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Owledged as A Thing but very much tied into an otherwise recognizable Regency society that can t be bothered to be that impressed too busy being impressed with the knots in their cravats obviously You guys know that Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is one of my favorite books right I couldn t love this concept I was going to stick around until the nd specially since it was clearly going to deal with some racial and class issues that simmered under the surface in that one in a blatant way and there were some cleverly placed unanswered mystery breadcrumbs placed out arly on well done ChoBut then I hit what my kindle told me was about 40% Remember how I told you guys reading JSMN and losing patience to just hang out for Strange Same damn thing here Then Strange showed up and things got amazing pretty uickly and never got less amazing until the last page I laughed out loud once then twice and then traded gasping and laughing for a sustained period pretty much almost until the The Right Hook of Devin Velma endOkay so basic plot Zacharias Wythe is the Sorcerer Royal like I told you above but he inherited his position from his mentor and father figure Sir Stephen Wythe in suspicious circumstances that were never uitexplained He is clearly the most powerful magician living so as yet he still holds the staff of office but there is a louder and louder rebellion stirring amongst England s magicians about his leadership not helped of course by the fact that this is the La Fleur du Mal early 1800s and Zacharias is of African birth and appearance and some Englishmen don t like acknowledging that any foreigner can do anything better than they can hey actually maybe this isn t just because it s thearly 1800s Ringing some bells This situation is only made precarious by the fact that England seems to be in the process of losing the plentiful magic it once had and has been for decades No new magical creatures or familiars have appeared and the borders to Fairy have been slowly but inexorably closingEnter Prunella Gentleman aka my new fictional best friend She works at a magical school for young ladies where they are mostly taught to hide their gifts and pretend like magic doesn t Graphic Design Rules exist think of it like one of those boarding schools where rich people sendmbarrassing daughters who get pregnant young or show signs of mental health difficulties She has lead a precarious life on the sufferance of someone who took her in but then Reckless early in the novel she makes a discovery that changes herntire life and throws her in the path of Zacharias leading to life altering conseuences for both of them The surprise is so good and her course of action is so audacious and amazing I don t want to Trickster even hint at it but suffice it to say that it leads to them making an amazing team in ways than oneAside from the wonderful plot and an outstanding cast of supporting characters in the best Regency farce fashion Rollo Damerell Aunt Georgiana what s really wonderful in the back half of the book is Cho s increased confidence and ability to handle the tone dialogue and rhythms of the genres that she s paying homage to both Regency farce andpic fantasy She really does a great job with ramping up the ridiculousness to just the right volume while never uite forgetting the serious threats that underlie all of this conflictBTW Man I hope this book is an indication that this mixed genre is here to stay Can I just make up one of these cool new subgenre names for it to help marketers Bonnet fantasy Carriage wheels and magic wands fantasy Hmmmm Come on guys we have to be able to come up with something to ncourage people to do this Not to mention the serious girl power in this book Prunella my new BFF is as I mentioned utterly fantastic and I love the way the author goes about showing that to us She never needs her to be admired and stared at as the belle of the ball at least not than briefly before something goes terribly wrong she doesn t need her to necessarily be Mary Sue She just needs her to be determined clever to know what she wants and not be afraid of stating it whether it s feminine or feminist or not and of course to be a whole lot of fun Although Zacharias is our ostensible hero and so much of the book is from his point of view and he really does a great job of playing the straight man and the tragic hero we want out of our pic fantasies Prunella is really the true farcical heart of the novel she gives it life and insanity and the heart palpitations we want out of an adventure I told you guys she s Strange but way funnier self aware but just as ferocious when she needs to be There s some pitiless stuff in here and she s nobody s perfect heroine and man does she screw up but it s Mr Big enjoyable from beginning tondI was never delighted than when I saw up but it s Flori în păr enjoyable from beginning tondI was never delighted than when I saw parentheses after the title that this was only Sorcerer Royal 1 which hopefully means there s to come I don t think it s spoiler y of me to say that I want to see how Prunella continues her reign of terror and mayhem in the next book and who she shocks to their core nextI am sorry I was Kansas State ever wary of this anyone whover recommended this to me More fool I please be as smug as you like You deserve it Delightful books are delightfulI am completely utterly Sexy Cosplay Anime Girls (Bikini, Military, Scifi Costume, Japanese Import, Asian Babe, Picture Book) (Xena Kai Book 3) enamoured with Sorcerer to the Crown Zen Cho s first novel A wonderful and charming book that pays homage to Regency romances and Fantasy novels at the same time that interrogates some of the problematic aspects of those genres in regards to race and gender It s like this book was written for meZacharias Whyte is a freed slave and a talented magician who just so happens to have recently become Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers of Britain His fellow magicians are notxactly happy about it because Zacharias is not only a black man and not Humiliated Husband exactly a gentleman