Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis

Title: Snowspelled
Publication: Five Fathoms Press, paperback, 2017
Genre: Regency Fantasy
Plot: What is a magician without magic?   Cassandra Harwood spent her whole life fighting the tradition of Angland that dictates men become magicians and women become politicians.  Unluckily for Cassandra, she obtained her objective to study in the Great Library with the men but her determination to undertake unparalleled magic caused her to come to grief. Her career in ruins, she breaks her engagement and returns home in despair.   When her brother and sister-in-law persuade Cassandra to accompany them to a political house party at Cosgrove Manor in the depths of winter, she dreads seeing her ex-fiancĂ© Wrexham but his presence is eclipsed by a disastrous encounter with a diabolical elven lord who accuses the mortals of using magic to interfere with his people, in violation of a treaty.  Cassandra is tricked into promising to find the real culprit in a week, although she no longer has magical powers to aid her investigation.

Audience:  Fans of Regency romance as well as fantasy enthusiasts

My Impressions: Cassandra Harwood,  her twin brother Jonathan who chose history as a profession instead of magic, and her sister-in-law Amy, an aspiring politician, are all appealing characters but it is Cassandra’s former fiancĂ©, Mr. Wrexham, who adds sizzle to this story.   Cassandra gave him up for his own good but, although hurt and not understanding her motives, he refuses to give up on her and it is hard to imagine how she resisted him at all, as he is very swoonable, not to mention dominates every scene in which he appears.   Burgis handles the regency setting with effortless accuracy, and you may know that as a former romance editor and ongoing reader I have high standards.   And I love a good house party!

I had read and enjoy the author’s Kat Incorrigible but didn’t realize she had written an adult series until I saw online that Thornbound had been published and realized I needed to go back and read in order. Snowspelled is a novella so some (like me) may wish it were longer but others will find it a delightful introduction to a new author at 153 pages.  I also think those who enjoy the Regency anthologies that my former colleague Hilary Ross used to assemble at Signet will like this book.
There is a second book in the series!

: Click here to see some of my other winter reading recommendations.

Source: Library

Off the Blog: I was hosting a meeting tonight of my library’s Race and Inclusion Committee, which plans events and discussions related to race, ethnicity, religion, and culture.  A chance remark by my friend Christine about author Jasmine Guillory turned into a plan for us to compile a list of our favorite romances for summer reading recommendations.  Hmmm, what would you include?


Lisa said...

I saw the cover of this somewhere and thought it looked interesting, but also that it was YA - not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm off to see if our library has a copy.

I would include Alyssa Cole's An Extraordinary Union on your summer list.

CLM said...

I wondered about that as I think it *could* have been YA but the author seems to consider it adult fantasy on her website. Either way, however, I think you would enjoy it although slight.

GSGreatEscaper said...

Is this list of romances for summer reading supposed to be contemporary or just good stuff? Because as an "alumna" of the Roslindale Library (I can just remember when it was in the municipal building) I'd have to include Desiree (Annemarie Selinko) and Katherine (Anya Seton.) Must have borrowed them 4 or 5 summers in a row....

CLM said...

Well, Katherine is one of my all time favorites! I never read Desiree - my library must not have had it.

I think my colleagues were thinking of current or recently published romances but we are meeting again tomorrow so I will ask them. I do think the books need to be in print but I hope both of those are.