Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Review: Stolen Magic by Stephanie Burgis

Stolen Magic
Author: Stephanie Burgis
Publication: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (April 2, 2013)

Description: In this conclusion to the Regency-era fantasy trilogy Kirkus Reviews calls “enjoyable mayhem,” Kat is tasked with saving her family, the Order of the Guardians, and England itself.

With just days to go before her sister Angeline’s long-delayed wedding to Frederick Carlyle, the impetuous Kat Stephenson has resigned herself to good behavior. But Kat’s initiation into the magical Order of the Guardians is fast approaching, and trouble seems to follow her everywhere.

First, Kat must contend with the wretched Mrs. Carlyle’s attempts to humiliate her sister; the arrival of the mysterious Marquise de Valmont, who bears suspicious resemblance to Kat’s late mother; and Frederick’s bewitching cousin Jane, who has Charles Stephenson tripping over his feet. But when a menacing boy with powerful magic starts hunting Kat, a dastardly villain tries to kill Angeline, and the Guardians face a magical robbery that could spell the end of their Order, propriety becomes the least of Kat’s concerns.

Can Kat save her sister’s life, the Order of the Guardians, and England itself before it’s too late?

My Thoughts: STOLEN MAGIC was a very satisfying conclusion to a very entertaining trilogy. This middle grade historical fantasy has it all—excitement, danger, exquisite manners, and a young heroine easy to fall in love with.

Miss Katherine Stevenson is the youngest of four children. In this episode, Kat is traveling with her father, stepmama, older brother and older sister to her sister's fiancé's home for her wedding. Her fiancé's mother is one of the most unpleasant characters in the story. Mrs. Carlyle is determined that her son Frederick is marrying beneath him and that Kat's sister Angeline is the worst possible daughter-in-law. She uses emotional blackmail on her son and is constantly looking for ways to discredit Angeline. She is also continually throwing her own candidate for bride at Frederick&mash;Frederick's cousin Jane.

Kat also has to deal with some missing objects that were stolen from the Guardians, her own personal nemesis Lady Fotherington, and a mysterious character who is stalking her and who is blaming her for events that happened in book 2 of this series. 

Worst of all for Kat is that her usually negligent older brother Charles has turned over a new leaf and is determined to keep a careful watch on Kat. He is a bit side-tracked however by his sudden infatuation for Jane though. 

I loved the dialog in this story. Kat is a very engaging character who is full of determination and who is really chafing under the handicaps of her age and the social requirements of her position in society. She is intrepid, adventurous, and ever-willing to rush headlong into dangerous situations.

I thought that the world building was well-done and the magic introduced in a realistic way. This book trilogy was similar to MJ Putney's Magic Mirror trilogy except this one is more suited to middle graders. I also saw some resemblance to Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series which is written for adults. If you liked either of those series, this series will be right up your alley. I heartily recommend this series to anyone who likes spunky main characters, humor, and magic. 

Favorite Quote:
Next time...he'd whispered into my ear. I repressed a shiver. The last thing I wanted was for Charles to realize I was actually afraid. It was horrifying enough to realize it myself. And I certainly wasn't going to give in to my fear, especially when I was almost certain that I wasn't yet in any danger.

Surely my follower wold want me to have more time to worry and to fret before he returned. Anyone who whispered such ominous threats into a person' ear must be hoping to torture them with at least a sleepless night or two before coming back to follow through. That was the whole point of issuing threats, wasn't it?
I received a finished copy of this book from the author. You can buy your copy here.

Other books in the series:

1 comment:

  1. I love middle-grade fantasy. Kat sounds like a wonderful protagonist. I love how she has to deal with her brother turning over a new leaf and keeping a better watch over her. Good sibling dynamics always make a book better for me. Thanks for introducing me to this series. It sounds like something I'd enjoy!

    Kris @Imaginary Reads


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