Book Review: Snowspelled, by Stephanie Burgis

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This is the most charming, delightful fantasy novel you will read this year.

Set in an alternate-history England, in approximately the Regency era (early nineteenth century), this is the story of Cassandra Harwood, the first female magician in Angland. In this alternative reality, where Boudicca drove the Romans out of Britain, women hold political power while men have traditionally been the magicians. Cassandra was not only the first female magician, but also a very capable one. That is, until she tried a too-powerful spell that nearly killed her. Now, if she uses magic again, it will very likely finish the job.

Which would be all very well. Except that now she has stumbled into the path of a malevolent elf lord. If she can’t carry out his demands within a week, her life will be forfeit. But without magic, how can she hope to unpick the mystery and face up to his overwhelming power?

And if that isn’t enough, she’s trapped in the snow in a house party with her ex-fiance, her interfering family, manipulative lady politicans, and troublesome male magicians: her former colleagues, who never thought she should be allowed to be a magician in the first place.

Cassandra will have to find a way to neutralise the deadly elf lord and deal with her infuriating former fiance and the feelings she still holds for him.

Snowspelled is wonderful fantasy novel, full of spark, energy, and brilliant, sharp characters. There is a mystery, a romance, and a magical threat growing ever closer in a completely unique setting. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Snowspelled is a very short novel, just a little longer than a novella, but it is fast moving and you never feel like anything is lacking. The characters and plot are all fully developed. It’s the first of three novellas. The second, Thornbound, is due out in 2018, and I can’t wait!

Go and get Snowspelled right away.

5 Stars!

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