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…
This book has so much going for it I shall make a list.
- It’s set in Regency England, with the amazing language and politicking that go with.
- A healthy dose of reality. Sounds weird to say that about a fantasy novel, but look:
She spent a full half-minute considering whether she might pass herself off as a man: it would be so very convenient! But she gave up the notion with a sigh.
It might serve for a time, but i could not sustain it for long; indeed I would not wish to. I must make as good a fist of being female as I can….
- Zacharaias and Prunella, though very different, are natural allies. Zacharaias has had to deal with all kinds of nastiness for being a “native” and black so he understands why Prunella, as a woman, resorts to the methods available to her.
- At one point Prunella walks into the figurative lion’s den without realizing what she is doing. Visions of the dreaded “too stupid to live” and damsel in distress tropes floated before me but neither was realized. In fact she does a great job of saving herself, and off-screen to boot. You never doubt or question it, for she is that awesome.
- Diversity and feminism. Need I say more.
- The characters felt a little under-developed, but it feels like grasping at straws. An amazing, wonderful read.