ARC Review: The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry

I was really excited to read this book and I was so happy to receive an ARC through NetGalley! But, after reading the story, I had some issues with it that unfortunately made me have to lower my rating.

I received an eARC of The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner from NetGalley and Ace in exchange for an honest review. This has not impact my thoughts or feelings towards this book and all opinions are my own.


The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner
Published: January 12, 2021
Publisher: Ace
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Pages: 384

A charming historical fantasy with a tender love story at its core, from the author of Unnatural Magic.

Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.

At first Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere.

I was really excited for this book going into it. The first chapter, we meet Delly, a drunk fire witch who can’t seem to get through life without trouble knocking on her door. But, when she gets an opportunity to act as a bodyguard for a rich young lady preparing to marry, things look like they’re going to turn around.

The first chapter had me rolling with laughter. In fact, the whole book had this edge of comedy that I really liked. I can really appreciate when a fantastical book can also be comical. It helped lighten up the mood, especially with any scene containing Button, the skeletal, spirit infected rat. But one thing that really hindered my reading was the extremely long chapters.

I’m not sure what it is about adult fiction, but there’s no reason for me to read 10% of the book in some cases in one chapter. It dragged the book along, even during intense action scenes, and it felt like everything was going on with no break.

Excluding the pacing issue, I loved the plot, I loved the characters, and I really liked the humor. I think that’s the biggest thing that saved this book because each moment had me grinning or laughing throughout. Without it, I feel like I would have been sucked into the endless chapters and gotten lost amongst the onslaught of events happening all at once.

If the chapters were just a little shorter, I think I would have loved this book! But, I have to give it a star-1star-1star-1 // 5 stars for the dragging pace and slow plot.

If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out Waggoner’s other book, Unnatural Magic!


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