Title: Gifted Magic (The Highland Magic Series, 1)
Author: Helen Harper
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (15th December 2015)
ORPHAN. RUNAWAY. THIEF.
Since the moment I was ripped from my mother’s womb, I’ve been an outcast amongst my own kind. The Sidhe might possess magical Gifts, unbelievable wealth and unfathomable power but I don’t want a thing to do with them. I ran away from their lands in the Highlands of Scotland when I was eleven years old and I’ve never looked back. I don’t need a Clan. I’ve got my own family of highly skilled thieves who mean more to me than any Sidhe ever could.
Unfortunately for me, the playboy heir to the Moncrieffe Clan has something I desperately need. To get it back, I’m going to have to plunge myself back into that world, no matter what the consequences may be. I suppose it’s just as well I have a sense of humour. I think I’m going to need it.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
GIFTED THIEF by Helen Harper is the first book in her Highland Magic series. It tells the story of Integrity Taylor, a Sidhe who ran away from the Highlands of Scotland at eleven and made herself a home with the Clanless. A skilled thief, Integrity has been making her living with the family she made once she’d escaped. Unfortunately she cannot escape her heritage, and the playboy heir of the Moncrieffe Clan will do anything to make sure she fulfils her obligations as a member of a Clan.
I have to confess that the thing which initially made me want to try GIFTED THIEF was the gorgeous cover art. Then I read the blurb and I was curious; it did not sound like what I expected from a fairy based urban fantasy. I quite enjoyed this book, and if you’re a fan of PARANORMALCY (review) then I think you will enjoy this book too. Integrity – and I have to admit, I’m not that keen about the name –has a very definite sense of humour, and if you like you’re puns then you will enjoy it. There is a definite sense of mystery to this book, and not a lot of answers.
GIFTED THIEF has the feel of a first book; Harper is very definitely setting the scene for future books, as well as introducing us to the characters. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it has left me curious about the second book in this series – I want to know what, exactly, is going on. I didn’t really feel that there was an overall plot to this book, except that there is definitely something going on with the Sidhe. The book does have a cohesive feel to it, even if the ending is somewhat open – I am left with more questions, than I have answers.
I thought Integrity Taylor was an interesting character; she’s very confident of her abilities, she knows her own mind and she’s very loyal to her family, and they in turn are loyal to her. As she narrates the book, you get to see events unfold from her point of view, which is something of an outsider. She actually reminds me a lot of Evie from PARANORMALCY, though I found her to be more likeable. Harper also does a good job with the secondary characters – Byron and Bob in particular were well written, and well rounded.
GIFTED THEIF is a good solid start to what could be a rather interesting urban fantasy series. I really liked the fact that this story is set in Scotland, albeit a slightly different Scotland from the one in our world. It makes a nice change that the story is not set in the US. If you like stories about the fair folk and humour then you will really quite enjoy this book. It’s a reasonably unique take on the urban fantasy genre, and well worth a try – although be warned, I don’t think it’s for everyone. Myself, I am curious to see what the second book in this series has to offer.