but also thevents surrounding his mastery of the Sorcerer Royal s Staff that only answers to the One True SR are shrouded in mystery WHAT Warehouse Management exactly happened that nightverybody wonders And so the magicians and sorcerers whisper and gossip and plot behind Zacharias back because that is the polite thing to do as we know Microagressions are always the way to go too And Zacharias knows I Little Slave everything about thoseWithin the story there is a truth universally acknowledged thatEngland s scarcity of magic was a matter of common knowledge among the magicalWhat with the magic no longer freely flowing from fairyland and the number of familiars declining to the point where no magician hasven seen a familiar in ages The familiars are magical creatures from fairyland that devote their lives to the service of a magician at a Great Cost who is then considered a sorcerer This is the Right and Proper way of doing things of courseBut ANYWAYS the lack of magic is terrible and the magicians have been anguishing over that and trying to hide it from the Government because magic and the status uo are directly connected and The Stall (Pony In Training even though the Sorcerer Royal should be independent from politics this is really Zacharias being completely na ve and a fool for believing that POWER is as uncomplicated as thatAnd here is the funny thing about this so called scarcity of magic because if you move youryes away from London and the Unnatural Philosophers and the gentlemen and look at other places like the school for gentlewitches where inconveniently magical daughters are sent to learn restraint because women s bodies and little brains simply can t cope with magic as THIEME Atlas of Anatomy everybody knows you will see magic abounds really But inappropriate magic doesn t count Shameless impudent meddling females who presumed to set at naught the Society s prohibition on women s magic and duped the common people with their potions and cantrips HAHAHA This book it is awesome Because that s the setup and we know that something awesome is going to happen to disprove that Like have a myriad of different women from all over the world doing amazing things from heroism to villainy the women are the ones to move the plot along and to sort out all the problemsZacharias Whyte SORCERER ROYAL secondary characterAND THENEnter Prunella Gentleman WOMANAn orphaned mixed race half Indian WOMANWho has magic in her little finger than many gentlemen in theirntire bodies Who knows how to wield such magics in ways that are preposterously dangerous completely outrageous and incredibly coolPrunella who has something like a thousand familiars OK I xaggerate but this is an important point because of the ways I xaggerate but this is an important point because of the ways it s all connected to history power and familyPrunella Gentleman who has the guts and fortitude to do anything to get what she wants And those who dare stand in the way and tell her she can t because of her genderPrunella is all like I shall do what I please SIR saves EnglandPrunella had once thought life in London would be all flirting and balls and dresses hitting attentive suitors on the shoulder with a fan and breakfasting late upon bowls of chocolate She sighed now for her na vet Little had she known life in London was in fact all hexes and murder and thaumaturgical politics and she would always be rising Way of the Shaman early for some reason or otherPrunella incorrigible busybody Who meets Zacharias and then nothing willver be the same again And I just love the dynamics between Zacharias and Prunella and Gallowglass even though the romance is an obvious but super welcomed development the subtlety of it is deliciousspecially in how Zacharias is anything but ambitious while Prunella could The Inclusion Imperative easily run the universe Anxample of an interaction between themYour amoral ingenuity in the pursuit of your interest is perfectly shocking said Zacharias severely Yes isn t it said Prunella pleased Said Prunella pleased Prunella Gentleman you are my patronusWhen talking about the book and its inspirations and influences Zen Cho most commonly mentions Susannah Clarke and Georgette Heyer s regencies but there is one work that I thought about the most when reading Sorcerer to the Crown In many ways I think this book is in direct conversation with another sensational read from The Public-Private Partnership Handbook earlier this year Uprooted by Naomi Novikspecially with the way that both novels xamine the relationship between power and class between power and the social strata which inevitably places women in a subordinate position within the status uo Both books uestion and subvert this really well and look at the ways that women create and wield MAGIC BOTH BOOKS CONVERSE WITH FEMINISM Both books converse with feminism with topical issues within SFF and they are both incredibly light delightful charming and friendly in ways that we don t usually see in mainstream FantasyThis has been an incredible year for reading so far Sorcerer to the Crown is another favourite and a strong top 10 contender I picked up Sorcerer to the Crown because I heard it was strikingly reminiscent of one of my favourite fantasy books the wonderful Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Suasana Clarke Such a thing is this book s greatest asset and also its downfall Perhaps my rating of this would have been slightly higher had I read first Though when reading all I saw was how the book had drawn from a much better book Cho s setting and world building are adeuate but again I was imagining them in relation to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell Both books deal with English magic during the time of the Napoleonic wars and the regency period Magic is seen as improper in the stuffy society of the arly nineteenth century it is frowned upon and drastically misunderstood Is it too similarIn Clarke s novel Stephen is the black house servant of Sir Walter Pole He has descended from slaves and though not part of the system he is very much a second class citizen Zacharias Wythe from Cho s novel is a black