Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho Review

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…

Why did I pick this up?: Honestly, I picked it up because I KEPT hearing about it. So often that I eventually caved and thought ‘why not just buy it and see?’

Good points: Okay, there is this gorgeous idea within it where characters use clouds as transportation. I LOVE THAT. I also love Prunella, and Rollo, who are great characters with huge potential.

Quibbles: I haven’t got that many, but yet again this was a book I was reading that was very slow to start. It reads a little like Austen, as several people have said, and this sort of thing often puts me off. However this time it didn’t. I’d say it was a steady 4/5. It also reminds me of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which I love, so there was always going to be at least some positive points there.

Overview (TL;DR): Super short review, but… it was a good book, nothing to scream and rave about for me, but definitely worth picking up.

-K Hart

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The Demon’s Surrender – Sarah Rees Brennan Review

Progress on Alternate: 27,153 words

Current Review: Okay, so this is the last book in the series, and I already reviewed the first two. Hooray, actually managing to review the whole series for once. My next step on my bookshelves is actually, as predicted last time, a classic, so it will be interesting to address that, rather than specifically review it, in my next post. And given that it’s Austen, I might have some fun things to say.

ANYWAY, for this novel…

Again, I found the romantic focus of this book more than my hardened heart could take, but beyond that the story was good. Sarah Rees Brennan managed to keep that sense of adventure, and otherworldliness about this novel.

I also didn’t mention in previous reviews of the other books in this series that I actually adore the Goblin Market. Those sorts of things, magical worlds, market stalls, the idea that there is a magical undercurrent to the world, will always be something that draws me in. Not to mention the dances and earlier on, references to the maenads. Yes! Bring me the Greek references!

I like that this book gave us a chance to see things through Sin’s eyes, and admired her as a character. And as much as my heart is hard, I did find myself rooting for all of the relationships in this book to succeed. So you know, maybe I’m not such a stubborn old thing after all.

Overall, I love the way Sarah Rees Brennan created her world here, what she did with it, and how she managed to use that to develop her characters. And I think she ended it here in just the right place. There was a very clear, very structured and logical plot that I honestly wish I could keep up in my own writing. Maybe I need to ask her for tips!

-K Hart