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REVIEW: “Miles and the Magic Flute” by Heidi Cullinan



When unemployed Miles Larson retreats to his friend’s Minnesota pawnshop to lick his wounds, he discovers that a few notes on a magical instrument reveal an erotic fairyland where the sorrows weighing on his heart don’t exist at all.

Yet fantasy comes with a price, and soon Miles must choose a path. He can surrender his soul to the dreamlord to sustain his pleasure… or he can defeat the faerie and save the mysterious beast-man who promises love. Miles would choose love over pleasure in a heartbeat—if only to seize it he didn’t first have to acknowledge the pain inside.

Is Miles strong enough to learn that sometimes to find happiness, we must face down our sorrows?


Miles and the Magic Flute was such a huge departure from what I’ve come to expect from Heidi Cullinan that I had to repeatedly remind myself it was indeed her I was reading. Don’t get me wrong—her stellar writing quality remains! The fantasy element was different from, I don’t know…Special Delivery(!), but it was oh. so. good.

Miles has lost his job and his perceived perfect life in Atlanta. He moved home to Minnesota, is living with a friend and her partner and working in a pawn shop. Life sucks for Miles, and he thinks he deserves more, better. (We’ve all been there, right?

Miles is strangely attracted to the forest behind the pawn shop and discovers it’s the perfect place for him to privately whine and moan about his troubles. But wait…is Miles really alone in the woods?

*cue eerie music*

Miles and the Magic Flute is filled with some fantastically imagined characters, from the people in Miles’ “real” world, including Patty, Julie and Karen, to those in his “dream” life: Terris , Murali and the beast, Harry (swoon).

I think my favorite thing about this book was Miles’ transformation. He went from discouraged to empowered, becoming an active master of his destiny. That really resonated with me, and by the end of the story I realized this book has a much larger theme/lesson than it first appears. What it came down to for me was dealing with and loving yourself for where you are and what you have rather than drowning in your own covetous thoughts about what you think you should have and be.

Yep, Heidi Cullinan greatness abounds in this new-and-improved version of Miles. There’s some fantastic (man/beast) lovin’, of course, but also really thorough devotion to the make-believe world in which Miles lives, from shimmering fields of silver flowers to dank dungeons to cold, wintery woods, I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fantasy and likes stories with tidy, clean endings.

Speaking of which. I don’t require a HEA. I can live with a book just…ending. But the truth is, I AM a sucker for the HEA, and I DO love knowing what happens to my MCs once the story is complete. That’s my rather long way of saying: Yay, Heidi Cullinan!



UntitledTitle: Miles and the Magic Flute
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publisher:  Wilde City Press
Pages:  214
Release Date: May 27, 2014, 2nd edition
Purchase Links: WCP

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This entry was posted on June 5, 2014 by in Fantasy / Fairy Tale, Reviewer: Jenni and tagged , , .

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