Magic and mayhem collide with the British elite in this whimsical and sparkling debut.
At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, eminently proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural 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 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…
Worldbuilding: The Regency London setting was what you’d expect from it: glamorous, glittering, impressive, and full of obnoxious and squirrelly nobles. And I loved the commentary on the ton of the time, regarding “outsiders”, their inflated sense of self and worth, and so on. Other settings were also fun, but the star was London. The fantasy elements were absolutely adorable, fey, magic, familiars, spells, curses… yummy!
Characters: Zacharias and Prunella were a charming team, and a surprising one. Both ton outsiders, people that stood out rather than blend in, and who dealt with that in two very different ways: one doing his best to become as “invisible” as possible, being overly civil and accommodating even when he shouldn’t have been, the other being a constant rebel, and doing everything with a charming disregard for norm or so-called propriety or morals outside of her own. I loved the two of them as a team, I felt they balanced each other, like two sides of a coin.
Their romance was rather unromantic, in a way, which made it make incredible sense for me. I loved how they made a path for themselves, how they chose what path to take, each of them. I’m calling this a New Adult and not a Young Adult precisely because of that, their ages, the moment in their lives we get to witness, the nature of their choices (no mature language or situations, mind you!).
Plot: The adventure of Society intrigue, plotting and scheming, was so dynamic and exciting for me. While it was an active story, I wouldn’t say it was too agitated in terms of action, though where there was action, it was very exciting. I loved the pace of events, though to some it might feel a tad slow maybe. The romance arc was a slow burn and discreet side of the overall story, but one I enjoyed nonetheless.
Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, mostly from Zacharias and Prunella’s POVs, though with omniscient-like views at times. What stands out is the style of writing, rather era-appropriate, with a complex structure and a less than accessible feel to it. While I personally enjoyed it, I think it might alienate other readers, since it demands a lot more concentration on actual text than some might like.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my historical urban fantasy moods.
I really enjoyed Sorcerer to the Crown, and I recommend it to lovers of Regency reads with a fantasy twist, to lovers of intrigue and plotting and scheming and ton-related stories. The romantic element was subtle, so I wouldn’t say I recommend it particularly to romance lovers per se, unless they’re into adventure as well.
A good, solid, delectable read, and I can’t wait to read more about these characters!