My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kat Stephenson is headstrong, forthright, and a tom boy in a time of balls, simpering misses, and convenient marriages. Rather than let her eldest sister marry a man old enough to be her father (not to mention the fact he might have murdered his first wife) in order to save the family from financial ruin, she sets out to find another way to save them, and stumbles upon her mother’s magic books.
This is a fast-paced ride in Kat’s world, filled with adventure, humour, and mayhem.
Kat is a very likeable heroine. Rather than learning ladylike traits, such as sewing and playing the piano, Kat can be found up trees, or crawling under beds. She’s a strong character, with a deep sense of family, and a desire to protect her sisters and father. She also has an uncanny way of bringing about minor disasters in a way I’m sure a lot of other girls can relate to.
The plot doesn’t let up for a minute. After neatly dealing with necessary backstory, by weaving it into the opening chapters, and setting up the question of whether Kat will save her sister and the family, what quickly follows is an exciting mixture of magic, witches, villains, and highwaymen.
What I particularly liked about the book is that Kat doesn’t simply go along with the path set out for her She opts to handle things in her own inimitable fashion, and refuses to be pushed into filling the role various characters want her to fill. When she does accept assistance, it’s very much on her own terms.
When I heard about a series of books set in Regency England and involving magick (two of my favourite things), my hopes rose. I’m pleased to say my anticipation was justified.