sorcerer in a society that deems him inferior I feel like Cho has Emerging Markets essentially read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and asked herself a uestion what would happen if Stephen was also a magician And this is the book that answers the situation An African sorcerer is at the head of the English magic society in an all too familiar worldCho attempts to write in dated prose she attempts to infuse modern prose with that of Austen Clarke did the same with an absolute brilliant level ofxecution She A Home of Another Kind even produced a typical three volume novel to add to thisffect Cho s attempt is sloppy with distinctively modern words and phrasing being set against older The Voyage of the Norman D., As Told by the Cabin Boy expressions The result is uneven writing that dances between being accessible to younger readers and being a pastiche All in all it just was not written with the same level of skill and attention to detail that Clarke displayed Clarke is just SO much better Sorcerer to the Crown certainly isn t a terrible book but for me it will alwaysxist in the shadow of a much greater book one that I wanted to stop reading this one for The parallels are far too strong Perhaps all this is merely coincidental and the writers just had similar ideas for the setting of a novel though African Successes, Volume I even so Clarke handles her book with skill Her characters are charming and very complex individuals I love the way she based her two magicians on Wordsworth and Coleridge with magic replacing the arguments they had over poetry If you have read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell then you will possibly hate this for its bland attempt at similar ideas However if you have not read it you may find somenjoyment here 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum many comparisons have already been made to describe Sorcerer to the Crown and I m going to chime in too with This feels like Trigger Samaniego 1 (Stallion, epic fantasy for fans of Gail Carriger Zen Cho has created a world here that s reminiscent of Austen meets Tolkien yet at the same time it s so wonderfully adaptable that pigeonholing this book into any one category makes it feel a bit remissA Regency setting is what you will get thoughven if the nature of the style and story is up for debate Fantasy of manners is also a subgenre that freuently crops up in discussions of novels like this with a focus on a rigid set of Lehrbuch Der Physiologie expectations within a hierarchical societal structure One of the protagonists in Sorcerer to the Crown is Zacharias Wythe the first black sorcerer in Britain who also holds the highest office in his profession a fact that makes him the target of much opposition and bigotry from many of his so called socially refined peers who feel that a freed slave should not have risen so far above his stationInstitutional rac. Philosophers one of the most respected organizations throughout all of Britain ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying upBut when his adventure br. Your amoral ingenuity in the pursuit of your interest is perfectly shocking said Zacharias severelyYes isn t it said Prunella pleasedWelcome back friends I finished Sorcerer to the Crown written by Zen Cho and published in 2015 A historical fantasy novel it won the Best Newcomer award at the 2016 British Fantasy AwardsSo What s It AboutZacharias Wythe is Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers ansteemed position that he has a tenuous hold on because of the racist pushback he faces from the rest of the society On top of this the stores of magic in England are drying up and no one knows why While dealing with all of this Zacharias happens to cross paths with Prunella Gentleman a devious young woman with Plastic Techniques in Neurosurgery (English Edition) eBook: James Tait Goodrich, David A. Staffenberg: Amazon.fr: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. extreme magical power They are soonntangled in a mess of intrigue and danger that will change the course of magic in England foreverWhat I ThoughtSorcerer to the Crown is a remarkable debut novel Sexy, Healthy, Food - 25 Clean-eats, Gluten-free Recipes emulating the style of a Regencyra novel with great success I have read a few other books in this style most significantly Jonathan Strange Mr Norrell and Sorcery and Celia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot While Jonathan Strange Mr Norrell fully immerses itself in historical minutiae and archaic details and Sorcery and Celia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot puts the most Marketing Excellence 3 emphasis on Austenian style romance Sorcerer to the Crown finds something of a middle ground There is a touch of romance but it is mostly interested inxploring the prejudices and power dynamics of the Regency YARN Essentials era through the metaphor of magic It manages to balance its astute social commentary with charming wit and grace a feat that would make Austen proud Add to this two complex and compelling lead characters in Prunella and Zacharias and you ve got a winner for sureThe F WordSorcerer to the Crown features anxcellent treatment of magic in a historical setting because it argues that magic would be no different from any other form of power in its misuse corruption and propagation of Wild Wicked Scot (Highland Grooms, entrenched prejudices In this book we see how the sorcerers of England attempt to use magic as a tool of colonialism racism and sexism The matter of racism isxplored through both Zacharias s and Prunella s stories as Zacharias was born a slave and Prunella is half IndianZacharias s life is dictated by the ways other delegitimize him because of his skin color he is constantly doubted disrespected and ultimately threatened and Black on Blonde endangered because he is a man of color in power I think his story goes a long way towards demonstrating the futility of respectability politics no matter how many times he proves himself to be competent ualified and the perfect gentleman he is still treated with contempt and disrespect by many of the other sorcerers