‘The Invisible Hand’ by James Hartley

Cold Scotland, autumn weather, magic….. all great for the mood to read this time of the year. Give a hot beverage and maybe a pet beside it, and it’s a wonderful reading afternoon!

32021810 (Goodreads/Amazon)


I started to read this series in irregular order: I started with the sequel, since I won it on a giveaway, and it made me curious about how it all started. That’s why I bought a kindle copy of the first volume – Act I. Take a look at my review of the sequel, ‘Cold Fire’!


I have to say, this book was more my kind than the second one. The reason is probably not (only) the books themselves, but the original Shakespeare plays: I like Macbeth (and most of the others) way more than Romeo and Juliet.

I found it fascinating, the way the story was intertwined with the play, and yet it was a completely different one! I think it is a wonderful way to reach out to the young and try to get them like Shakespeare. This time I didn’t feel it to be forced or unrealistic in today’s setting. I was left with a lot of questions at the end, but that was purely because I already read the sequel and there were some things I thought would have been explained in the first volume – and then they weren’t. That’s my fault, I guess I should wait for it to clear up in a next book! Observing only this first one, it’s a very well written, complete, may I say round story.

I’m not a 100% sure about the characters, though. I give them 4 stars because of the main character, Sam whom I happened to like very much and I think is very well worked-out. The others weren’t so meticulously elaborated, but they weren’t completely flat either, and I feel like Sam compensates for them.

The magic in this series makes me intrigued and confused at the same time. It’s all a very good idea and it’s wonderfully written, too, but I just don’t get some parts of it. How it works… why it works… how certain things happen. It’s possible, though, that this is on purpose, and later volumes will explain it all, but so far there are some things these two books didn’t answer for me. I’m waiting for a next book! I hope it will be written.

Let’s Give It a Grade:

  1. Story: 5/5
  2. Characters: 4/5
  3. Style: 5/5
  4. The Subjective Factor: 5/5
  • GPA: 4.75


Making Shakespeare more popular with kids via a cool fantasy story set in a British boarding school? Yes, please! I think it is an awesome idea.

Recommend to:

Fans of magic and the magic in writing, of boarding school settings, of Shakespeare. Also, people who teach Shakespeare. Teens if you like Shakespeare and if you don’t. Anyone if you feel young at heart.

Drink tip:

Hot black tea. With a blanket. And a cat, possibly.

Music room:

‘So Cold’, ‘Anthem of the Angels’ and ‘Evil Angel’ by Breaking Benjamin


I can’t wait to read the next book the author writes!


Have you read this series? What do you think of retelling old stories? Do you like it? Let’s discuss!

Have a great day!

Hugs 🙂

14 thoughts on “‘The Invisible Hand’ by James Hartley

    1. That’s nice, too! 😘 I don’t have my own cat, either, unfortunately… I have one for the week, though, because we’re at my boyfriend’s father’s house and he has one 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good to hear you enjoyed this one. I didn’t as much- I loved the plot idea but felt that things weren’t explained as well as I would have liked them to be. Like you, I like Macbeth but not Romeo and Juliet as much, and that’s a reason why I didn’t request the second book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I had that feeling a bit, too… I really hope there will be more books and some things will be later explained. R&J is not my thing, either, and I liked this book better than the second. But I still see a potential in some other volumes. If those explain things this first one doesn’t, than it is indeed a good series in my opinion. I totally get where you’re coming from, though!

      Liked by 1 person

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