Book Review: Splinters of Scarlet

by Emily Bain Murphy

Marit hates using her magic. She’s seen the cost of using too much magic–it creates a buildup of the Firn. That’s what killed her sister. And that’s why Marit is reluctant to use it except when helping Eve, a fellow orphan who’s like a little sister to Marit.

When Eve is adopted by Heather Vestergaard, Marit is determined to find a way to go with Eve. Marit doesn’t trust the Vestergaards, not after her father died in an accident in their mines. However, the only way for Marit stay close to Eve is if she works in the Vestergaard house as a seamstress. But to be the seamstress Marit will have to use her sewing magic and risk the Firn.

While working in the Vestergaard house and watching out for Eve, Marit also tries to learn more about her father’s death. It may not have been an accident. And there still may be danger revolving around the Vestergaards, which means that Eve could be in danger.

Marit has to unravel lies, history, and magic if she wants to figure out what happens in the past and try to stop something terrible from happening in the present.


I’ve decided that I really enjoy the genre of historical fantasy. If you haven’t read a historical fantasy yet, you should. And Splinters of Scarlet is a well-done historical fantasy.

I loved the feel of the book. Splinters of Scarlet is set in the later 1800’s, and has a little bit of a Downton Abbey-esq setting, which was super fun. And it’s set in Denmark, which also makes it cooler and adds another layer to the setting.

I loved the characters in Splinters of Scarlet. All of them were distinct and had great personalities. And even though Liljan and Jakob aren’t main characters, I still loved that we got to see the sibling relationship between them. And the relationship between Marit and Eve is so sweet.

The magic system was great. I loved how there was a definite cost for magic, and how that and the magic system in general were so tightly woven into the plot. I also really liked how Murphy came up with unique powers for her characters to have. Seriously, some of the characters were able to do things that I’d never seen in books before.

Murphy also puts in several twists and keeps the plot going. Overall, Splinters of Scarlet was a very enjoyable read, and I plan on reading it again.

Cautions: four swear words; two British swear words; light romance; two kisses; brief, slightly-graphic, moderate violence

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