07 February 2016

Sorcerer to the Crown

I just finished reading a new book--and it may be a record for me, because it was published within the last six months. (What?? Maria is reading a new book??) Before you get all excited, I've got to say that this book, despite being new, is set in the 1700s.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The name of this book is Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho. It's the first book of a trilogy. And yes, as the title would lead one to expect, it is a fantasy novel. Now, I don't normally enjoy reading fantasy, simply because my preference lies in historical/realistic fiction. But this book was recommended on my writing podcast (yes, I listen to writing podcasts), and was noted for being a fantasy novel set in Regency England. Well, I thought, I'm willing to give that a try. And I'm very glad I did.

A short summary: Magic is the norm in this world, and being a sorcerer or "thaumaturge" is a valid career choice for British subjects. But England's magic supply has been waning, and the newly-invested Sorcerer Royal decides to find out why. Along the way he meets an unusually magically-talented girl, who soon changes the future of English sorcery—and his own life.
The main thing I would say about this book is that it's funny. I found the humor similar to P.G. Wodehouse at times, sometimes leaning more toward that of Jane Austen. The author has a lovely witty style, simultaneously blunt and playful.
The plot was intriguing, especially due to the detailed and careful worldbuilding, but for me (as always) the characters made the story. I loved the relationships between the protagonists, the humorous antics of the supporting characters, and the surprising twists some of their arcs take.
I was definitely wary when I began Sorcerer to the Crown, but I'm glad I decided to check it out from the library because it proved a fast and entertaining read. I can't wait for the next Sorcerer Royal book!

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