The Sorcerer’s Whore

Written by Samantha Grosser
Review by K. M. Sandrick

Toby Chyrche has little in the way of legacy from his father, except for a book in a language he cannot understand and words he cannot pronounce. Yet it is an object of great power and one Dr. Robert Alexander would do anything to possess, even coercing Toby’s lover, the whore Mary Sparrow, to steal it for him.

The Sorcerer’s Whore is the second in the Pages of Darkness series by author Samantha Grosser. Set in 1632 London, the novel pursues themes of sorcery and sex. Action moves from one amorous interlude to another. Sorcery is employed predominantly to bed a reluctant partner or turn passion into love. A spirit is summoned, a sacrifice made. The dark arts and protections from the goddess Hecate spar with one another.

The assignations are well-written, and scenes in Sparrow’s brothel are vivid. But settings serve as standalone vignettes; descriptions do not build on one another to flesh out character profiles or move the storyline forward. The plot takes a callous turn with the treatment of a side character who is seduced, impregnated, and pushed into an unwanted marriage.

Overall, the book is titillating, but in the end, not wholly satisfying.