C. M. Waggoner

C.M. Waggoner grew up in rural upstate New York, where she spent a lot of time reading fantasy novels in a swamp. She studied creative writing at SUNY Purchase and lived in China for eight years before moving with her husband to Albany, NY. In her spare time, she volunteers, performs kitchen experiments, asks if she can pet your dog, and gardens badly.

Find C.M. Waggoner on her website, or follow her on Twitter @CMWaggoner2.


  • Standalone
    The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry
    C. M. Waggoner
  • Standalone
    Unnatural Magic
    C. M. Waggoner



The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry
"Waggoner makes a delightful return to the vibrant, Victorian England–inspired world of Unnatural Magic for a rollicking standalone fantasy featuring a scrappy but endearing heroine[...]With this winning ensemble adventure, Waggoner again proves her skill at crafting immersive, historically flavored fantasy."

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Waggoner’s characters absolutely shine, and she writes with an ear for the cadence and rhythm of their voices, from the streetside lingo of Delly in all her alley-speech glory to the parlor room parlance upon which mysteries and thrillers are born—Agatha Christie in design and Pratchett-esque in execution, but all very much her own."


"There's great fun in figuring out the rules of the game[...]Delly is an engaging heroine, at once magically aggressive and socially uncertain, and she leads us into a milieu both strange and, in a literary way, familiar."

The Wall Street Journal

"Whether it’s the magic, the adventure or the crazy language, The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry is just rollicking good fun."

Fantasy Literature

Unnatural Magic
“Waggoner’s delightfully playful debut offers a fresh take on traditional fantasy tropes to explore themes of love and sacrifice[…]the whimsy, mystery, and vibrant characters are sure to enchant readers.”

Publishers Weekly

“The most unique, haunting, magical, treacherous, romantic, combative novel I’ve read in a long time. Action, betrayal, peoples at war, strange magic and stranger love–a whole new take on fantasy!"

Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Unnatural Magic is peopled with unforgettable characters, whose changing relationships form the beating heart of this fast-paced, beautifully written story. Within the compelling tale lie some big themes—power, magic, gender and sexuality among them—and the author weaves them in skilfully, with just the right combination of compassion, insight and humour. This one goes straight onto my Keepers shelf.”

Juliet Marillier, Author of The Harp of Kings

“What a marvelous debut! I want to climb inside C.M. Waggoner’s world of powerful trolls, cheeky wizards, and mathematical magic and make myself at home. She seamlessly weaves politics, love, and magic into a novel that challenges everything we know about fantasy—and comes out victorious.”

Chloe Neill, New York Times bestselling author

“I didn’t think you could fit so many things I loved into one book–tough-talking lady-trolls and cowardly captains, true love and found families, Holmesian hijinks and gender politics–but C.M. Waggoner made it look easy. Unnatural Magic is a raucous, indulgent delight.”

Alix E. Harrow, Hugo Award-winning author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Awards & Accolades