Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Millionaire's Gambit by Lyka Bloom

Although it can be read (and enjoyed) on its own, The Millionaire's Gambit picks up where Lyka Bloom's last Toy Chest tale left off, with Magda hiding from the evil force known as The Mother. When an old man arrives as her shop, offering his help in keeping The Mother out of our world in exchange for the same sort of gender-bending, youth-rejuvenation Magda cast upon Beth last time around, she’s wary by tempted enough to take the gamble.

What makes this story unique is that Rawls desperately wants the transformation, and is very much aware of both how he’s changing and how the world is changing around him. He feels himself getting younger and more feminine, and isn’t at all uncomfortable with how his carnal thoughts are turning towards young men. Without giving too much away, however, it’s important to remember that magic and double crosses go hand-in-hand in stories like this – as both Magda and Rawls soon find out.

As much fun as the old man’s gender transformation is, what I loved most about this chapter was the budding romance between Magda and her young assistant, Lyndsey. It’s cute, it’s fun, and it’s precisely the kind of happiness Magda deserves. It’s a nice development in the overall series, and one that serves to help bring about this Toy Chest tale to a satisfying conclusion.

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