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The Crimson Inkwell by Kenneth A. Baldwin

About the Crimson Inkwell

The Crimson Inkwell, written by Kenneth A. Baldwin is about Luella Winthrop, a female journalist in the Victorian era who starts chasing stories to save her newspaper only to end up following a dangerous path.

In this world of Gaslamp Fantasy women were not journalists. So Luella writes using a pen name for her fiance’s newspaper. But just being published isn’t enough, she wants her work to be recognized. So she ends up taking matters into her own hands.

At first, that means investigating stories at the police station, but then fate (or perhaps just curiosity) leads her to a mysterious magician at a carnival who introduces her to a magic pen. With the pen, she can invent news-worthy stories and the pen makes them come true. But this power comes at a cost.

My Thoughts

Although this book was a bit of a slow start, it ramped up beautifully. Just, if you read it, give it a few chapters to get to the hook. It really is worth the build-up.

Seeing Luella’s social cage and the traps she has set for herself in life is essential for you to appreciate just how horrifically it all goes wrong. There were moments when I giggled at the insane cuteness of the book’s romance, and groaned in frustration at the piling up of Luella’s hubris and mistakes.

The only fault is something that turned into an asset by the end.

As for criticism, the only fault I can really find in this book is something that actually turned into an asset by the end.

It’s kind of a frustrating trope to me in romance books. The leading lady is flawed and strong-willed (which I love) and the male counterparts are prince-charmingly-perfect with an insane level of patience for the leading lady’s moods and mistakes (which is what frustrates me).

In, “The Crimson Inkwell,” Luella ends up pulled in 3 different directions by romances. One romance is a sensible and dutiful match, one is full on romance novel infatuation, and the last is based around the thrill. But the one thing all of the male characters appear to have in this book is that insane amount of patience for Luella’s behavior I mentioned.

At certain points in the story she gets properly nasty and is spiraling in dangerous directions. And no matter what she does or says these romantic interests are unfathomably devoted to her.

That is… until it really matters.

I will not spoil the twists that this book takes you on, but I will just say it was a very fun and surprising read. It managed to take one of those tropes I find so infuriating and turn it into several fantastic moments in the story.

If you enjoy Dr. Who style whimsy, or enjoyed reading, “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern, I think you will adore, “The Crimson Inkwell.”

If you would like to read this book for free, you can do so through BookFunnel when you subscribe to the author’s newsletter


Rating: 5 out of 5.

If you enjoy Dr. Who style whimsy, or enjoyed reading, “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern, I think you will adore, “The Crimson Inkwell.” #Fantasy #HistoricalFantasy

Links and More

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About the Author:

Kenneth A. Baldwin loves stories you can sink your teeth into.

He lives nestled under the Wasatch Mountain Range with his wife and dog. He writes historical fantasy. When he’s not working on his next book, he can be found teaching story mechanics or sketch comedy writing.

Kenny has worked as a staff writer for TV, Radio, web, and comedy scripts for years. The Crimson Inkwell is his first published novel.


Get a free copy of the book through BookFunnel when you subscribe to the author’s newsletter

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