Sorcerer to the Crown
A debut novel set in Regency England that includes magic, colonialism, a misogynistic view of women and magic, and two unlikely protagonists.
The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers faces a number of challenges: the loss of magic, the new Sorcerer Royal is a man of color, and insurrection in the ranks.
Zacharias, adopted by the previous Sorcerer Royal, has both supporters and detractors. His detractors are unhappy with the color of his skin and his lack of a familiar. Zacharias is a very restrained character, admirable in his sense of integrity, but formal and sober-minded...and a little dull.
When he meets Prunella Gentlewoman at a school for Gentlewitches (a school designed to curb and/or eliminate the magic of women), he recognizes her remarkable latent talent. They are opposites in temperament, and Prunella will present Zacharias with both problems and solutions.
Prunella is the more vibrant character, but the character development overall is lacking. I wanted to like both Prunella and Zacharias more, and I know I was intended to, but they both seemed fitted with "appropriate" personalities and not enough depth.
Sorcerer to the Crown was, in many ways, an intriguing read, but didn't fulfill its promise.
send link to Penguin
Read in July; blog review scheduled for Aug. 14, 2015.
Fantasy. Sept. 1, 2015. Print length: 384 pages.