#Download E-pub ë Sorcerer to the Crown ⚤ eBook or E-pub free

2.5 stars, rounding up because this is not a bad book, far from it actually It s just not right for me.I don t want to be unduly harsh, but I do have to be honest So here goes.It s a complete surprise to me that, of all the books I struggled to read last month, this one was the hardest to get through If this had not been a buddy read, I m pretty sure it would have been my first DNF of the year Not because it s a difficult read or there were issues with the writing or anything like that ever 2.5 stars, rounding up because this is not a bad book, far from it actually It s just not right for me.I don t want to be unduly harsh, but I do have to be honest So here goes.It s a complete surprise to me that, of all the books I struggled to read last month, this one was the hardest to get through If this had not been a buddy read, I m pretty sure it would have been my first DNF of the year Not because it s a difficult read or there were issues with the writing or anything like that everything about it is fine actually It was a struggle to get through simply because I couldn t connect with any of the characters and was bored for most of the read So bored in fact that, when I had to take a trip right at the moment the climax happened, I didn t even want to take the book out of town with me I think what it boils down to is that I felt the story, while having potential to be something great, was rather uninteresting for a historical fantasy about magic and colonialism The most interesting thing about it is that it s told from the perspectives of two characters who were most impacted by the British Empire s colonial rule This should have been the thing to reach out and pull me into the story, but that didn t happen However, the subtle and blatant displays of classism and racism faced by the main characters, one a young man and former slave of African descent and the other a biracial orphaned young woman, were well done This was the strength of the book everything else, like the magic and the magical society and the fae and the dragons, was mostly filler Something like this book should have been right up my alley though since I loved other books that were written in the same vein, all released fairly recently The Ghost Bride, The Golem and the Jinni, A Natural History of Dragons, His Majesty s Dragon, The Magpie Lord Unfortunately, Sorcerer to the Crown didn t strike a chord with me That aside, I must point out that there were quite a few nuanced, heartfelt moments in which slavery was touched upon by the main characters This is the one that stands out the most to me and that I thought was very well portrayed.A fine line appeared between Prunella s eyebrows Did not Sir Stephen purchase your parents as well No, said Zacharias Presumably he did not discern the same potential for magic in them The statement brought up the old anger and confusion, followed by the accustomed guilt, that he should be so ungrateful as to resent the man who had rescued him from bondage And yet he did resent Sir Stephen, even now I don t see why you feel obliged to him at all, said Prunella What right had he to part you from your parents when you were so young Her words seemed to echo Zacharias s own thoughts, thoughts he had suppressed many a time, striving to feel the unclouded gratitude expected of him What might his life have been, with a father and mother It could not have cost Sir Stephen very much to purchase them as well certainly not enough to strain his ample resources How could his benevolence have extended so far as to move him to free Zacharias, but no further But it had been impossible to ask these questions of Sir Stephen or Lady Wythe, whose affection could not be doubted That Zacharias s own love for them was leavened with anger was best left unsaid he tried not to know it himself Very probably I would have been separated from my parents in any event, he said What assurance can I feel that my parents were not in time separated from each other, against their will, and they powerless to prevent it The answers to these questions were too painful to pursue to their conclusion, even in thought They had only ever served to increase the complicated unhappiness that lay in wait whenever he thought of his parents The artwork for each edition of this book is just lovely I want all of them on my shelf, even the German one GER Cross posted at 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum many comparisons have already been made to describe Sorcerer to the Crown, and I m going to chime in too with This feels like epic fantasy for fans of Gail Carriger Zen Cho has created a world here that s reminiscent of Austen meets Tolkien, yet at the same time it s so wonderfully adaptable that pigeonholing this book into any one category makes it feel a bit remiss.A Regency setting is what you will get though, eve 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum many comparisons have already been made to describe Sorcerer to the Crown, and I m going to chime in too with This feels like epic fantasy for fans of Gail Carriger Zen Cho has created a world here that s reminiscent of Austen meets Tolkien, yet at the same time it s so wonderfully adaptable that pigeonholing this book into any one category makes it feel a bit remiss.A Regency setting is what you will get though, even