Bad Magic by A. M. Stirling – Blog Tour

Bad Magic (June tour) V2

Today I am honoured to be joining the blog tour  for Bad Magic by A. M. Stirling. Thanks to Emma at for organising this tour and to A. M. Stirling and Wombach Press for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate Links which means that if you purchase an item from a link on my site, I get a small commission at no cost to you.

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When Richard meets his cousin Amanda for the first time in twenty years, he’s still afraid of her; she bullied him throughout his childhood and sexually abused him when they were teenagers. He owns a struggling art gallery that only survives because his wealthy grandmother pays for it. But now Amanda’s back in his life, things look set to change. She’s out to make trouble, drugging Richard with Rohypnol, faking a burglary and trying to persuade their grandmother to change her will. Richard’s heard a rumour she murdered her mother. Fearing for his grandmother’s life and his inheritance, he decides to give Amanda a dose of her own medicine.

My Thoughts

I like dark novels and I like to be shocked (although I’m certain I have some boundaries – I’ve just not found them yet).  I’m not sure why.  I think it’s because I’m fascinated and terrified yet curious about the human capability to do evil and the depths of the evil they can go to.   I would advise you check the content information before reading and that this book is not for the feint hearted.

I’m always more so impressed when authors chose a female protagonist and reverse the traditionally perceived roles of abuse and bullying too as it always seems that little more shocking although to be fair neither the character of Richard or Amanda (who are cousins) behaved well or fairly in any way.  Both characters were cleverly written and neither were likable.  Richard is bitter and hateful after he cannot forget or forgive Amanda’s childhood abuse of him.  Amanda is just devious, calculating, manipulative and seriously damaged herself.  As a teen she humiliated and tortured Richard in a despicable way and as an adult she is no better.  I didn’t wholly warm to Richard at all but I completely despised Amanda and I feel to evoke those emotions about a character within a reader is a great achievement.

This novel is not a fast paced action thriller, more of a slow-burn, unwinding novel that allows the reader time to process and digest the nature of each character and their actions.  Family secrets and new layers to the plot and the characters are revealed in leisurely peeled layers of storytelling although don’t be fooled into thinking this isn’t a page turner.

Not for the feint hearted but if you like dark then this one is for you.

Author Bio – A. M. Stirling


  1. M. Stirling has had a varied career as a freelance photographer, an artist with several national and international exhibitions to his name, and an academic. After harbouring an ambition to write fiction for far too long, he completed an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University in 2012.

Bad Magic is his first published novel. He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.

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Publishing Information:

Published in paperback and ebook formats by Wombach Press on 30th September 2019.

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