Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho is a historical fantasy that beautifully combines humor, magic, and writing appropriate to the historical period. I didn’t expect to be as amused and enamored by this one as I quickly became, but trust me, as long as you don’t mind fairly advanced vocabulary and dense-writing, this is a fantastic story that will have you laughing out loud.
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (Sorcerer Royal #1)
Published by Ace on Sept. 1st, 2015
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy
Page Length: 371 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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Magic and mayhem collide with the British elite in this whimsical and sparkling debut.
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…
- Did I mention that Sorcerer to the Crown is hilarious? Well, it is. I can’t decide which scene is my favorite, but I think the talking caterpillars that couldn’t help commenting on each other’s intelligence ended up at the top of the list. The humor is so cheeky and silly and I absolutely loved it.
- So often historical novels are very focused on white characters, so it was refreshing to see a hero and heroine that were black and half-black respectively. There was also an appropriate amount of discussion of racism and sexism in England during this alternative time period, which really made me think.
- I need a large amount of magic in my historical fantasy usually and I’m happy to report that there is all kinds of magic and magical familiars :D. Dragons, fairies, sentient clouds, oh my!
- The writing is a bit dense when you first start, but I got used to it quickly and found it delightful. I even learned some new words ;-).
- The plot does a great job of balancing several different mysteries that all need to be sorted out and fit together by the end. I never was able to guess how everything would be solved and stayed hooked until the end.
- I really really really want a better idea of what all these magical creatures look like! There were references to the fantasy creature they were, but I don’t know what kind of unicorn they were particularly referring to. Is this a unicorn with cloven hooves and a lion’s tail or a unicorn that farts rainbows? I don’t know!
- Our heroine Prunella will almost certainly annoy some readers. She is rather naive and full of herself at times, though this does give her room to grow. She’s definitely one of the harder to swallow heroines that I’ve encountered and I don’t know if I would want to be her friend in real life.
Sorcerer to the Crown is a fantasy not to be missed if you enjoy humor mixed with an alternative magical Victorian England! I wouldn’t have thought to pick it up if I hadn’t seen a review from King of the Nerds, so take both of our recommendations and go give this fantasy try!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
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