Published by Stephanie Burgis on September 4th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
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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-fiancé, 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 from the author of Kat, Incorrigible, Masks and Shadows and Congress of Secrets.
*Volume I of The Harwood Spellbook*
Cold weather is the perfect weather to curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot tea and a good book. Stephanie Burgis thought the weather was a good reason to do a spontaneous giveaway of her book Snowspelled, which starts with a huge, unnatural snowstorm. Our blast of cold was natural, but it did make me sympathise with the characters even more. I was one of the lucky few to win a copy of this enchanting story and I finished it soon after.
Angland is an alternative version of England where men are mostly magicians and women rule the country in the Boudiccate. Cassandra Harwood is the first and so far only woman to become a magician. I love female characters who break through tradition to be who they want to be. I think Lady Trent from Marie Brennan books comes close to her deviance and willingness to do everything for her passion.
Burgis knows exactly when to tease and when to tell, by never giving away too much. Some details about past events aren’t shared until it’s time, but those seeds definitely keep you reading. In the first chapter, she hints at a terrible event four months ago and a broken engagement. That’s enough to peak my curiosity. What happened and why did Cassandra break it off? How was her relationship with Wrexham? I was expecting a Jane Austen man, like Willoughby or Wickham, but Burgis surprised me.
Her writing is elegant and it has a natural flow, which makes it easy to read. I want to read more by Burgis and I’ve taken up the goal to read all her stories. Just from reading the synopsis of her other books convinced me that she writes the kinds the stories that I want to read. If they’re all like Snowspelled, I know I have a new favourite author.
I loved Snowspelled and give it 4,5 stars. The only downside is that it’s short, but it’s the right length for the story. Using more words would’ve dragged out the story and wouldn’t have done it any good. It’s the perfect read on a wintery day.