Sorcerer to the Crown

Sorcerer to the Crown

Book - 2015
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The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty's lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman--a freed slave who doesn't even have a familiar--as their Sorcerer Royal, and allowing England's once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven't stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man's profession... At his wit's end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England's magical stocks are drying up. But when his adventure brings 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
Publisher: New York : Ace Books, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780425283370
0425283372
Branch Call Number: SF Cho
Characteristics: 371 pages ; 24 cm

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Chapel_Hill_AmandaG Feb 07, 2016

The story takes place in Regency England where magicians are not fully accepted in society, yet too powerful to be ignored. I loved that this wasn't just a fun novel about magic, but it also addressed gender and race issues head on. The only part of the novel that didn't work for me was the roman... Read More »


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ApollosRaven
Jun 21, 2017

Excellent mix of the Regency romance with Fantasy fiction. Zen Cho presents us with a wizard in distress who is an appealing romantic hero (if not quite assertive enough) and a too-assertive orphan who discovers that she has set her goals (marriage to escape poverty) far below her abilities. Magical adventure, romance, and a few good-humored jabs at the prejudices of the era.

t
Tabby_6
Apr 26, 2017

Trash. I couldn't bear to finish it. The affected, stilted dialogue is too much to bear. Not to mention the characters are cardboard, and the action in the first two-thirds of the book went nowhere. Returned it. Advise you not to pick it up.

NBaccari Sep 14, 2016

Slowgoing at first, but really great read towards the end. The language and plot will remind you of Jane Austen, but there is a healthy dose of fantasy and fantastical plotlines in here as well. Recommend for Austen lovers, and fantasy and historical fiction fans.

AL_BRIDGET Aug 16, 2016

This was delightful. If you're in the mood for something that mixes humor and magic with political intrigue and historical fantasy, I can't recommend it enough. It even addresses class and race in engaging and surprising ways, making for a satisfying and highly enjoyable read.

d
dkgriff
Aug 04, 2016

sorry .. just couldn't get into this one .. read first 100 pages and it seemed to go nowhere.

s
shayshortt
Jul 12, 2016

Although obviously highly socially conscious, Sorcerer to the Crown is also a great adventure, with a good bit of political intrigue. Even as he tries to solve the problem of England’s decreasing magical atmosphere, Zacharias is fighting off assassination attempts, and struggling to negotiate England’s tricky relationship with the neighbouring realm of Faery. Though Britain’s magical power has decreased, magical artifacts and creatures seem to be lurking everywhere, if you look beneath the surface. There is even a touch of romance at the periphery, though it is certain be more significant to the next two volumes of this planned trilogy, which begins with this well-rounded romp through magical England.
Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2016/07/12/sorcerer-to-the-crown/

m
mwuth
Jul 03, 2016

I didn't buy in to the love story in this one, but the world building was done well and the action was good. Looking forward to the sequels.

What an astonishingly fun read! It's like if Jane Austen's romances had a baby with "Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrel": a perfect blend of witty high-society conversation and whimsical magical antics. Bonus points for the great reminder of England's racial diversity and global ties in the early 1800s, and for the most adorable kiss scene I've had the pleasure of reading in years.

l
LibraryGirl101
May 18, 2016

Victorian fantasy that touches on issues of race and class in England at the time. Character development could be better and the plot felt choppy--perhaps a sequel is in the works?

Chapel_Hill_AmandaG Feb 07, 2016

The story takes place in Regency England where magicians are not fully accepted in society, yet too powerful to be ignored. I loved that this wasn't just a fun novel about magic, but it also addressed gender and race issues head on. The only part of the novel that didn't work for me was the romance, it seemed forced and like it was a last minute addition. A must read for fans of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell!

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s
shayshortt
Jul 12, 2016

Following the death of his guardian, Sir Stephen Wythe, Zacharias Wythe finds himself Sorcerer to the Crown, and head of the Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, the chief magical body of England. It was Sir Stephen’s dearest wish that Zacharias succeed him, but that does not stop rumours from circulating that Zacharias murdered his benefactor in order to seize the Staff. Worse, sorcerers disgruntled by Zacharias’ sudden rise to power have chosen to blame the ascent of a black orphan to the nation’s highest magical office for Britain’s longstanding decrease in magical atmosphere. Hoping to uncover the reason for the ebb of magic, Zacharias travels to the British border with Faery. Along the way he acquires a traveling companion, one Miss Prunella Gentleman, the mixed-race daughter of a deceased English magician who brought her to England from India shortly before his untimely demise. Prunella causes Zacharias to question the Society’s longstanding prohibition on women performing magic, for this untrained young woman may be the most powerful magician he has ever seen, and hold the key to unlocking the flow of magic into England.

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shayshortt
Jul 12, 2016

“It is shockingly ungallant of men to withhold from us our fair share of magic.”

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