Epeolatry Book Review: Remedial Magic by Melissa Marr


Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Remedial Magic
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: Romantic Fantasy; Paranormal
Publisher: Bramble Romance
Release Date: 20th February, 2024

Synopsis: The Magicians meets One Last Stop in this brand-new fantasy romance Remedial Magic, about an unassuming librarian who 1) has fallen in love with a powerful witch; 2) has discovered that she is a witch; and 3) must attend magical community college to learn how to save her new world from complete destruction by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr!

Ellie loves working in her local library in the small town of Ligonier. She loves baking scones and investigating the mysterious and captivating in her spare time. And there is nothing more mysterious and captivating than the intriguingly beautiful, too properly dressed woman sipping tea in her library who has appeared as if out of nowhere. The pull between them is undeniable, and Ellie is not sure that she wants to resist.

Prospero, a powerful witch from the magical land of Crenshaw, is often accused of being… ruthless in her goals and ambitions. But she is driven to save her dying homeland, and a prophecy tells her that Ellie is the key. Unbeknownst to Ellie, her powers have not yet awakened. But all of that is about to change.

I was keen to escape into the romantically magical world as promised by the premise of Remedial Magic. The character, Ellie, tugged at my heartstrings, as I, too, tried to make a quiet (and safe, and uneventful) life for myself in a small town, while somehow still wishing for long-lost magic to reappear and make things not so…predictable. And I loved the nod to Shakespeare’s Prospero in Marr’s character of the same name.

For Ellie, Remedial Magic’s key character, it seems that magic finds her, or, rather, her witchy magic makes her found, and she’s swept off to mysterious a dimension by an equally mysterious woman. I wanted to be swept up in the romantic spell woven by charismatic Prospero—so much so, I imagined her to have the red hair I have a fondness for—but as the story progressed, I found myself a little disenchanted.

Well, confused, more like. At first, I thought exhaustion was muddling my perception, so I read through Remedial Magic again. Shimmering glints of mystical potential were strewn throughout the book, and I enjoyed the repartee between characters. The dialogue overall made me keen to know more about the characters and their backstory.

But—and yes there is a but—it felt like the plot was discombobulating, and there was a troubling disconnect among story events. It was as if the book was rushed off to press rather than treated to another round of developmental editing. Such editing could have made this brilliant story concept, where both the promise of impossible realities and impossible love, sparkle.

Without spoilers, I’d rather have something left unresolved than have it resolved in a way that seems out of character with the story vibe, which made it a little unsettling and uncomfortable in the manner of the resolution. 

I hope to see that promise of wondrous possibilities manifest in the sequel. I’d like to see more time spent weaving Marr’s creatively imagined spellwork into a stronger plot and story arc to support the intriguingly “witchy” characters.  


Available from Amazon and Bookshop.

You may also like...