Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho is a lively romance with some fantasy in it—or a fantasy with a romance in it. Fans of either or both genres should be satisfied. The hero, Zacharias Whythe, has more than his fair share of problems. He is the Sorcerer Royal in a time when magic in England is waning perceptibly. He is also the first black sorcerer the society has ever had, which means many resent him and are willing to blame him for the decline. There is also a foreign—and very powerful—sorceress demanding help for her people even as the sultan of her island insists they be eliminated. Plus, the people of Fairy are angry at the British, and there are plots all around.
Prunella Gentleman also has problems. The half-Indian child of a father who died soon after bringing her to England, she has been raised by the mistress of a boarding school for women with magic—-women who have to be taught not to use their magic as common knowledge holds they are too fragile for it. She is not quite a teacher, not precisely a student, not exactly a servant, and never completely at home. She also has a strange, magical legacy and no training to tell her how to use it.
Naturally, the two join forces.
Prunella is a lively heroine with plenty of power and gumption, and Zacharias is an entirely likable hero and a thorough gentleman. The machinations of those around them, the friendships both Zacharias and Prunella form, and the discoveries they make are well-paced and plotted. The world is not built in detail, but what information there is is clearly conveyed and woven into the story. There is a decided similarity to Regency romances such as Georgette Heyer’s here, with the quick-witted characters and the joy in the trappings of Regency England, especially the clothes and food.
Sorcerer to the Crown is a lively, sparkling book perfect for carrying around to read at odd moments or to stay up far too late finishing.
The book comes out September 1, 2015. Look for it it on Amazon
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
Lady of Magick: A Noctis Magicae Novel by Sylvia Izzo Hunter, also coming out on September 1, 2015 and reviewed here