Author: Zen Cho
Series: A Sorcerer Royal Novel (Book 1)
Publication: Ace (September 1, 2015)
Description: In this sparkling debut, magic and mayhem clash with the British elite...
The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty’s lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman—a freed slave who doesn’t even have a familiar—as their Sorcerer Royal, and allowing England’s once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven’t stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man’s profession…
At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up. But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large…
My Thoughts: This entertaining fantasy introduces an England where Napoleon would be fighting with magic had the English and French sorcerers not made a treaty. Things are not going well for English sorcery. Magic a drying up. The Sorcerer Royal died and passed the staff on to his adopted son who happens to be a freed slave and black. The rest of the magic community, composed primarily of members of the upper class, are determined to remove the staff from Zachariah's hands and place it into the hands of someone more worthy.
Zachariah takes a break from all the politics on London to make a speech at a girls' school and not only meets an unlikely young magician named Prunella but sees the length the headmistress will go to keep women from doing magic. Prunella decides to run away to London to make a better life for herself since she has been treated like an unpaid drudge since the death of her father. But she discovers that her father has left her a very powerful and very unexpected legacy.
Besides Zachariah and Prunella's adventures, we also have a visit to Fairyland, a visit from a very angry witch, and a sneaky magician who has wrested a familiar out of Fairyland. The story is filled with adventure and has very interesting characters. I liked the magical world that was created.
Fans of fantasy will enjoy this one.
"Mr. Damerell may say what he likes, but I see no reason why we should restrain criticism of this absurd spectacle, child or no child," he snapped.I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.
"I am sure you do not, Midsomer," said Damerell gently. "I have always admired your refusal, in the pursuit of your convictions, ever to be constrained by considerations of humanity—much less of ordinary good manners."