Book Review: The Thief on the Winged Horse by Kate Mascarenhas #BookReview #BookBlogger #TheThiefOnTheWingedHorse #NewRelease

The Thief on the Winged Horse


Kate Mascarenhas

The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls for over 200 years. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftsmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop.

Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn her ancestors’ craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and blood ties to the family, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.

But then, one night, the firm’s most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime…

The Kendrick family is renowned for its artistry. Their dolls are some of the finest one can buy, for the detail and finesse in every stitch and joint, but there is more to them than just this. The Kendricks’ dolls are imbued with magic, each with a particular emotion. With one touch, customers can experience feelings such as love, happiness or even paranoia and fear. The creations are marvels and revered by all.

But what is not widely known is that the Kendrick family are terribly superstitious, their glory and fortune they afford to the Thief on the Winged Horse, one of the fae folk who visits their town.

For Persephone Kendrick, superstition has no relevance. She believes in hard graft and natural talent. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a sorcerer and crafting the most complex and exquisite of dolls. But that dream remains unfulfilled because women are prohibited from learning sorcery, from crafting dolls simply because they are women. This is has been the way for many years and will be, it seems, for many years to come.

When a mysterious man arrives in Paxton’s Eyot claiming to be a long lost member of the Kendrick family, suspicion is aroused. Is he a liar wanting the secrets of their sorcery or a blood relative? Persephone soon sees an opportunity to claim her rightful place and take back something for herself and all the Kendrick women.

The Thief on the Winged Horse is a glorious blend of crime, romance, feminism, suspicion, myth and magic realism. It is a many-layered beauty which examines prejudice and injustice. I adored the complex female characters and the atmospheric setting of the Eyot in Oxford where this community live. I also loved how this book has the feel of history fiction but is obviously set in current day, this juxtaposition is original and absolutely genius. Highly recommend for fans of The Doll Factory and The Binding.

To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below: (supporting indy bookshops)


About the Author

Kate Mascarenhas is a writer.

Born in 1980, she is of mixed heritage (white Irish father, brown British mother) and has family in Ireland and the Republic of Seychelles.

She studied English at Oxford and Applied Psychology at Derby. Her PhD, in literary studies and psychology, was completed at Worcester.

Since 2017 Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Previously she has been an advertising copywriter, bookbinder, and doll’s house maker. She lives in the English midlands with her partner.

Her new novel, The Psychology of Time Travel, is available now to buy in the UK.

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