Review – Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy

**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**

Title Splinters of Scarlet

Author Emily Bain Murphy

Description from Amazon

For Marit Olsen, magic is all about strategy: it flows freely through her blood, but every use leaves behind a deadly, ice-like build-up within her veins called the Firn. Marit knows how dangerous it is to let too much Firn build up—after all, it killed her sister—and she has vowed never to use her thread magic. But when Eve, a fellow orphan whom Marit views like a little sister, is adopted by the wealthy Helene Vestergaard, Marit will do anything to stay by Eve’s side. She decides to risk the Firn and uses magic to secure a job as a seamstress in the Vestergaard household.

But Marit has a second, hidden agenda: her father died while working in the Vestergaards’ jewel mines—and it might not have been an accident. The closer Marit gets to the truth about the Vestergaard family, the more she realizes she and everyone she’s come to love are in danger. When she finds herself in the middle of a treacherous deception that goes all the way up to the king of Denmark, magic may be the only thing that can save her—if it doesn’t kill her first.

Release Date July 21, 2020

Initial Thoughts

This book was tagged as Downton Abbey set in Denmark with magic. I stopped reading after it said Downton Abbey and added this to my TBR immediately. I LOVE DOWNTON ABBEY. So, when I received an e-ARC via NetGalley I was thrilled.

Some Things I Liked

  • Downton Abbey vibes. True to the tag, this book had all kinds of upstairs / downstairs, servants / aristocrat vibes and I loved that. I really enjoyed the distinction between the servants quarters and dining area as compared to the other regions of the house. Also, I loved that they groups lived in such different worlds but found ways where their worlds overlapped.
  • Marit as a morally grey character. She wasn’t typically morally grey, but she had moments where she did questionable things for a bigger goal and I really enjoyed that. She was a fascinating and tragic character.
  • The romance. I also really liked that this story had a subtle romance. It felt very Downton Abbey.

Series Value

I would love to revisit this world and to see more of the characters here. Marit’s story could be over, but there could also be so much more. Furthermore, Eve would make for an excellent main character in a sequel.

Final Thoughts

I really loved this book. I read it all in one sitting and couldn’t put it down. The tag was completely appropriate and I loved the moral greyness found throughout the story. I would definitely like to read a sequel as well as more from Emily Bain Murphy.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Deadly Curious by Cindy Anstey – if you liked the Downton Abbey vibes plus a little extra, try this standalone by Cindy Anstey. It’s set around the same time in England and features a murder mystery.
  • The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith – if you liked the concept of Historical Fantasy, try this series by Luanne G. Smith.
  • Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok – if you liked the idea of historical fiction with just a sprinkle of magic or the supernatural, try this duology by Jodie Lynn Zdrok.

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