Monica Orvan


Volume 2 of the Conjuror Girl trilogy was published on November 25th 2021 by the Infinite Press. Art by Tom Brown.

In an alternate 1900…

Monica Orvan, banished from Shrobbesbury Orphanage, decides she must reforge herself in accordance with her talent. But the cruel orphanage master is a man she now loathes; and he is searching for her.

With her best friend Lily and the painter Henri Manguin, she has to survive in Shrobbesbury yet bring to justice those men who have crossed her. But the real danger is that inside her…

Reviews

‘The plot is highly engaging and keeps moving at a good pace throughout, providing surprises aplenty. The fantastical elements are original, and it’s easy to suspend your disbelief and go along with them. The alternate Victorian England Stephen offers is rich with strange and curious things, and is a pleasing place to spend time. The books run on from each other, so spare yourself some frustration and buy all three at once.’ – Nimue Brown, Druidlife Blog.

‘The sequels carry the story forward picking up where the previous one ended. The central character’s ambiguous morality, in a world of moral ambiguates lending it self to a dark brooding series unlike the normal fair of the talented child genre…’

In the second book Monique has changed her name and identity having fled the orphanage and taken up life on the streets falling in with a street children gang. This is very Oliver Twist like but compared to the leader of this little gang Fagin was a saint. The world is as dark and nasty in places as it seemed in the first novel. But in many ways more twisted, and darker. Monique, now Monica, faces growing threats to self and the town of Shrobbesbury from her growing list of foes, as do her friends.

‘There is a lot to unpack in these books, a lot to think about, but the strength and joy of Stephen’s writing is his characters, both the central Monica and all those around her. There are strange dark twists and unexpected turns and the reader never really knows where he is going to take the tale. Its not simple fare, there are questions you need to ask yourself along the way, and its challenging at times, but challenging in a good way, challenging of preconceptions, of the line between self-interest and selfishness. And in the end its a joy…’ Mark Hayes, Passing Place blog