Title: The Thief on the Winged Horse
Author: Kate Mascarenhas
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 1 August 2020
Format: eBook - PDF
Source: ARC via NetGalley
The Kendrick family have run their world-famous doll-making business in near isolation since the early 1800s. Only family members are permitted to work for the firm, and only the men know the closely guarded secrets of the workshop. Because Kendricks' dolls aren't coveted for the craftsmanship alone. Each doll has a specific emotion laid on it by its maker. A magic that can make the beholder feel Bucolic Bliss, Heady Optimism or even Consuming Paranoia at a single touch.
Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the doll-makers craft, but instead must fulfill a woman's role, working on the shop floor. When a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the family, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.
But then, one night, the family's most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime...
The Thief on the Winged Horse was an interesting and engaging read overall. I enjoyed the premise, and there was sufficient world building for me to get a sense of the place and situation without unnecessary info. The characters, too, mostly came across well. We got a decent understanding of the main players and their motivations, and they all felt like unique, developed figures. However, there was something that didn't quite click for me and I am having trouble deciding what it was. As I said, world building and characters were well done and there was an intriguing plot, but somehow it didn't completely come together, and when I closed the final page, I was wishing for something more, yet I couldn't tell you what that "more" was. Maybe over time the answer will come to me, but for now I will just say this was a good book, with plenty of well-written content to please fans of fantasy/magical realism. I liked it, but there was just something missing that would have made me leap from liking it to loving it. This was a 3.5-star read for me, which I will round up to a four, rather than down to a three. I'm glad I read it once, but it's not something I feel the need to reread in the future.
I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.