if the nature of the style and story is up for debate Fantasy of manners is also a subgenre that frequently crops up in discussions of novels like this, with a focus on a rigid set of expectations within a hierarchical societal structure One of the protagonists in Sorcerer to the Crown is Zacharias Wythe, the first black sorcerer in Britain who also holds the highest office in his profession, a fact that makes him the target of much opposition and bigotry from many of his so called socially refined peers who feel that a freed slave should not have risen so far above his station.Institutional racism and oppression is a real menace in this story, even overshadowing the threats of war from France, the dwindling magical resources of England, and the political entanglements involving the matter of witches and belligerent visiting diplomats In spite of all that s going on, Zacharias greatest enemies end up being his own neighbors and fellows Already plagued with ugly rumors surrounding the death of his predecessor and adoptive guardian, now it seems someone has decided to go even further by attempting to murder Zacharias Just when he thinks life couldn t get complicated enough, along also comes Prunella Gentleman, a mixed race young woman of considerable thaumaturgical power, and Zacharias takes it upon himself to mentor her in a society where women using magic is considered anathema.The fleeting mention of Prunella in the book s blurb actually belies the huge role that she plays While I adored Zacharias, to me it was Prunella who stole the show as the star of the novel with the sheer force of her personality In every proper situation she somehow still manages to find a way to throw expectations back into the scandalized faces of those who naively thought they could use tradition to keep her in line It was also very entertaining to see how often she bends etiquette to her advantage, wielding it as a weapon rather than letting it restrict her as evidenced by a particularly hilarious scene where she proposes the use of gossip and rumor as a way to actually deflect potential damage to her reputation I loved her for her frankness and her thoroughly unbreakable spirit, and because she is strong, ruthless, and determined in other words, the opposite of everything the small minded folks in this book say about women magicians.I was also surprised at how light hearted this novel was, some of its weightier themes notwithstanding I definitely don t claim to be an expert in Regency fiction or books of this type, but it s my understanding that a particular style of humor is frequently employed and that it could be quite tricky to pull off For what it s worth, I thought the author nailed it There s some genuine wit in here, subtle but also infused with that certain Austenesque charm That said, I wouldn t exactly call Sorcerer to the Crown an easy read, especially if you re not use to the style, which I m personally wasn t I confess to having a difficult time at the beginning of the novel while adjusting to the writing, which I thought it was a little hard on the eyes and it made reading slow But eventually I did get into it, as you can see once I reached a point where I could enjoy myself and start appreciating its cleverness and nuances, this novel was a pure joy.Zen Cho crafts her setting with much love and care, evoking the Regency era and all its punctilious social arrangements but also manages to seamlessly weave in romance, adventure and political intrigue and I haven t even gotten the chance to mention the magic and all the fantastical creatures yet Dandy socialites, posh boarding school matrons and quarreling politicians share this wonderfully unique world with fairies, dragons and magicians It is a truly delightful alternate history where magic is an integral part of life.You really can t ask forSorcerer to the Crown is a deftly written novel that thoroughly explores important issues, adding further depth to a story already rich with memorable characters and a pleasantly entertaining plot Zen Cho is a new fantasy novelist who is immediately going on my list of authors to watch, and I m looking forward to her next book in this series #Download E-pub ⚜ Sorcerer to the Crown Î Magic and mayhem collide with the British elite in this whimsical and sparkling debutAt 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 upBut 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 Copy provided by NetGalleyThere have been a plethora of fantasy romances in the Regency of late, not surprising considering there s a good chance that a lot of these authors grew up reading Georgette Heyer, and possibly Jane Austen Except for Susanna Clarke, I don t find Austen s sharp characterization, wit, or style of satire in any of them, however there s a strong feel of Heyer s mix of modernity and her idiosyncratic version of Regency era language in most, and I think that the homage to He Copy provided by NetGalleyThere have been a plethora of fantasy romances in the Regency of late, not surprising considering there s a good chance that a lot of these authors grew up reading Georgette Heyer, and possibly Jane Austen Except for Susanna Clarke, I don t find Austen s sharp characterization, wit, or style of satire in any of them, however there s a strong feel of Heyer s mix of modernity and her idiosyncratic version of Regency era