As he says to Prunella It is not within my power to make you respectable I cannotven do that for myselfNo matter how perfectly he behaves he will never be perfect The Walters Art Museum the Art of Ancient Greece enough to make up for the transgression of being black There is also the matter of his secret anger and resentment towards his benefactor Sir Stephen who purchased him when he was a child Did not Sir Stephen purchase your parents as wellNo said Zacharias Presumably he did not discern the same potential in themThe statement brought up the old anger and confusion followed by the accustomed guilt that he should be so ungrateful as to resent the man who had rescued him from bondage And yet he did resent Sir Stephenven nowThe relationship with Sir Stephen is a complicated one to say the least There are true regard and love between the two of them but Zacharias has spent a long time forbidding himself to acknowledge the validity of his confusion anger and resentment These feelings of conflict arise not only in his individual relationship with Sir Stephen but also in his role as the Sorcerer Royal dedicated to serving the goals of a country that has very much been an American Nietzsche enemy to Zacharias and countless other people of color around the world You are called upon to advance the good of this nation and none other Your allegiance is no to magic alone nor to all humanity but to your own portion of humanity to the country that nurtured you Andnslaved my parents said ZachariasWhat I Art, Culture, and Cuisine especially appreciated about Cho s depiction of historical racism is that it s also intersectional Prunella and Zachariasxperience the world in very different ways as men and women of color and Prunella is very pragmatic about the fact that her primary goal is to find a rich husband because there are certain opportunities that will simply not be afforded to her until she is seen as a legitimate figure within London s social circles and there are a very limited number of ways that she can make herself respectable as a poor young unmarried woman of color Her goal is to knock off the poor and unmarried descriptors and hope that that takes her far nough In addition Zacharias starts out the story not thinking twice about the way that #women are barred from doing magic and he must unlearn his ignorance as he gets to know #are barred from doing magic and he must unlearn his ignorance as he gets to know His own personal xperiences as an outsider because of his race give him Aristotles Rhetoric empathy for herxperiences as an outsider because of bother her gender and her raceThere s one uote in particular that I really loved from his process of unlearning his sexism Surely feminine magic must be curbed magic being so peculiarly detrimental to women s delicate frames Besides magic was too hard to come by in these days for it to be frittered away in women s frivolities ballgowns and christening gowns and gowns of other descriptionsYet the moment this thought passed through Zacharias s mind his conscience presented the image of Lady Wythe as a counterpoint Anyone less likely to waste magic in fripperies was impossible to imagine unless it were the cooks maids charwomen herbwives and other females of the lower classes who were permitted to practise their craft in peace because they Blood Runs Green employed it for the benefit of their bettersFor that matter what could be wasteful than the manner in which the heedless young members of the Theurgist s amused themselves Magical fireworks and talking reflections were the least of theirxtravagancesZacharias begins to understand in this section that the gendered restriction on magic usage is at its heart a matter of hypocrisy The men in power justify women s powerlessness through the use of stereotypes that they themselves Charting an Empire embody and in fact have no basis in the way that women truly are What s they are perfectly willing to turn around and ignore these rules and justificationsntirely so long as they have the power of class privilege to Colored Property ensure that poor women only use their magic in the service of their bettersMatters of colonialism are primarilyxplored through Britain s negotiations with the island of Janda Baik located in the Malay peninsula The government is concerned about placating the island s leader because of its incredibly valuable location to Britain s colonial ventures and asks Zacharias to intervene in the island s conflicts using his magic Enter Mak Genggang a witch who is directly opposed to the island s current leader and Britain s colonial ventures She and her witches Desire and Truth embody resistance to the patriarchal and colonialist powers that are attempting to control their magic and their island and it is not insignificant that they are also protecting vampiresses who became undead because they were wronged in their lives It s also notable that Prunella s mother was betrayed by her father who deceived her with the goal of obtaining Indian riches for Britain and that Prunella comes into her own power by accessing this portion of her legacy in fullAs a final point I d like to just take a moment to celebrate Prunella in full She s a truly delightful character incredibly determined charming resourceful brilliant and as it turns out rather ruthless when it comes to achieving her goals You are a godless creaturenough PrunellaPrunella acceded to this description of herself cheerfully I had no one to teach me better you seeAbout the AuthorZen Cho was born in 1986 and grew up in Malaysia She received a law degree from Cambridge University and currently lives in the UK where she works as a lawyer Her short story collection Spirits Abroad was published in 2014 and Sorcerer to the Crown followed in 2015 Both garnered awards and award nominations and a seuel to Sorcerer in the Crown is due out in March 2019 Rating 3 stars ranting than reviewIt started promising with little Zacharias Wythe showing the Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers that he is a worthy apprentice to Sir Stephen Wythe despite the color of his skin Years have passed and following the death of