with the  ideas of domination and submission. This mainly revolves around Kane’s transformation in a productive member of society rather than the romantic relationship between him and Everet.

“Maybe I want everything to be as simple as two guys in bed together,” he said.
“As simple as pleasing the man I belong to and making him feel better when he’s in pain. 

I really liked the characters of Everet and Kane. They were by no means perfect, Everet is little up-tight and Kane is a drug-addict trying to reform so he makes mistakes. Yet what I did enjoy was Everet’s complete conviction that Kane could overcome his magpie nature. That he could be more than a thief, a drug addict and a prostitute. I would agree that this book has a lot of issues. The fact that Kane’s rights are made null and void once he agrees to being Everet’s submissive in the eyes of the nest being the main one. This is slightly redeemed by Everet always making it clear to Kane that he does have a choice. So while this isn’t a perfect depiction of a healthy BDSM relationship, I still enjoyed the Magpie.

“You can trust my word,” Everet said. “No one will raise a hand to punish you while you belong to me. Not me, not anyone else.”

I liked the world building and the imagination required to create this complex and rule-driven bird society. As always Kim Dare did an incredible job at getting into her characters heads and showing the reader their motivations and desires. I understood why Everet and Kane acted the way they did. By the end of the book I was routing for Kane and Everet to have a happily ever after because they made each other better. I was debating between 3 or 4 stars, but in the end awarded 4 for pure enjoyment.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!