Lord Crane and his lover Stephan Day are the Magpie Lord.
Together, with the power of the Magpie Lord’s ring–by having sex and mixing blood–they unleash a power that Crane’s ancestor once wrought. The house that Lord Crane lives in is now devoid of any evil that once hung over it, making it a source of power once again.
In the previous book, The Magpie Lord, Lord Crane and Stephan were lusting after each other. They had sex constantly, leading up into the second book. It was clear that they couldn’t get enough of each other.
A Case of Possession, on the other hand, deals with the two main leads feelings and emotions. Crane has never had a lover that’s as elusive as one Stephan Day. While he shares Crane’s bed, he leaves in the morning. They don’t openly talk about their feelings for one another. At first. This places a strain on Crane and Stephan, one in where they wonder where the other is, and how best to reach each other. In The Magpie Lord, they corresponded in the form of coded letters, letting each other know just how much they wanted each other.
The sex-and-blood bond that Stephan has with Crane makes him stronger, and much more powerful.
A Case of Possession is twofold: In addition to examining Crane and Stephan’s emotional connection, there’s a suspicion among his colleagues that Stephan has turned warlock–draining Crane magically in order to get the kind of power he possesses now. If his colleagues find fault with Stephan, and declare that he’s a warlock, he could lose his job. He could lose so much more than just his job: his friends, for one, and his relationship with Crane. For Stephan, his job is all he has in the world–unlike his lover’s aristocratic power and wealth. Without his job, he would lose a large part of his identity.
Stephan has another problem at hand: an infestation of rats. These aren’t normal rats, either, they grow, and then continue to attack you. *shudders*
Stephan isn’t sure if he can keep taking risks, like keeping the true source behind his power from his friends and work colleagues. Crane is sure that he can’t ask Stephan to keep taking risks either, especially since he’s the one who harnesses the Magpie Lord’s power.
The rats are becoming more of a problem, and something’s gotta give.
A Case of Possession features more magic, more displays of immense power on Stephan’s part. He saves Crane’s life again in this book, but I will refrain from spoiling the climactic ending to the rat problem, because it’s so much better if you read it for yourself. I will say this, though, it’s pretty cool.
If you love magic, Victorian settings, mystery surrounding rats and an evil warlock, then you should certainly read this series. I suggest staring with the first book, The Magpie Lord.
The magic is stronger, cooler, and somehow even more impressive than in the first book. While Crane and Stephan still have sex like bunnies, they actually manage to talk about their feelings that have been burgeoning for months on end. The humor is still as crisp and clever as the rest of KJ’s Charles’ writing. She does a great job setting up a nail-biter of an ending in the second installment to a wonderful series that features magic, frantically fighting off giant rats, and a warlock hell-bent on possessing Crane’s mind to obtain the Magpie Lord’s power.