Book Review: Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments by T. L. Huchu #WyrdAndWonder

When Ropa Moyo discovered an occult underground library, she expected great things. She’s really into Edinburgh’s secret societies – but turns out they are less into her. So instead of getting paid to work magic, she’s had to accept a crummy unpaid internship. And her with bills to pay and a pet fox to feed.

Then her friend Priya offers her a job on the side. Priya works at Our Lady of Mysterious Maladies, a very specialized hospital, where a new illness is resisting magical and medical remedies alike. The first patient was a teenage boy, Max Wu, and his healers are baffled. If Ropa can solve the case, she might earn as she learns – and impress her mentor, Sir Callander.

Her sleuthing will lead her to a lost fortune, an avenging spirit and a secret buried deep in Scotland’s past. But how are they connected? Lives are at stake and Ropa is running out of time.

I really, really enjoyed this one! Huchu has properly hit his writing stride in this second outing for Ropa and her friends. The Library of the Dead was good but Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments was even better. With less set up to do the characters could shine properly.

I adore Ropa, her determination to do the right thing, the love she has for her Gran and little sister and the care she takes of her friends. She’s a brilliant strong female heroine (who doesn’t always get things right!) but always tries her best. She’s smart – both book and street and constantly trying to better herself.

I’m so pleased we got more River this book too, I’m a sucker for animal companions and a fox suits Ropa.

This time out Ropa is trying to prove herself to her mentor Sir Callander, learn some more magic, save the life of a teenage boy who’s case is baffling healers and seems to have a supernatural element, find a lost fortune and most importantly in Ropa’s eyes – get paid.

Priya is awesome as well. She’s kick ass, bold and a brilliant example of characters with disabilities should be written. It’s mentioned that Priya is a wheelchair user in the same way that Ropa walking or riding her bike is but its not used a part of her personality and doesn’t stop her achieving anything that she sets her mind to.

The magic in this series feels so realistic as well, with different elements woven through the everyday fabric of life. I particularly enjoyed the addition of ‘ear worms’ the magical equivalent of an audiobook (even if it does sound rather gross!)

A really nice mix of fantasy and crime this was a proper page turner and I can’t wait to get hold of book three in the Edinburgh Nights series.

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