Sir Stephen Zacharias takes his place of Sorcerer Royal something that because of his origins doesn t sit well with the majority of the thaumaturges magicianssorcerers Zacharias was born a slave Sir Stephen saw something special in the little boy He had liberated him separating his fate from that of his birth parents given him his name and the position in society that goes with it no matter the society liked it or not and honed him to become a powerful sorcererPrunella Gentleman on the other hand was raised by Mrs Daubeney and hes spent her youth helping her manage the School for Gentlewitches She never new her mother who due to Prunella s complexion must have been of darker skin and her father Mr Hilary Gentleman had left her alone in the world when she was but a little child presumably drowning himself Mrs Daubney Gentleman s lodger didn t know what to do with the little girl that had The Exiles Gallery even then begun to show troubling signs of being magical Because Ladies cannot be magical They are too fragile andmpty headed to handle magical powers It is not something befitting a young lady It is alright for some village woman to be a witch and sell some potions and herbs But real magic is for men precisely gentlemen and with the right colour of skin Learning how

to handle a 
handle a afflicted by magic Mrs Daubney changes her fortunes opening a school for young ladies suffering the same magical problems as Prunella s Being a school for gentlewitches it did not of course instruct its students in practical thaumaturgy Mrs Daubeney knew just what parents desired her to inculcate in their inconveniently magical daughters pretty manners a moderate measure of Dislocating China education and above all a habit of restraint This book had all thelements it needed to make me fall in love with the story and then unfortunately it didn t It had the interesting racial Childerley element that was underplayed It had the possibility to shake the ground with the politics or war The story unfolds on Britain during the Napoleonic wars It had all the makes of great conflicts Britain with France The thaumaturges versus the British government The thaumaturges versus the Fairy Courtven that was almost unused And there was a botched attempt of romance don t look at me like that I don t count that as romance zero chemistryBy some blurbs and reviews this was described as a mix of Georgette Heyer s regency novels and Susanna Clarke s Jonathan Strange Mr Norrell I didn t read any of Heyer s books though I think I know what regency books are like Maybe there s something in that claim For the comparisons with Jonathan Strange Mr Norrell phleeese no way I mean I get the similarities but for someone to say if I love Heyer and Strange I would love this book I did like parts of this book but I loved all those 1000 pages of Strange footnotes and all there s no way comparing these twoIn the nd I think my problem was that Prunella has turned out to be after a few problem was that Prunella has turned out to be after a few chapters too hungry for power and position for my taste Prunella had no interest in magical lore than a fish has in the philosophical properties of water Ok she doesn t have any interest in magic ven if she is gifted with power than many men I can get that But she wishes to be powerful through a high profile marriage She wants to wed someone wealthy not just moderate wealthy Cruelty and Laughter excessively in love with her and who would let me do whatever she wished Greedy much I get girl power I love a kick ass heroine that knows what she wants in lifebut Prunella was too much for me She reminded me of Alison Goodman s Eona she was pretty hard to digest in book two Eona The Last Dragoneye but somehow I could get why she acted so power hungry but with Prunella not so much So Inded grumbling to myself till the Cop Knowledge end of the book And thending was that supposed to make me swoonMaybe it s me again Usually if something rubs me hard the wrong way I can t Cultural Aesthetics enjoy the rest of the book And oh don t make me start on that poor familiar what was that Surely they could have found another solution to LeofricIn thend Prunella annoyed me Zacharias bored me and maybe I Class and Conformity endednjoying smaller players like Damerell Hsiang Han and Mak GenggangNot bad not great an OK book This review originally appeared on my blog Shoulda Coulda Woulda BooksMan I hope the writer of this book was cackling as she wrote this That s how I pictured her Descartes and His Contemporaries especially as the book wore on just sitting there rubbing her hands and laughing as she typed going Ooooh I know what I ll do to them now I mean that s what I would have been doing as I wrote this I don t know if I could have restrained myself because I would have been very pleased with just how clever I was Maybe she could restrain herself because doubtless she is less shocked about how great she is I don t know But anyway I hope that gives you an idea of the spirit of the thing because that s the best part of itI have to be honest I wasn t uite sure about this one when I started The tone seemed forced like someone who had studied a great deal of Jane Austen and read a lot of Regency romances and was painstakingly trying to recreate the sentence structure with the result that her characters sounded a good deal wooden than they shouldven the High Tide at Midnight excellent concept of a protagonist Zacharias Wythe the somewhat hapless well meaning Sorcerer Royal the book focuses on And then of course there was all thexposition to get set up and getting our protagonists heretofore with no reason to be anywhere near Education and Equality each other together That part was okay I kept going for the concept than anythinglse magic is commonplace in England there s a whole long standing structure of magicians and familiars in place it s tied up with politics and ackn. Magic and mayhem collide with the British Deceptive Beauties elite in this whimsical and sparkling debutAt his wit’snd Zacharias Wythe freed slave minently proficient magician and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural.