language in most, and I think that the homage to Heyer is part of the strong appeal as they are entertaining and accessible to readers not steeped in period literature.In Zen Cho s Sorcerer to the Crown, there is a great deal of Heyer s idiom, but without her tendency toward unexamined prejudice and the underlying assumption that Birth Will Always Tell What Cho gives us instead is a black Sorcerer Royal, who, despite his intelligence and scrupulous honesty, is constantly dealing with insults, assassination attempts, and other forms of bigotry by supposedly well born Englishmen Meanwhile, he is also a man of his own time in believing that females are too frail to handle magicuntil he meets beautiful, dusky skinned Prunella Gentleman Then the sparks begin to fly Meanwhile, there are potentates and witches from foreign lands to deal with, and also awareness of French sorcerers ready to pounce Cho does the most interesting job, I find, in explaining why magic isn t used in the Napoleonic wars , and oh yes, Britain s magic is seriously ebbing.The book is a great deal of fun, with some laugh out loud moments Some of the motivations might not bear close scrutiny, as is often the way with comedic books, but the many threads, and especially the thoroughly imaginative magic, race along at a spanking pace while taking some good hard looks at colonialism and the groundless assumptions of the prerogatives of good birth when manners, morals, and brains are missing Come to think of it, however little the language resembles Jane Austen s, in many ways I think the book s intent might have tickled her fancy, considering her trenchant representation of nobly born and pretentiously superior characters in her novels Her satire of social frauds hiding behind their pedigrees and Cho s sapient eye on same share a great deal of a similar spirit Delightful books are delightful.I am completely, utterly enamoured with Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho s first novel A wonderful and charming book that pays homage to Regency romances and Fantasy novels at the same time that interrogates some of the problematic aspects of those genres in regards to race and gender It s like this book was written for me.Zacharias Whyte is a freed slave and a talented magician who just so happens to have recently become Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophe Delightful books are delightful.I am completely, utterly enamoured with Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho s first novel A wonderful and charming book that pays homage to Regency romances and Fantasy novels at the same time that interrogates some of the problematic aspects of those genres in regards to race and gender It s like this book was written for me.Zacharias Whyte is a freed slave and a talented magician who just so happens to have recently become Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers of Britain His fellow magicians are not exactly happy about it because Zacharias is not only a black man and not exactly a gentleman but also the events surrounding his mastery of the Sorcerer Royal s Staff that only answers to the One True SR are shrouded in mystery WHAT exactly happened that night, everybody wonders And so the magicians and sorcerers whisper and gossip and plot behind Zacharias back because that is the polite thing to do, as we know Microagressions are always the way to go too And Zacharias knows everything about those.Within the story, there is a truth universally acknowledged that England s scarcity of magic was a matter of common knowledge among the magical.What with the magic no longer freely flowing from fairyland and the number of familiars declining to the point where no magician has even seen a familiar in ages The familiars are magical creatures from fairyland that devote their lives to the service of a magician at a Great Cost who is then considered a sorcerer This is the Right and Proper way of doing things, of course.But ANYWAYS, the lack of magic is terrible and the magicians have been anguishing over that and trying to hide it from the Government because magic and the status quo are directly connected and even though the Sorcerer Royal should be independent from politics this is really Zacharias being completely na ve and a fool for believing that POWER is as uncomplicated as that.And here is the funny thing about this so called scarcity of magic because if you move your eyes away from London and the Unnatural Philosophers and the gentlemen and look at other places like the school for gentlewitches where inconveniently magical daughters are sent to learn restraint because women s bodies and little brains simply can t cope with magic as everybody knows you will see magic abounds, really But inappropriate magic doesn t count Shameless, impudent, meddling females, who presumed to set at naught the Society s prohibition on women s magic, and duped the common people with their potions and cantrips HAHAHA This book, it is awesome Because that s the setup and we know that something awesome is going to happen to disprove that Like have a myriad of different women from all over the world, doing amazing things from heroism to villainy the women are the ones to move the plot along, and to sort out all the problems.Zacharias Whyte, SORCERER ROYAL secondary character.AND THEN.Enter Prunella Gentleman WOMAN.An