Thursday, August 24, 2017

ARC Review: Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis

Author: Stephanie Burgis
Series: The Harwood Spellbook, Volume 1
Publication: Five Fathoms Press (September 4, 2017)

Description: In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen while ladies attend to the more practical business of politics. But Cassandra Harwood has never followed the rules...

Four months ago, Cassandra Harwood was the first woman magician in Angland, and she was betrothed to the brilliant, intense love of her life.

Now Cassandra is trapped in a snowbound house party deep in the elven dales, surrounded by bickering gentleman magicians, manipulative lady politicians, her own interfering family members, and, worst of all, her infuriatingly stubborn ex-fiancĂ©, who refuses to understand that she’s given him up for his own good.

But the greatest danger of all lies outside the manor in the falling snow, where a powerful and malevolent elf-lord lurks...and Cassandra lost all of her own magic four months ago.

To save herself, Cassandra will have to discover exactly what inner powers she still possesses – and risk everything to win a new kind of happiness.

A witty and sparkling romantic fantasy novella that opens a brand-new series for adults from the author of Kat, Incorrigible, Masks and Shadows and Congress of Secrets.

My Thoughts: This novella sets up a new adult series by the author. It is fantasy of the "Jane Austen with magic" variety. I very much enjoyed this story about Cassandra Harwood who decided to become a magician despite the fact that magic is the realm of gentlemen while women focused on politics. She had the strong support of her brother who chose to be a historian rather than a magician. Her parents, however, were not so sanguine. Her mother held a high place among the ruling ladies and always intended that Cassandra would follow her path. Her mother has now passed away and Cassandra can no longer do magic.

In an attempt to prove that she was just as good as the male magicians, she tried a spell that was too hard for any magician to do alone. Now, she knows that doing any spell could possibly kill her. She is grieving her loss of magic and the loss of her fiance Wrexham. He is a gifted magician and she broke the engagement so as not to be a burden to him. He, however, is not willing to let her go. Nor are her brother and sister-in-law willing to let the engagement end.

Cassandra finds herself at a country weekend house party with her ex-fiance, a number of political ladies and their magician husbands during an unnatural snowstorm. The goal of the party is a ceremony to reaffirm the human's peace treaty with the elves. Unfortunately, when searching for a lost party of young ladies, Cassandra and her ex-fiance run into a troll and a scheming elf lord and Cassandra make a promise that could cost her life to keep and also break the treaty.

She has one week to find the magician who caused the unnatural snowfall or become the prisoner of the elf lord. Cassandra, who had lost her life's purpose when she lost her magic, now realizes how much she still has to live for. She and Wrexham need to find the magician and outwit an ancient elf lord.

This was an engaging story. I loved the historical setting. I loved the magic. The writing was smart. I loved the touches of humor and the romantic tension between Cassandra and Wrexham. The only thing I didn't like about the story was that, according to the author, more in this world won't be available for me to read until "sometime in 2018."

Favorite Quote:
"Now, love..." Her eyes widened, and she gave me her most innocent look...which put me on my guard immediately.

Kind-hearted, loyal, and adorable were all phrases that may apply very well to my brother's wife; innocent is not one of them, and never has been.

She had, after all, been my mother's final and most promising political protegee.

I received this one in exchange for an honest review from the author. You can buy your copy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!