The Familiar Leigh Bardugo

Posted April 4, 2024 by jrsbookr in Fantasy / 0 Comments

The Familiar  Leigh Bardugo

by Leigh Bardugo
The Familiar  Leigh BardugoThe Familiar Published by Flatiron Books on April 9, 2024
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Fiction / Historical / Renaissance, FICTION / Magical Realism
Pages: 400
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo comes a spellbinding novel set in the Spanish Golden Age.

A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2024 by The Washington Post, NPR, Goodreads, LitHub, The Nerd Daily, Paste Magazine,, and so much more!

“A must-read for those who are seeking a little magic in their lives.” —Deborah Harkness, #1 bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches

In a shabby house, on a shabby street, in the new capital of Madrid, Luzia Cotado uses scraps of magic to get through her days of endless toil as a scullion. But when her scheming mistress discovers the lump of a servant cowering in the kitchen is actually hiding a talent for little miracles, she demands Luzia use those gifts to improve the family's social position.

What begins as simple amusement for the nobility takes a perilous turn when Luzia garners the notice of Antonio Pérez, the disgraced secretary to Spain's king. Still reeling from the defeat of his armada, the king is desperate for any advantage in the war against England's heretic queen—and Pérez will stop at nothing to regain the king's favor.

Determined to seize this one chance to better her fortunes, Luzia plunges into a world of seers and alchemists, holy men and hucksters, where the lines between magic, science, and fraud are never certain. But as her notoriety grows, so does the danger that her Jewish blood will doom her to the Inquisition's wrath. She will have to use every bit of her wit and will to survive—even if that means enlisting the help of Guillén Santángel, an embittered immortal familiar whose own secrets could prove deadly for them both.


The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo was a much-anticipated read for me in 2024. Though it ended up being a 3-star rating to me, it doesn’t mean that I did not like it; it just was not up to the standards I expected from this brilliant author. The Familiar reminded me of a few mash-ups; we have a Cinderella-type character that has magic and is used by her family to attempt to make life better. We have a character trapped by another in a genie relationship where the character longs to be released from the confines of a contract they have unknowingly entered. There is a magical competition, which is the part I enjoyed the most, as Leigh does a great job of describing the whole competition in such detail that I can clearly see what is occurring on the page in my mind’s eye. There were dark moments that I could have done without, but those were expected since this is an adult novel. I mostly rated it as a three as I felt no connection to any of the characters, and it did not ring out with read me again and again type of enthusiasm that I felt without novels I read by this author. So, though I was left wanting more out of the story, there is a chance someone else might enjoy it more than I did.

About Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Ninth House and the creator of the Grishaverse (now a Netflix original series) which spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology, the King of Scars duology—and much more. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple anthologies including The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. She lives in Los Angeles and is an associate fellow of Pauli Murray College at Yale University.