orphaned, mixed race, half Indian WOMAN.Who hasmagic in her little finger than many gentlemen in their entire bodies Who knows how to wield such magics in ways that are preposterously dangerous, completely outrageous and incredibly cool.Prunella, who has something like a thousand familiars OK, I exaggerate but this is an important point because of the ways that it s all connected to history, power and family.Prunella Gentleman who has the guts and fortitude to do anything to get what she wants And those who dare stand in the way and tell her she can t because of her gender Prunella is all like I shall do what I please, SIR saves England Prunella had once thought life in London would be all flirting and balls and dresses, hitting attentive suitors on the shoulder with a fan, and breakfasting late upon bowls of chocolate She sighed now for her na vet Little had she known life in London was in fact all hexes and murder and thaumaturgical politics, and she would always be rising early for some reason or other Prunella, incorrigible busybody Who meets Zacharias and then nothing will ever be the same again And I just love the dynamics between Zacharias and Prunella and even though the romance is an obvious but super welcomed development, the subtlety of it is delicious especially in how Zacharias is anything but ambitious while Prunella could easily run the universe An example of an interaction between them Your amoral ingenuity in the pursuit of your interest is perfectly shocking, said Zacharias severely Yes, isn t it said Prunella, pleased Said Prunella, pleased Prunella Gentleman, you are my patronus.When talking about the book and its inspirations and influences, Zen Cho most commonly mentions Susannah Clarke and Georgette Heyer s regencies but there is one work that I thought about the most when reading Sorcerer to the Crown In many ways I think this book is in direct conversation with another sensational read from earlier this year, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, especially with the way that both novels examine the relationship between power and class, between power and the social strata which inevitably places women in a subordinate position within the status quo Both books question and subvert this really well and look at the ways that women create and wield magic Both books converse with feminism and with topical issues within SFF and they are both incredibly light, delightful, charming and friendly in ways that we don t usually see in mainstream Fantasy.This has been an incredible year for reading so far Sorcerer to the Crown is another favourite and a strong top 10 contender I picked up Sorcerer to the Crown because I heard it was strikingly reminiscent of one of my favourite fantasy books, the wonderful Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Suasana Clarke Such a thing is this book s greatest asset and also its downfall Perhaps my rating of this would have been slightly higher had I read first Though when reading all I saw was how the book had drawn from a much better book Cho s setting and world building are adequate, but again I was imagining them in relation to I picked up Sorcerer to the Crown because I heard it was strikingly reminiscent of one of my favourite fantasy books, the wonderful Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Suasana Clarke Such a thing is this book s greatest asset and also its downfall Perhaps my rating of this would have been slightly higher had I read first Though when reading all I saw was how the book had drawn from a much better book Cho s setting and world building are adequate, but again I was imagining them in relation to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell Both books deal with English magic during the time of the Napoleonic wars and the regency period Magic is seen as improper in the stuffy society of the early nineteenth century it is frowned upon and drastically misunderstood Is it too similar In Clarke s novel Stephen is the black house servant of Sir Walter Pole He has descended from slaves, and though not part of the system, he is very much a second class citizen Zacharias Wythe, from Cho s novel, is a black sorcerer in a society that deems him inferior I feel like Cho has essentially read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and asked herself a question what would happen if Stephen was also a magician And this is the book that answers the situation An African sorcerer is at the head of the English magic society in an all too familiar world.Cho attempts to write in dated prose she attempts to infuse modern prose with that of Austen Clarke did the same with an absolute brilliant level of execution She even produced a typical three volume novel to add to this effect Cho s attempt is sloppy with distinctively modern words and phrasing being set against older expressions The result is uneven writing that dances between being accessible to younger readers and being a pastiche All in all, it just was not written with the same level of skill and attention to detail that Clarke displayed Clarke is just SO much better Sorcerer to the Crown certainly isn t a terrible book, but for me it will always exist in the shadow of a much greater book one that I wanted to stop reading this one for The parallels are far too strong Perhaps all this is merely coincidental and the writers just had similar