Reviews for The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry, by C.M. Waggoner

the_scribe_owl's review

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3.0

See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl!

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Ace for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

3/5 stars

I requested this book so long ago that by the time I read it I forgot what it was about. Oops. But it's all good because going into books blind can be fun too! That said, this book was nothing like my, albeit limited, knowledge of it presumed it would be.

Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.

At first, Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere.


This book was, for lack of a better word, unique. I'm having trouble even coming up with comprehensive sentences to describe it! The writing gives it a quirky sense of humor, making it very unlike other books I've read. There have always been more or less two categories: poetic prose and juvenile yet humorous writing. The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry seemed to be somewhere in the middle. There was nothing juvenile about the writing, but the dry humor was more characteristic of that kind of novel. I loved it! It's so hard to come by new things now. The writing was the best part of the book.

As the story is told from Delly's point of view, I loved to look at the world created through the lens of part of the underbelly! Delly is honestly such a fun narrator. The setting seems to be in a late 1800-ish kind of world, with the noticeable inclusion of magic. The world is decently well built and paints a historical background with a light brush.

The characters match the writing style in every sense. The writing style was quirky and fun, but so were the characters! Delly is not your usual protagonist. She's a little bumbling, but endearingly so. I've read about characters that were meant to be like Delly, but the execution was off. Thankfully, the execution was fantastic and Delly was exactly how intended.

Where The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry lost me was the plot. I enjoyed the characters, but not enough to let them carry the book. The first third or so was interesting, but then we pivoted on our heal and started choosing down another road. Books with multiple plots annoy me to no end, and this was no exception. The pacing was a little off too. Once the cast got back from everything that happened in the first third of the book, they did pretty absolutely nothing for way too long.

All in all, this was a decent read. It was unlike anything I've read before and has great potential! A few things were off for me, but I had a good time in the end.

svarshi's review

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4.0

3.5

I enjoyed this book, I really liked the world-building, the distinct voices of the characters and the twists in the story. The unique slang in this world and the way it is written really helped immerse me in the world from the first chapter. I liked how fleshed out the main characters were, especially Delly and the exploration of class differences. I also really liked seeing Delly's growth throughout the story. Her romance with Winn was cute, and Winn as a character was incredibly likeable.

lisagna's review

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adventurous funny mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

quirkus44's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

hamohero's review

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funny mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

janefair's review

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adventurous dark funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5

cosmonaught's review

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can't get into the dialogue, it's completely at odds with the descriptive text the author uses. 

sunjaybooks's review

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

What can I say? I'm a sucker for gay fantasy mysteries 

escapistbookwyrm's review

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adventurous funny medium-paced
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

nikkiyrj's review

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adventurous funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

Decent read but the plot felt a little too convenient in certain parts of the book. It also feels as though it dragged on longer than the story should have. However, I did enjoy the character development Delly had which is one of my favorite parts of the book itself.