Lady of Magick: A Noctis Magicae Novel by Sylvia Izzo Hunter begins with Sophie Marshal busy at her studies. She is happily married and now enrolled at Oxford where she can study magic and learn how to control her skills. Unfortunately, her fellow scholars have been less-than-welcoming to the new, female, addition to their campus. Then her husband, Gray, is invited to serve as a guest lecturer at the University in Din Edin, a place where women students are the norm. The Marshalls accept the invitation gladly and find themselves at the kind of college most people dream of. Meanwhile, Sophie’s sister, Joanna, has learned that all is not well in Din Edin, but as her information is confidential, can only give oblique warning. Ultimately, the Marshalls, Joanna, and their new friends find themselves embroiled in a long-standing conflict.
This is the second book in the Noctis Magicae series, but reads quite well as a standalone. There are references to events in the earlier book, but people like this reviewer who pick it up on its own will still be able to slip into the world and the story quite easily. Hunter writes of the loving bonds between friends and family, showing marriage as still romantic and sisters as friends. She also shows how duties may come into conflict and the dilemmas this can create. And, she cooks up quite a conspiracy with plenty of tension. The magical system is well-used; the reader can trust that, even if the characters don’t know everything about how it works, the author does. The book falters a little in its conclusion; there is a portion that needed better foreshadowing, but overall, it is strongly plotted.
Lady of Magick is a thoroughly enjoyable book with magic, romance, family, and all the trappings of a good Regency novel for the reader to enjoy.
Pairs well with
A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer
Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Wardby Patricia Wrede
Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Sorcerer to the Crown (A Sorcerer Royal Novel) by Zen Cho—also coming out on September 1, 2015 and reviewed here.