ideas for the setting of a novel, though even so Clarke handles her book withskill Her characters are charming and very complex individuals I love the way she based her two magicians on Wordsworth and Coleridge with magic replacing the arguments they had over poetry If you have read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell then you will possibly hate this for its bland attempt at similar ideas However, if you have not read it, you may find some enjoyment here This review originally appeared on my blog, Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda Books.Man, I hope the writer of this book was cackling as she wrote this That s how I pictured her, especially as the book wore on, just sitting there, rubbing her hands and laughing as she typed, going, Ooooh, I know what I ll do to them now I mean, that s what I would have been doing as I wrote this I don t know if I could have restrained myself, because I would have been very pleased with just how clever I was Maybe she This review originally appeared on my blog, Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda Books.Man, I hope the writer of this book was cackling as she wrote this That s how I pictured her, especially as the book wore on, just sitting there, rubbing her hands and laughing as she typed, going, Ooooh, I know what I ll do to them now I mean, that s what I would have been doing as I wrote this I don t know if I could have restrained myself, because I would have been very pleased with just how clever I was Maybe she could restrain herself, because doubtless she is less shocked about how great she is I don t know But anyway, I hope that gives you an idea of the spirit of the thing, because that s the best part of it.I have to be honest, I wasn t quite sure about this one when I started The tone seemed forced, like someone who had studied a great deal of Jane Austen and read a lot of Regency romances and was painstakingly trying to recreate the sentence structure, with the result that her characters sounded a good dealwooden than they should even the excellent concept of a protagonist Zacharias Wythe, the somewhat hapless, well meaning Sorcerer Royal the book focuses on And then of course, there was all the exposition to get set up and getting our protagonists, heretofore with no reason to be anywhere near each other, together That part was okay I kept goingfor the concept than anything else magic is commonplace in England, there s a whole long standing structure of magicians and familiars in place, it s tied up with politics and acknowledged as A Thing, but very much tied into an otherwise recognizable Regency society that can t be bothered to be that impressed too busy being impressed with the knots in their cravats, obviously You guys know that Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is one of my favorite books, right I couldn t love this conceptI was going to stick around until the end especially since it was clearly going to deal with some racial and class issues that simmered under the surface in that one in ablatant way, and there were some cleverly placed unanswered mystery breadcrumbs placed out early on well done, Cho But then I hit what my kindle told me was about 40% Remember how I told you guys reading JSMN and losing patience to just hang out for Strange Same damn thing here Then Strange showed up and things got amazing pretty quickly and never got less amazing until the last page I laughed out loud once, then twice, and then traded gasping and laughing for a sustained period pretty much almost until the end.Okay, so basic plot Zacharias Wythe is the Sorcerer Royal, like I told you above but he inherited his position from his mentor and father figure, Sir Stephen Wythe, in suspicious circumstances that were never quite explained He is clearly the most powerful magician living, so, as yet, he still holds the staff of office but there is a louder and louder rebellion stirring amongst England s magicians about his leadership not helped, of course, by the fact that this is the early 1800s and Zacharias is of African birth and appearance and some Englishmen don t like acknowledging that any foreigner can do anything better than they can hey actually, maybe this isn t just because it s the early 1800s Ringing some bells This situation is only madeprecarious by the fact that England seems to be in the process of losing the plentiful magic it once had, and has been for decades No new magical creatures or familiars have appeared, and the borders to Fairy have been slowly, but inexorably closing.Enter Prunella Gentleman, aka my new fictional best friend She works at a magical school for young ladies where they are mostly taught to hide their gifts and pretend like magic doesn t exist think of it like one of those boarding schools where rich people send embarrassing daughters who get pregnant young or show signs of mental health difficulties She has lead a precarious life on the sufferance of someone who took her in but then, early in the novel, she makes a discovery that changes her entire life and throws her in the path of Zacharias leading to life altering consequences for both of them The surprise is so good and her course of action is so audacious and amazing I don t want to even hint at it, but suffice it to say that it leads to them making an amazing team inways than one.Aside from the