1. A Madness of Angels (2009) *

1. A Madness of Angels (2009)

A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift -1) by Kate Griffin

A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift #1) by Kate Griffin (British cover) by Christopher Gibbs

Matthew Swift series, aka Blue Electric Angels series, is written by Kate Griffin. The companion series is Magicals Anonymous, set in the same universe.

Genre and SubgenresEdit

Urban Fantasy

Series Description or Overview Edit

After Matthew’s resurrection, he tries to contact his sorcerer friends, only to find that they are all dead; he is the only sorcerer left in London. As he tries to discover who killed him and his fellow sorcerers, Matthew must cooperate with some unlikely allies, most of whom who turn up in later books: Dudley Sinclair and his anti-magic cult (the Order); Oda (Sinclair's hired gun, with whom Matthew builds a relationship based largely on distrust); Vera and the Whites (who rely on magical graffiti to communicate); and Blackjack and the Bikers (who find magic in the speed of their bikes).

The object of the good guys’ wrath is Matthew’s former mentor, Robert James Bakker, who has been driven by his greed for magical power and immortality to create a supernatural dictatorship that allows no detractors. The plot also involves attempts to destroy a diabolical shadow (the Hunger), which is in deadly pursuit of Matthew and his fire magic. ~

Lead's species Edit

  • Sorcerer

Primary Supe Edit

  • Angels

What Sets it ApartEdit

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • Fitst person narrative told by Matthew Swift. 

Books in Series Edit

Matthew Swift series:

  1. A Madness of Angels (2009)
  2. The Midnight Mayor (2010)
  3. The Neon Court (2011)
  4. The Minority Council (2012)

Shorts, Anthologies and GuidesEdit

Companion Series, Spin-offs, Sequels or Prequels Edit

Magicals Anonymous series:

  1. Stray Souls (2012)
  2. The Glass God (2012)


The series themes deal with the problems of urban bureaucracy—especially the quandary confronting Matthew and the Aldermen at every turn: should they act for the greater good, or should they protect individual rights. The Aldermen go for the big picture—do what's best for the majority, and never mind the collateral damage. Matthew, on the other hand, can't help looking past that big picture to the individual people. Once Matthew becomes the Midnight Mayor (in book 2), he finds himself in the middle of that dilemma most of the time. ~ Fang-tastic Fiction

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

Alternate London

  • Both the Matthew Swift series and the Magicals Anonymous series are set in the same fantastical London.


Acton, Balham, Bond Street, Court, Croydon, Dollis Hill, Enfield, Euston Road, Greenwich, Hammersmith, Harlun Phelps, Heathrow, Hoxton, Kensington, Kilburn, London Bridge, London Wall, Piccadilly, Scotland, Sidcup, Soho, South London, Tower Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Weybridge, White City, Willesden

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Angels, Sorcerers, faeries, prophecy, Chosen One hellhounds, demons, magic biker gang, monsters, fire magic, faerie dust (drug), virtual clone, 

— A vast menagerie of vicious supernatural creatures of the night


  • Blue Electric Angels: more demonic than angelic in spirit—the blue angels have always lived in the telephone lines, formed from the words and emotions picked up from conservations heard and remembered over the years. 
  • The Hunger: diabolical shadow (the Hunger)—is in deadly pursuit of Matthew and his fire magic.
  • Midnight Mayor: takes control of law enforcement and magic in the city by night
  • Aldermen: protectors of London, guardians of magic, defenders, supposedly the good guys—but many have their own agendas
  • Unique Supes examples:, like the litterbug (made entirely of street litter), the grease monster (composed of old cooking oils), and Mr. Pinner (a murderous, indestructible humanoid created from bits of paper

Groups and Organizations:Edit

  • The Order: anti-magic cult
  • Tribe: magical outcasts who gain their magic from disfiguring themselves
  • The Tower:
  • The Alderman:
  • The Whites:
  • The Neon Court:


Set in an alternate London, this world is divided between a relatively normal day-world and a dark and supernatural night-world. When the office workers have gone home to the suburbs and the government officials have locked up their offices, the Aldermen and the Midnight Mayor take control of law enforcement in the city. The aldermen are described as "protectors of the city of London, guardians of magic, defenders and ostensible all-purpose good guys, battling the unnamed things that are out to get you, in the bleak and lonely corners of the dark." (The Minority Council, p. 144) Of course, the Aldermen are not all good guys, and some of them have their own dark agendas. 

