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“By the time I finished I was shocked by how upset I was. Not because of the way the book ended, but that it did end. I came to deeply care for these characters and this world and I simply wasn’t ready to leave it behind….This is the kind of novel where I don’t want to talk about it too much (for fear of saying the wrong thing), but I simply can’t stop rambling. Really, it’s that good.”—The Pretty Good Gatsby

“You know that kind of book that totally grabs you? I mean the kind that won’t let you sleep, feed your family, or get your work done? They don’t come around often, but when one does, you’re completely under its spell….Barker’s world is like none you’ve ever encountered. And despite the dangers and the hardships, you’ll likely wish you could find your way into the land of magic.”—Beth Fish Reads

“This novel is remarkable: it has such depth, emotive content, and sparkle. It’s as skillfully written as any piece of literary fiction with paranormal overtones I have read in the past few years.”—Fangs Wands and Fairy Dust

“I enjoyed this very much. It starts out feeling like Deborah Harkness’ All Souls series, but quickly veers into fantasy when Nora exits this world on the basis of a wish….A little bit Narnia, a little bit All Souls, and bearing a kinship to Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill’s Bedlam’s Bard, Seanan Maguire’s October Daye, Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan, Karen Marie Moning’s Fever, and Allison Pang’s Abby Sinclair.”—KD Did It

“A great mix of old school magic and fairy tales along with a contemporary woman trying to fit in without giving up what she knows.”—Bookalicious Babe Review

“A unique read with delightful characters, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic is a smart novel that takes the reader into a dark fantasy world full of magic, where there really are monsters hiding around every corner.”—S. Krishna’s Books

“Centered on more adult concerns than the Harry Potter books, Barker’s debut is full of allusions to dark fairy tales and literary romances. If Hermione Granger had been an American who never received an invitation to Hogwarts, this might have been her story.” —People

“Emily Croy Barker is the executive editor of The American Lawyer magazine, where she oversees coverage of things like antitrust mass actions in Europe and the population of minority lawyers at big law firms. One can only imagine the fun she had writing this soapy, snappy tale. I’d be a sucker for any book in which Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice played a prominent role. . . but The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic stands on its own merits as a thoroughly enchanting read.” —BookPage

Screen shot 2013-07-28 at 2.32.58 PMCheck with your lawyer before making that wish: “As literature shows us, if you want to dabble in magic safely and successfully, it helps to have the advice of a good attorney.” Click here to read Emily Croy Barker’s New York Times Op-Ed article on “The Rules of Magic.”

Screen shot 2013-08-07 at 9.51.03 PMThe Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic is an Indie Next pick for August 2013! “The great thing about Nora, the titular ‘thinking woman,’ is that she is completely relatable….She brings an analytical eye to a highly stratified, low-tech, but magical place, and by speaking truth to power she learns new lessons about herself. This beautifully written first novel reverberates with echoes of fairy tales and fantasy literature from Narnia to Harry Potter.” —Tonie Lilley, The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC

“Nora must find her place in a world where her academic skills, and even the English language, are suddenly useless. She is alternately aided and thwarted by the magician Aruendiel, who can perhaps be best described as an Alan Rickman character when the Harry Potter films meet Love, Actually…. By the end of the novel, readers will feel at home in the alternate universe Barker has created, and their protagonists come to seem like old friends.” —Shelf Awareness

“…As the novel closes, Barker leaves Nora poised on the brink of a decision that could lead to another adventure. This reviewer can’t wait. VERDICT Readers who love magical fantasy adventures with strong female protagonists will enjoy Barker’s novel. And fans of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians may also want to try this.” —Library Journal.