Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Recent Reading: The Wizard’s Butler by Nathan Lowell

Okay, this was just about the perfect book to read, especially right before bedtime. Calm, very slice-of-life, nothing bad happening to anyone. Everyone is nice to everyone else, except the niece, but honestly nothing much bad happens to her either except losing a court case she should never have brought against her uncle.

Roger Mulligan takes the niece’s job to look after her aged uncle and keep him alive for a year and look after the house in a small way; eg, be a butler and also the full staff of the house.

Roger, an ex-army medic and ex-EMT, finds being a butler a soothing change of pace and is luckily not all that thrown when he finds out that old Mr. Shackleford is a wizard. Everything works out for everyone, the end.

I mean, there’s a cursed artifact, and I suppose it was POSSIBLE something (else) would go wrong at the court hearing, but really, I’m not sure I’ve ever read a lower-stress story.

Also! I would say that Nathan Lowell’s improved markedly as a writer since Quarter Share. I liked the Ismael Wang series quite a bit, but various quirks of the writing did irritate me. That wasn’t the case here.

Definitely recommended for anyone who would like to read a calm story about a guy discovering he likes being a butler, with nice people getting their lives in order plus rather easily thwarting a minor bad guy.

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9 Comments Recent Reading: The Wizard’s Butler by Nathan Lowell

  1. Allan Shampine

    I’m on the third book of the St. Brendan trilogy, which you previously recommended. I’ve been enjoying it as well. Also pretty low stress. I have to say, though, I was a bit surprised at the third book swerving firmly into magical realism territory. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers for other readers.

  2. SarahZ

    Oh, I thought of a good low-stress fantasy series: the Amaranthine books by Forthright. It’s not that nothing bad ever happens, but the vibe is very low key, and lots of focus on cultural exchanges/understanding.

  3. Rachel

    Thanks, Sarah — I was thinking of trying something by Forthright, just because those books come up in the “also buy” category for my books. Now I’ll move something by that author up the TBR stack.

    Good to know, Hanneke! I’ll keep an eye out for that.

  4. SarahZ

    She does something very similar to what you do with black dog, with short story collections in between the main books. Only, her story collections are usually folk tales of the amaranthine and other historical bits rather than stuff with established characters.

  5. Elaine T

    It was just what I wanted, and his writing has improved a lot.

    I tried Amaranthine, and it didn’t take. FWIW.

  6. Rachel

    Thanks for your feedback, Elaine. I’ll try the Amaranthine series, but I won’t have my expectations too high.

    I’m re-reading the Quarter Share series and that confirms for me that yes indeed, Lowell’s writing is definitely better than it used to be. Among other things, after re-reading Captain’s Share, I believe I have developed a permanent allergy to use of the word “scampered.”

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