The blue angels have always lived in the telephone lines, formed from the words and emotions picked up from conservations heard and remembered over the years. Now they have entered the real world, and they are very curious—about everything. ~ Fang-tastic Fiction


Matthew explains where magic comes from (Midnight Mayor, p. 159): “There are…things in this world, made up of other things—ideas—that are given life just by the nature of that idea, by the nature of living, life making magic, magic coming out of the most ordinary, trivial bits of life. Like…like when you speak into the telephone and your words are life and passion and feeling and they’re in the wires and sooner or later the wires will come alive or else they’d burst, with all that thought and emotion in them…” ~ Fang-tastic Fiction


The premise for the hero of the series is similar to Max Headroom, a legendary TV hero who was created by downloading a human being's memories to a computer to create a virtual clone.

At the beginning of book 1, Matthew Swift, a brown-eyed urban sorcerer who has been dead for two years, suddenly finds himself alive once again—but this time with bright blue eyes and some new and fiery magical talents, in addition to the powerful magic he already had. Those new powers include the ability to pull power from the mundane life of the city, like electrical wiring and neon signs. At one point in book 1, Matthew even reads aloud the fine print on a subway pass to create a barrier spell. Matthew's newly formed characteristics have come from the entity that now lives inside him: the blue electric angels (more demonic than angelic in spirit). Matthew and the angels are now fused into one sentient being, with Matthew's appearance, memories, and emotions plus the angels' feelings and motivations. As Matthew explains, "We came back from the dead, Swift and the angels, two minds became one, two souls in one flesh, in one form, in one voice. We are me and I am we." (The Neon Court, p. 104) ~ Fang-tastic Fiction

Sidekick Edit

Name: — What: — Sidekick-to: — About: — Book First Seen In: 

Recurring Characters: Matthew Swift Edit

Characters What About
Matthew Swift urban sorcerer awakes after being dead for two years with an electric blue angel living inside him and additional powers; wants answers on the thing that killed him;
Vera leader of The Whites Head of the Long White City Clan, a friend of Matt's; rely on magical graffiti to communicate; "almost elected"
Oda Sinclair's hired gun
Penny Ngwenya traffic warden manages to summon Mr Pinner, the Death of Cities. She later becomes Matthew Swift's new apprentice
Robert James Bakker sorcerer head of the Tower; he was Matthew's mentor and teacher until his death
San Khay magician within the Tower organization
Guy Lee magician within the Tower organization
Dudley Sinclair a "concerned citizen"
Charlie bodyguard Sinclair's bodyguard/assistant
Blackjack Biker a member of the Biker gang Swift works with
Harris Simmons Tower accountant
Dana Mikeda magician Matthew's former apprentice
Alfred Khan gifted prophet dead two years by the beginning of the book
Dudley Sinclair Order leader
Blackjack Biker find magic in the speed of their bikes
Robert James Bakker Matthew’s former mentor driven by his greed for magical power and immortality
Toxik Tribe leader
Anton Chaigneau
Chaigneau Order member
Gran Matthew's grandmother
Mr Earle An Alderman
Ms Anissina An Alderman
Mr Kemsley An Alderman
Mr Pinner death of cities personified wearing a pinstriped suit
Mr Nair The former Midnight Mayor.
Mo lost boy
Dudley Sinclair
Loren A mother Matthew helps to find her son
Mr Umbars "quack" doctor mystical abilities
Dr Seah
The Beggar King
The Bag Lady
Nabeela Hirj Social worker; modern day medusa Social worker that brought Matthew's attention towards the Neighbourhood Eye, and ultimately the culc

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add row.