CHARACTERS Sorcerer to the Crown

Ism and oppression is a real menace in this story ven overshadowing the threats of war from France the dwindling magical resources of England and the political Flavor and Soul entanglements involving the matter of witches and belligerent visiting diplomats In spite of all that s going on Zacharias greatestnemies nd up being his own neighbors and fellows Already plagued with ugly rumors surrounding the death of his predecessor and adoptive guardian now it seems someone has decided to go ven further by attempting to murder Zacharias Just when he thinks life couldn t get complicated Forgery, Replica, Fiction enough along also comes Prunella Gentleman a mixed race young woman of considerable thaumaturgical power and Zacharias takes it upon himself to mentor her in a society where women using magic is considered anathemaThe fleeting mention of Prunella in the book s blurb actually belies the huge role that she plays While I adored Zacharias to me it was Prunella who stole the show as the star of the novel with the sheer force of her personality Invery proper situation she somehow still manages to find a way to throw xpectations back into the scandalized faces of those who naively thought they could use tradition to keep her in line It was also very ntertaining to see how often she bends Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life etiuette to her advantage wielding it as a weapon rather than letting it restrict her asvidenced by a particularly hilarious scene where she proposes the use of gossip and rumor as a way to actually deflect potential damage to her reputation I loved her for her frankness and her thoroughly unbreakable spirit and because she is strong ruthless and determined in other words the opposite of Escape everything the small minded folks in this book say about women magiciansI was also surprised at how light hearted this novel was some of its weightier themes notwithstanding I definitely don t claim to be anxpert in Regency fiction or books of this type but it s my understanding that a particular style of humor is freuently The Empty Chair employed and that it could be uite tricky to pull off For what it s worth I thought the author nailed it There s some genuine wit in here subtle but also infused with that certain Austenesue charm That said I wouldn txactly call Sorcerer to the Crown an asy read specially if you re not use to the style which I m personally wasn t I confess to having a difficult time at the beginning of the novel while adjusting to the writing which I thought it was a little hard on the Lit eyes and it made reading slow Butventually I did get into it as you can see once I reached a point where I could Award-Winning Books for Children and Young Adults, 1990-1991 enjoy myself and start appreciating its cleverness and nuances this novel was a pure joyZen Cho crafts her setting with much love and carevoking the Regency Keeper of the Doves era and all its punctilious social arrangements but also manages to seamlessly weave in romance adventure and political intrigue and I haven tven gotten the chance to mention the magic and all the fantastical creatures yet Dandy socialites posh boarding school matrons and uarreling politicians share this wonderfully uniue world with fairies dragons and magicians It is a truly delightful alternate history where magic is an integral part of lifeYou really can t ask for Sorcerer to the Crown is a deftly written novel that thoroughly Heat Wave (Nikki Heat, explores important issues adding further depth to a story already rich with memorable characters and a pleasantlyntertaining plot Zen Cho is a new fantasy novelist who is immediately going on my list of authors to watch and I m looking forward to her next book in this series Copy provided by NetGalleyThere have been a plethora of fantasy romances in the Regency of late not surprising considering there s a good chance that a lot of these authors grew up reading Georgette Heyer and possibly Jane Austen Except for Susanna Clarke I don t find Austen s sharp characterization wit or style of satire in any of them however there s a strong feel of Heyer s mix of modernity and her idiosyncratic version of Regency Not Quite Cold (Lowcountry Mysteries, era language in most and I think that the homage to Heyer is part of the strong appeal as they arentertaining and accessible to readers not steeped in period literatureIn Zen Cho s Sorcerer to the Crown there is a great deal of Heyer s idiom but without her tendency toward unexamined prejudice and the underlying assumption that Birth Will Always Tell What Cho gives us instead is a black Sorcerer Royal who despite his intelligence and scrupulous honesty is constantly dealing with insults assassination attempts and other forms of bigotry by supposedly well born Englishmen Meanwhile he is also a man of his own time in believing that females are too frail to handle magic until he meets beautiful dusky skinned Prunella Gentleman Then the sparks begin to flyMeanwhile there are potentates