wonderful plot and an outstanding cast of supporting characters in the best Regency farce fashion, Rollo Damerell Aunt Georgiana what s really wonderful in the back half of the book is Cho s increased confidence and ability to handle the tone, dialogue and rhythms of the genres that she s paying homage to both Regency farce and epic fantasy She really does a great job with ramping up the ridiculousness to just the right volume, while never quite forgetting the serious threats that underlie all of this conflict BTW Man, I hope this book is an indication that this mixed genre is here to stay Can I just make up one of these cool new subgenre names for it to help marketers Bonnet fantasy Carriage wheels and magic wands fantasy Hmmmm Come on guys, we have to be able to come up with something to encourage people to do thisNot to mention the serious girl power in this book Prunella, my new BFF, is, as I mentioned, utterly fantastic, and I love the way the author goes about showing that to us She never needs her to be admired and stared at as the belle of the ball at least notthan briefly, before something goes terribly wrong , she doesn t need her to necessarily be Mary Sue She just needs her to be determined, clever, to know what she wants and not be afraid of stating it whether it s feminine or feminist or not , and of course to be a whole lot of fun Although Zacharias is our ostensible hero, and so much of the book is from his point of view and he really does a great job of playing the straight man and the tragic hero we want out of our epic fantasies, Prunella is really the true farcical heart of the novel she gives it life and insanity and the heart palpitations we want out of an adventure I told you guys, she s Strange but way funnier,self aware, but just as ferocious when she needs to be There s some pitiless stuff in here, and she s nobody s perfect heroine, and man, does she screw up, but it s enjoyable from beginning to end.I was neverdelighted than when I saw, in parentheses after the title, that this was only Sorcerer Royal 1 which hopefully means there sto come I don t think it s spoiler y of me to say that I want to see how Prunella continues her reign of terror and mayhem in the next book and who she shocks to their core next.I am sorry I was ever wary of this, anyone who ever recommended this to me More fool I, please be as smug as you like You deserve it Rating, 3 starsranting than review It started promising, with little Zacharias Wythe showing the Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, that he is a worthy apprentice to Sir Stephen Wythe, despite the color of his skin Years have passed and following the death of Sir Stephen, Zacharias takes his place of Sorcerer Royal, something that because of his origins doesn t sit well with the majority of the thaumaturges magicians sorcerers Zacharias was born a slave Sir Stephen saw someth Rating, 3 starsranting than review It started promising, with little Zacharias Wythe showing the Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, that he is a worthy apprentice to Sir Stephen Wythe, despite the color of his skin Years have passed and following the death of Sir Stephen, Zacharias takes his place of Sorcerer Royal, something that because of his origins doesn t sit well with the majority of the thaumaturges magicians sorcerers Zacharias was born a slave Sir Stephen saw something special in the little boy He had liberated him separating his fate from that of his birth parents , given him his name and the position in society that goes with it no matter the society liked it or not and honed him to become a powerful sorcerer.Prunella Gentleman on the other hand was raised by Mrs Daubeney, and hes spent her youth helping her manage the School for Gentlewitches She never new her mother, who due to Prunella s complexion must have been of darker skin, and her father, Mr Hilary Gentleman had left her alone in the world when she was but a little child presumably drowning himself Mrs Daubney, Gentleman s lodger didn t know what to do with the little girl that had even then begun to show troubling signs of being magical Because Ladies cannot be magical They are too fragile and empty headed to handle magical powers It is not something befitting a young lady It is alright for some village woman to be a witch and sell some potions and herbs But real magic is for men,precisely gentlemen and with the right colour of skin Learning how to handle a girl afflicted by magic, Mrs Daubney changes her fortunes opening a school for young ladies suffering the same magical problems as Prunella sBeing a school for gentlewitches, it did not, of course, instruct its students in practical thaumaturgy Mrs Daubeney knew just what parents desired her to inculcate in their inconveniently magical daughters pretty manners, a moderate measure of education and, above all, a habit of restraintThis book had all the elements it needed to make me fall in love with the story and then unfortunately it didn t It had the interesting racial element that was underplayed It had the possibility to shake the ground with the politics or war The story unfolds on Britain during the Napoleonic wars It had all the makes of great conflicts Britain with France The thaumaturges versus the British government The thaumaturges versus the Fairy Court even that was almost unused And there was a