Kate Griffin

Kate Griffin

Claire North (Kate Griffin)

Claire North (Kate Griffin)

Author Edit

Kate Griffin

Bio: Kate Griffin is the name under which Carnegie Medal-nominated author, Catherine Webb, writes fantasy novels for adults. An acclaimed author of young adult books under her own name, Catherine's amazing debut, Mirror Dreams, was written when she was only 14 years old, and garnered comparisons with Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman. ~ FF

✤ Claire North and Kate Griffin are pseudonyms for Catherine Webb – a Carnegie Medal-nominated British author. She read History at the London School of Economics, and studied technical theatre at RADA. Catherine's debut, Mirror Dreams, was completed when she was just 14 years old. The book was published in 2002 and garnered comparisons with Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman. ~ About Claire

Cover ArtistEdit

  • Artist—Matthew Swift: Christopher Gibbs (GBR print) ~ Source: ISFdb
  • Artist—Magicals Anonymous: The Hand Made Press ~ Source: ISFdb

Awards Edit

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Author Page:
  • Bk-1: Paperback, 613 pages, Pub: Feb 1st 2010—ISBN: 0316068594

Book Cover Blurb Edit

BOOK TWO—The Midnight Mayor: It’s said that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, then the Tower will crumble and the kingdom will fall. As it happens, that’s not so far from the truth…

One by one, the magical wards that guard the city are failing: the London Wall defiled with cryptic graffiti, the ravens found dead at the Tower, the London Stone destroyed. This is not good news. This array of supernatural defences – a mix of international tourist attractions and forgotten urban legends – formed a formidable magical shield. Protection for the City of London against… well, that’s the question, isn’t it? What could be so dangerous as to threaten an entire city? Against his better judgement, resurrected sorcerer Matthew Swift is about to find out. And if he’s lucky, he might just live long enough to do something about it. ~ Author's site

BOOK THREE—The Neon Court (2011): When the city was founded, he was the mad native spirit that waited in the dark, on the edge of the torchlight. When the streets were cobbled over, he became the footsteps heard on stone that you cannot see. When the Victorians introduced street lighting, he was the shadow who always shied away from the light, and when the gas went out, there he was. The shadow at the end of the alley, the footsteps half-heard in the night.

A daimyo of the Neon Court is dead. So are two warriors of the Tribe. And a freshly-prophesied ‘chosen one’ is missing. Each side blames the other and Matthew Swift is right in the middle of it, trying to keep the peace. Because when magicians go to war, everyone loses. But Swift has even bigger problems. A dead woman is trying to kill him and the city itself is under attack from a force of unimaginable power. As if trying to stay one step ahead of an assassin and juggling magical politics weren’t challenging enough, Swift must also find a way to defeat a primal threat from humanity’s darkest nightmares. Or there may not be a London left to fight over. ~ Author's site

BOOK FOUR—The Minority Council: Matthew Swift, Midnight Mayor, is in charge. And London is having its issues. The new drug on the market is fairy dust and it turns humans into walking drug labs. Teenage vandals are being hunted by a mystical creature. And criminals are dying by magical means. If Swift is going to save London from a rising tide of blood, he’s going to have to learn his lessons – and fast. ~ Author's site

First Sentences Edit

  1. A Madness of Angels (2009) — Not how it should have been.
  2. The Midnight Mayor (2010) — The telephone rang.
  3. The Neon Court (2011) — I thought I could hear footsteps in the darkness behind me.
  4. The Minority Council (2012) — I had been in Deptford, hunting vandals.

Quotes Edit

Awards Edit

Read Alikes (suggestions) Edit

Trivia Edit

~ ranked #32 on Goodreads | Best Urban Fantasy Series (181 series)

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

See Category links at bottom of page

External ReferencesEdit


Excerpts and Freebies

Other Series Pages:


World, Characters, etc:


Matthew Swift series:

  1. A Madness of Angels (2009)
  2. The Midnight Mayor (2010)
  3. The Neon Court (2011)
  4. The Minority Council (2012)





Community and Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit