Let's go back to Regency (I think, I'm not the best at the English eras) England only pretend that magic is real and an organized part of society. This is my dream book description. I love the English historicals, and I think they only thing they're missing is a good dose of supernatural mischief.
Zen Cho really brings the supernatural mischief, and I loved it so much. We have witches, sorcerers, Faery creatures, familiars, and a whole host of other potentially magical beings just thrown about in everyday life. (Can someone please build a machine to take me there.) Downfall, they don't really like when women work magic. And so our story begins!
Enter Zacharias, the Sorcerer Royal, and his new protege Prunella, an incredibly magical woman that Zacharias plans to reform the rules of society for so they will accept her as a member and not banish her (or worse) for being a sorceress. I adored Zacharias. He was smart, dedicated to his craft, and always the gentleman. Even as his opponents throw magical hexes and assassination attempts his way time and time again, he takes it all in a stride.
Prunella, on the other hand, I had mixed feelings about. At first, I loved her spunk and get-it-done attitude. Risking it all to follow her dreams and unlock the secrets in the relics her family left her. But as the story went on, I found her to be a bit grating. She rarely listened to the advice of anyone, and it often caused some major problems and ordeals. And in the end, she does something (that I dare not say or I will spoil so much) that made me positively dislike her. I know she did it for all the right reasons, but she was too cold about it. She needed to have an emotional reaction after the fact, and I didn't see it.
I have the paperback for book two on pre-order though. The entire English world built here has completely captivated me, and I wonder how it all plays out.
**I voluntarily read a complimentary copy of this book**