Friday, 26 April 2013

The Minority Council (Matthew Swift #4) Review

The Minority Council (Matthew Swift #4)
Kate Griffin

Publisher: Orbit

Matthew Swift, sorcerer, Midnight Mayor, is in charge. Or so he'd like to think. And London, being London, is having its issues. Drug use is rampant. Teenage vandalism is driving away business. Violent crimes are on the rise. Once upon a time, Matthew Swift wouldn't have given a toss. Now it's his mess to clean up. Especially when the new drug on the market is fairy dust and the production process involves turning humans into walking drug labs. And when the teenage vandals are being hunted by a mystical creature. And when the petty criminals of London start dying by magical means. 
It becomes clear that not only is this Swift's mess to clean up, but someone is trying to tell him how to do his job. Now he has to sort out who's behind the crime wave and who's interfering in his business. Swift has a lot of old enemies and few friends. If he's going to save London from a rising tide of blood -- he's going to have to learn his lessons and fast

Matthew Swift is one of the few remaining Sorcerers left in London – wizards who can create spells and manipulate the magic of the city. Added to that is the Midnight Mayor, protector of that city. He is also having a bad day. When he finds out that something is sucking the souls out of teenagers in his city and a dear acquaintance calls asking for help, he decides that these things must be dealt with, no matter the cost.

Matthew is a unique character – he came back from the dead merged with the blue electrical angels of the wires and is enormously powerful and at the same time completely helpless. He is both inhuman and humane. He cares about the city, but not at the expense of the people. As well as Matthew we meet again his apprentice Penny. She is total awesome but at the same time vulnerable and realistic, with a perchance for speaking too much and swearing a lot. Matthew also gains an assistant in the shape of Kelly, who over the course of the book becomes very endearing.

Kate Griffin’s writing is once again melodic and descriptive, allowing you to fall into this London, this world and be swept along with the other debris as the story races around the city and between subplots. London is depicted as a magical place but at the same time it is not dressed up like a Richard Curtis film to look all sweet and innocent. It’s a magnificent city full of the best and worst of humanity, with some parts falling into disrepute and decay, while others thrive. I love this view and the scenes set in areas I’m familiar with add a fission of depth and colour.

This is London UF done well and done differently. However, unlike the previous instalments of Matthew Swift’s adventures, there was a certain hint of menace missing. While this threat is more personal and emotional for Matthew, it was not a threat to the city and as such seemed to miss a certain element for me. Not that this was a bad instalment in the series – just not my favourite! I would still highly recommended this series!

Recommended for fans of Anne Rice and Jim Butcher. 8 out of 10


  1. Oh this looks like a series I need to start. Even though you didn't like this one as much as the others, it still sounds like a good book. I do love the sound of the world building. Must add them all to the ever expanding, never diminishing wishlist!

  2. Yeah, no. It does not click today

  3. Oh wow the fourth already!?! Geez. I need to get moving here. lol.