botched attempt of romance don t look at me like that I don t count that as romance zero chemistry.By some blurbs and reviews this was described as a mix of Georgette Heyer s regency novels and Susanna Clarke s Jonathan Strange Mr Norrell I didn t read any of Heyer s books, though I think I know what regency books are like Maybe there s something in that claim For the comparisons with Jonathan Strange Mr Norrell phleeese, no way I mean I get the similarities but for someone to say if I love Heyer and Strange, I would love this book I did like parts of this book, but I loved all those 1000 pages of Strange footnotes and all , there s no way comparing these two.In the end I think my problem was that Prunella has turned out to be after a few promising chapters too hungry for power and position for my tastePrunella had nointerest in magical lore than a fish has in the philosophical properties of waterOk, she doesn t have any interest in magic even if she is gifted withpower than many men I can get that But she wishes to be powerful through a high profile marriage She wants to wed someone wealthy not just moderate wealthy , excessively in love with her and who would let me do whatever she wished Greedy much I get girl power I love a kick ass heroine that knows what she wants in life.but Prunella was too much for me She reminded me of Alison Goodman s Eona, she was pretty hard to digest in book two Eona The Last Dragoneye, but somehow I could get why she acted so power hungry but with Prunella, not so much So I ended grumbling to myself till the end of the book And the ending was that supposed to make me swoon Maybe it s me again Usually if something rubs me hard the wrong way, I can t enjoy the rest of the book And oh, don t make me start on that poor familiar what was that Surely they could have found another solution to Leofric.In the end Prunella annoyed me, Zacharias bored me and maybe I ended enjoyingsmaller players like Damerell, Hsiang Han and Mak Genggang.Not bad, not great an OK book Reviewed by Rabid ReadsI tried to read SORCERER TO THE CROWN by Zen Cho THREE separate times, and had pretty much given it up for lost when I decided to give it onechance.Many, many thanks to friend and fellow Ace Roc Star Anne at The Book Nympho , whose review influenced this decision tips hat The beginning is slow, no getting around it Even if I hadn t been reading mostly high octane, action packed urban fantasy in the weeks prior to my first attempts, I think I still Reviewed by Rabid ReadsI tried to read SORCERER TO THE CROWN by Zen Cho THREE separate times, and had pretty much given it up for lost when I decided to give it onechance.Many, many thanks to friend and fellow Ace Roc Star Anne at The Book Nympho , whose review influenced this decision tips hat The beginning is slow, no getting around it Even if I hadn t been reading mostly high octane, action packed urban fantasy in the weeks prior to my first attempts, I think I still would have found it slow I was initially reminded of a Jane Austen novel You But you LOVE Jane Austen Me Yes, I know.You Me I love Jane Austen, despite the florid prose, not because of it.BUT Given time, this book grew on me for the same reasons EMMA and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE did clever hilarity and exasperating yet wonderful characters whom I grew to absolutely adore And BONUS, there is the kind of whimsicality that can only be present in a FANTASY novel Zacharias Wythe is not a white, land owning man in something like 19th century England He was adopted and emancipated by Sir Stephen Wythe, Sorcerer to the Crown, and his presence in society is met with both acceptance and ridicule by the peerage, and Though he had never doubted his guardian s attachment, being Sir Stephen s prot g had at times felt like being a touring attraction a dancing bear on its lead And how easy it is to blame one whose existence you already disdain for problems almost certainly not of his doing.Like the steady decline of magic in England Who better to hold accountable than the new Sorcerer to the Crown Especially when it so neatly provides a solution to the problem that is the new Sorcerer to the Crown But regardless of continuous and varied mistreatment at the hands of other thaumaturges, Zacharias is determined to discover the source of England s lack of magic as his station demands, and during this search he also discovers the plight of gentlewitches Well bred ladies do not practice magic, you see If a young lady is discovered to have any magical ability at all, she is shipped to a boarding school where her use of magic will be stamped out It is in one such school that Zacharias stops as a favor to a friend, only to find that the method of suppressment is an altered version of a KILLING CURSE, modified to be cast by a lady on HERSELF, draining her magic temporarily, along with her energy and essential spark Zacharias is predictably horrified b c not a stuffy, pompous wanker like his sorcerer brethren.And it was at Mrs Daubeney s School for Gentlewitches that things started to pick up I began to see hints, not carbon copies, mind you, but hints of well loved characters from various girlhood favorites, most notably in Mrs Daubeney, who when vexed behaves in a rather Mrs Bennett like fashionYou ought to have considered me, but no one ever does, and it puts me in an impossible