and witches from foreign lands to deal with and also awareness of French sorcerers ready to pounce Cho does the most interesting job I find in Collision of Wills explaining why magic isn t used in the Napoleonic wars and oh yes Britain s magic is seriouslybbingThe book is a great deal of fun with some laugh out loud moments Some of the motivations might not bear close scrutiny as is often the way with comedic books but the many threads and Ravensbrück especially the thoroughly imaginative magic race along at a spanking pace while taking some good hard looks at colonialism and the groundless assumptions of the prerogatives of good birth when manners morals and brains are missing Come to think of it however little the language resembles Jane Austen s in many ways I think the book s intent might have tickled her fancy considering her trenchant representation of nobly born and pretentiously superior characters in her novels Her satire of social frauds hiding behind their pedigrees and Cho s sapientye on same share a great deal of a similar spirit Not at all what I Lambrusco expected And it was greatFrom the cover art the title and the length of the book I wasxpecting a weighty Asia tinged fantasy pic NopeIt may be long but I zipped through it in a day And it s hilariousAs the comments below indicate yes comparisons with Susanna Clarke s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell are unavoidable The settings are very similar an old timey London inhabited by a society of stuffy and aristocratic magicians There are also incursions of Fairyland and in addition both prominently feature a former slave who dramatically rises in society However this is a much less serious work Although not unsophisticated it s less fussy and much romantic I d say imagine if Susanna Clarke s writing met Gail Carriger s I have to say though I njoyed this better than ither it hit my sweet spotOur two main charactersPrunella is an orphaned assistant at a girls school Abandoned by her British father her Indian mother known only by the tint she imparted to her daughter s skin she is dependent on the headmistress for her living She has a deal of magical talent unfortunately in this England girls are not considered to have a constitution suitable for the use of magic and schools such as this one for gentlewitches are devoted solely to preventing the young women from using their skills Of course people tend to look the other way when servants use magic to accomplish their menial tasksZacharias is the titular Sorcerer to the Crown Unfortunately his occupation of the post of head sorcerer in Britain is a matter of some controversy A black man and a former slave he is not uite the aristocrat his fellow magicians want as their leader Plots to depose him are already being fomentedAlthough Zacharias position is already unstable politics and disasters wait for no one The magic of England seems to be draining away and no one is sure why In addition a Sultan and a foreign witch from Janda Baik a small Malaysian island are at ach others throats and both threaten to drag England into a conflict overseasBut when the Sorcerer is imposed upon to give a speech at a girls school he meets Prunella and from there Introduction to Epidemiology events proceed in a merrily headlong roller coaster type fashionThoroughly delightfulMany thanks to Ace and Net Galley for the opportunity to read thisxcellent book As always my opinions are solely my own Reviewed by Rabid ReadsI tried to read SORCERER TO THE CROWN by Zen Cho THREE separate times and had pretty much given it up for lost when I decided to give it one chanceMany many thanks to friend and fellow Ace Roc Star Anne at The Book Nympho whose review influenced this decision tips hatThe beginning is slow no getting around it Even if I hadn t been reading mostly high octane action packed urban fantasy in the weeks prior to my first attempts I think I still would have found it slow I was initially reminded of a Jane Austen novel You But you LOVE Jane AustenMe Yes I knowYou Me I love Jane Austen despite the florid prose not because of itBUT Given time this book grew on me for the same reasons EMMA and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE did clever hilarity and Dans i mörker exasperating yet wonderful characters whom I grew to absolutely adore And BONUS there is the kind of whimsicality that can only be present in a FANTASY novel Zacharias Wythe is not a white land owning man in something like 19th century England He was adopted andmancipated by Sir Stephen Wythe Sorcerer to the Crown and his presence in society is met with both acceptance and ridicule by the peerage and Though he had never doubted his guardian s attachment being Sir Stephen s prot g had at times felt like being a touring attraction a dancing bear on its lead And how Oracles Moon (Elder Races, easy it is to blame one whosexistence you already disdain for problems almost certainly not of his doingLike the steady decline of magic in England Who better to hold accountable than the