Title: Lizards and Lying Men: A Magical Association Story
Author/Publisher: T. Thorn Coyle
Price: 99 cents
Dagger is an exotic dancer in San Francisco. She is also a lapsed witch, having abandoned her practices after her mother was killed. But her grandmother won’t let Dagger forget that she has responsibilities. And when a man who accidentally stumbled into the hidden world of magic comes to her for help, Dagger finds herself reluctantly drawn back into a life she only wanted to leave behind ….
I came across “Lizards and Lying Men” in The Witches’ Brew digital bundle; only later did I learn that it was also available as a stand-alone story. It was easily my favorite story in the entire collection. I enjoyed it so much that I immediately purchased and downloaded Coyle’s The Witches of Portland series.
Dagger is a great character, and her name fits her perfectly. She is tall, thin, and light-haired. She works best with the element of air, and supports herself as a dancer — or, more accurately, as a full-nude stripper. Dagger loves her body, and fully embraces her own physicality and sexuality. And, just like the sword suite in a tarot deck, she possesses a strong sense of justice, of doing The Right Thing, whether or not it fits the magical or mundane definition of legal.
Her grandmother is an equally formidable woman, with a strong fire association. She knows where Dagger belongs, even if Dagger refuses to believe it; and when the opportunity presents itself, she helps Dagger to finally see and accept that truth.
As for the lizards and lying men part. Well, you’ll just have to read the story and find out for yourself.
Highly recommended to fans of The Witchkin Murders by Diana Pharaoh Francis, Deadlines and Dryads by Rebecca Chastain, and The Girl With Ghost Eyes by MH Boroson.
[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]