positionThen there s the scene of utter pandemonium that somehow manages to combine early ANNE OF GREEN GABLES Anne Henrietta stamped her foot, her grey eyes drowned in green light I will teach you a lesson for that she cried How dare you call him my precious Mr Wythe How dare you say I am in l loveWith those wretched Pringles she doesn t encounter until several books later When Prunella entered the classroom, Clarissa Midsomer was trying to bang Emily Villiers s head against a desk Emily was resisting this, screeching in a manner fit to bring the ceiling down I couldn t find a good picture of the Pringles or of the classroom in chaos after the fireworks were set off, but this one works just as well, I think Fairyland resembled a combination of Bedknobs and Broomsticks underwater and king of the jungle segments Flanked by fish faced guardsmen, the Fairy King lounged upon his throne YES That is fantastic.Resemblances, purposeful or accidental, aside, were not the only amusements, and I found myself shaking with laughter onthan one occasion, be it the result of a formidable aunt named Georgiana Without Ruth get it Ruthless snickers , or his fairy Highness explaining why England s magic is being shunted elsewhere but don t worry, not to France They don t like France any better than England doesIt would be an end to all peace if they returned, he said, with a sigh We should give them our first born child if that would persuade them to stay away Indeed, we made the offer, but they would not look at poor CuthbertPoor Cuthbert BUT As much as SORCERER TO THE CROWN made me laugh, there is so muchto it than humor Peppered throughout the story are painful truths To her surprise Prunella found that she was still attached to Mrs Daubeney She would never trust her again no But one could nonetheless be very fond of someone in whom one had no confidence whatsoever When Prunella at last listened to the full message contained in the singing orb, I found myself in tears, and there is an Elizabeth and Darcy scene so spectacular as to give its namesake a run for its money Maybe you didn t hear me there is an Elizabeth and Darcy scene so spectacular as to give its namesake a run for its money.Indeed.SORCERER TO THE CROWN by Zen Cho was fantabulous Plain and simple I m so glad I didn t let a slow start derail my consumption of one of the best books I ve read this year, and I hope you ll read it for yourself, b c it s just that good Highly recommended Not at all what I expected And it was great From the cover art, the title, and the length of the book I was expecting a weighty, Asia tinged fantasy epic Nope It may be long but I zipped through it in a day And it s hilarious.As the comments below indicate, yes, comparisons with Susanna Clarke s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell are unavoidable The settings are very similar an old timey London inhabited by a society of stuffy and aristocratic magicians There are also incursions of Fai Not at all what I expected And it was great From the cover art, the title, and the length of the book I was expecting a weighty, Asia tinged fantasy epic Nope It may be long but I zipped through it in a day And it s hilarious.As the comments below indicate, yes, comparisons with Susanna Clarke s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell are unavoidable The settings are very similar an old timey London inhabited by a society of stuffy and aristocratic magicians There are also incursions of Fairyland, and in addition, both prominently feature a former slave who dramatically rises in society However, this is a much less serious work Although not unsophisticated, it s less fussy and muchromantic I d say imagine if Susanna Clarke s writing met Gail Carriger s I have to say though, I enjoyed this better than either it hit my sweet spot.Our two main characters Prunella is an orphaned assistant at a girls school Abandoned by her British father her Indian mother known only by the tint she imparted to her daughter s skin, she is dependent on the headmistress for her living She has a deal of magical talent unfortunately, in this England, girls are not considered to have a constitution suitable for the use of magic, and schools such as this one, for gentlewitches, are devoted solely to preventing the young women from using their skills Of course, people tend to look the other way when servants use magic to accomplish their menial tasks Zacharias is the titular Sorcerer to the Crown Unfortunately, his occupation of the post of head sorcerer in Britain is a matter of some controversy A black man and a former slave, he is not quite the aristocrat his fellow magicians want as their leader Plots to depose him are already being fomented.Although Zacharias position is already unstable, politics and disasters wait for no one The magic of England seems to be draining away, and no one is sure why In addition, a Sultan and a foreign witch from Janda Baik a small Malaysian island are at each others throats and both threaten to drag England into a conflict overseas.But when the Sorcerer is imposed upon to give a speech at a girls school, he meets Prunella and from there, events proceed in a merrily headlong, roller coaster type fashion.Thoroughly delightful.Many thanks to Ace and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this excellent book As always, my opinions are solely my own