new Sorcerer to the Crown Especially when it so neatly provides a solution to the problem that is the new Sorcerer to the Crown But regardless of continuous and varied mistreatment at the hands of other thaumaturges Zacharias is determined to discover the source of England s lack thaumaturges Zacharias is determined to discover the source of England s lack magic as his station demands and during this search he also discovers the plight of gentlewitches Well bred ladies do not practice magic you see If a young lady is discovered to have any magical ability at all she is shipped to a boarding school where her use of magic will be stamped out It is in one such school that Zacharias stops as a favor to a friend only to find that the method of suppressment is an altered version of a KILLING CURSE modified to be cast by a lady on HERSELF draining her magic temporarily along with her Ghoul Interrupted (Ghost Hunter Mystery, energy andssential spark Zacharias is predictably horrified bc not a stuffy pompous wanker like his sorcerer brethrenAnd it was at Mrs Daubeney s School for Gentlewitches that things started to pick up I began to see hints not carbon copies mind you but hints of well loved characters from various girlhood favorites most notably in Mrs Daubeney who when vexed behaves in a rather Mrs Bennett like fashion You ought to have considered me but no one Infamous (DeWarenn, ever does and it puts me in an impossible position Then there s the scene of utter pandemonium that somehow manages to combinearly ANNE OF GREEN GABLES Anne Henrietta stamped her foot her grey yes drowned in green light I will teach you a lesson for that she cried How dare you call him my precious Mr Wythe How dare you say I am in l love With those wretched Pringles she doesn t ncounter until several books later When Prunella ntered the classroom Clarissa Midsomer was trying to bang Emily Villiers s head against a desk Emily was resisting this screeching in a manner fit to bring the ceiling down I couldn t find a good picture of the Pringles or of the classroom in chaos after the fireworks were off but this one works just as well I thinkFairyland resembled a combination of Bedknobs and Broomsticks and king of the jungle segments Flanked of Bedknobs and Broomsticks underwater and king of the jungle segments Flanked fish faced guardsmen the Fairy King lounged upon his throne YES That is fantasticResemblances purposeful or accidental aside were not the only amusements and I found myself shaking with laughter on than one occasion be it the result of a formidable aunt named Georgiana Without Ruth get it Ruthless snickers or his fairy Highness xplaining why England s magic is being shunted Jawaharlal Nehru elsewhere but don t worry not to France They don t like France any better than England does It would be annd to all peace if they returned he said with a sigh We should give them our first born child if that would persuade them to stay away Indeed we made the offer but they would not look at poor Cuthbert Poor Cuthbert BUT As much as SORCERER TO THE CROWN made me laugh there is so much to it than humor Peppered throughout the story are painful truths To her surprise Prunella found that she was still attached to Mrs Daubeney She would never trust her again no But one could nonetheless be very fond of someone in whom one had no confidence whatsoever When Prunella at last listened to the full message contained in the singing orb I found myself in tears and there is an Elizabeth and Darcy scene so spectacular as to give its namesake a run for its money Maybe you didn t hear me there is an Elizabeth and Darcy scene so spectacular as to give its namesake a run for its moneyIndeedSORCERER TO THE CROWN by Zen Cho was fantabulous Plain and simple I m so glad I didn t let a slow start derail my consumption of one of the best books I ve read this year and I hope you ll read it for yourself bc it s just that good Highly recommended It s never a good sign when it takes well over 150 pgs to get the story startedreallytruly notThis book dragged Nothing really worked for me Nothing If I could get that time back I would I want it back so much THE PREMISE aka not a bad start The British Shadowrise (Shadowmarch, elite conuest consist of magicians called thaumaturges who are racist sexist and all have all sorts of petty bullying behavior They are all jerksAnd they are all pissed Why The new Sorcerer Royal Zacharias Wythe inherited the position based on his magic talent and intellectoh and he happens to be a former freed slave The nerve of himDespite none of them seemingly owning slaves they are pissed that he manages to conduct magic despite being so inferiorAnnnnnnnnnnd then there s the otherlephant in the room We are a laughingstock a nation of hundreds of LeBron James enchanters and nothing tonchant with So there s another reason to hate Zarcharias The magic is drying. Ings 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. ,
Sorcerer to the Crown
Seven Dwarfs Find a House (Disney Classic) Untameable Rogue (Bennett