• Archives

  • Topics

  • Meta

  • The Boogeyman - Working Vacation
  • Coming Home
  • Quest To the North
  • Via Serica
  • Tales of the Minivandians
  • Join the NRA

    Join the NRA!

Book Review – Judiciously Familiar

Alma Boykin continues her unique and enjoyable Familiar Tales series with  Judiciously Familiar:

“By the Pricking of my thumbs/ Something wicked this way comes!”

“Caw! Caw!”

A raven the size of an eagle appears in Riverton. When it begins haunting Familiars, Lelia and André Lestrang have to decide if it needs their special attention. Lelia, battling fatigue and postpartum depression, juggles family, magic, and working at Belle, Book, and Blacklight. Her employer, Arthur Saldovado, too wonders about the raven and its meaning.

Something from the past stirs, something dark and deep. A new sorceress and the raven hint at dangers hiding in the shadows. Shadows perhaps too dark even for shadow mages to master.

The main character of the series, Lelia Chan, has come a long way since her introduction as a troubled teen trying to get her life together.  Now, she’s a full time mom, wife, and shadow mage.

When Lelia got married and had her first baby, I was worried that Ms. Boykin would have to move on to another character to center these tales around, but she has done a masterful job of letting Lelia evolve and grow as the series progresses.  We get to meet her new sons and see how being a mother has made her stronger and more dedicated than ever.

As I found in the rest of the series, a gentle humor runs through Judiciously Familiar.  Additionally, the plot has a tension to it that builds to a crescendo in the third act.  The pacing is not overly swift, but Boykin’s writing keeps the reader’s attention throughout. I worked my way through the book in a few hours of dedicated reading, but you can definitely take your time and savor this one in small bites, if you wish.

You definitely need to have read the rest of the series before starting this one, as Judiciously Familiar includes many characters and situations from earlier books that fit together in an intricate mosaic.  By now, the Familiar Tales world is well fleshed-out, so treat yourself and enjoy them first.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Old NFO

     /  November 19, 2020

    It’s a great read, and glad the series is continuing!


  2. I’m behind in the series. My dear husband has nicely not been spoilering them for me, but I really need to make time to read fiction. My brain hasn’t been geared that way recently! I always love Alma’s work, though.


%d bloggers like this: