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Sorcerer to the crown
2015
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While trying to discover why England's magical stocks are drying up, Zacharias Wythe, freed slave and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers, meets an unusual woman whose power could alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain. - (Baker & Taylor)

Investigating why magic is dying in England, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers, encounters a woman with unusual gifts and his alliance with her changes the nature of sorcery for the entire world. - (Baker & Taylor)

"In this sparkling debut, magic and mayhem clash with the British elite... The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty's lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman--a freed slave who doesn't even have a familiar--as their Sorcerer Royal, and allowing England's once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven't stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man's profession... At his wit's end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, 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.."-- - (Baker & Taylor)

In this sparkling debut, magic and mayhem clash with the British elite...

The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty’s lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentlemana freed slave who doesn’t even have a familiaras their Sorcerer Royal, and allowing England’s once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven’t stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man’s profession

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, 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 Britainand the world at large
- (Penguin Putnam)

In this sparkling debut, magic and mayhem clash with the British elite...

The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty’s lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman—a freed slave who doesn’t even have a familiar—as their Sorcerer Royal, and allowing England’s once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven’t stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man’s profession…

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, 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… - (Random House, Inc.)

Author Biography

Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia, and currently lives in London. She was a finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, a nominee for the Pushcart Prize, and her short story collection Spirits Abroad was a joint winner of the Crawford Fantasy Award. Sorcerer to the Crown is her first novel.

- (Penguin Putnam)

Zen Cho was a 2013 finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in London. - (Random House, Inc.)

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Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* England is losing its magic, and the Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers normally turns for guidance to its Sorceror Royal. However, Zacharias Wythe is nearly a pariah to the society. Not only is he the freed child of African slaves, but his adoptive father, Sir Stephen Wythe, died under mysterious circumstances, and everyone assumes that the blame lies with his successor. Suffering under the weight of social rejection, Zacharias attempts to discover the truth behind his nation's dwindling magic. In the meantime, he meets Miss Prunella Gentleman, a young woman of unknown parentage and magical gifts who turns the idea that women must suppress their magical talents on its head. Prunella wishes to enter society and make a life for herself but hides a magical secret that could make or break the future of England itself. As Zacharias and Prunella work towards their respective goals, they find that their paths end up more connected than perceived as they travel a road strewn with foreign witches, fairies, and familiars. Cho's entertaining, fantastical debut brings past and current issues of diversity and social class to light with charm, wit, and magic. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews

Set in an alternate, magical England during the Napoleonic Wars, Cho's debut novel is at once a comedy of manners and a sharp metacomment concerning racism and misogyny in the fantasy genre. Most thaumaturges agree that Zacharias Wythe is a most unsuitable Sorcerer Royal. Born a slave of African parents, he was set free by his predecessor, Sir Stephen Wythe, who raised him and trained him in the magical arts as a kind of experiment. Zacharias' skin color bars him from social acceptance; moreover, he's commonly assumed to have wrested the late Sir Stephen's staff from him by nefarious means. Nevertheless, Zacharias strives to serve his fellow magicians by determining why the magic level in England has diminished recently. He's distracted in his quest by assassination attempts, the conflict between the sultan of Janda Baik and that nation's witches, and the presence of Prunella Gentleman, a young woman of uncertain but presumably half-Indian parentage, who is possessed of power ful magical gifts that ladies are firmly encouraged to suppress. Many voices in the sci-fi community have spoken of the need for diversity in authors, characters, and subject matter and have faced some unpleasant public blowback for that view. In this book, Cho is both providing that diversity and directly responding to those who prefer a more traditional (read: white male) approach to fantasy. She uses wit, charm, and romance to make her point; the result is a classic, gently barbed upper-crust comedy mixed with magical thrills, modern social consciousness, and a hint of political intrigue. A decidedly promising start. Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews

Having taken over as Sorcerer Royal from his adoptive father, Zacharias Wythe will never be accepted by many of the snobbish members of London's magical elite. While the former slave's African heritage would always have been an obstacle in Regency England, the diminished alchemy in the kingdom under his term is all the justification his enemies need to call for his removal. On a visit to a local school for mystically inclined females, Zacharias meets Prudence, a talented young woman whose illegitimate parentage leaves her in an awkward position at the school—neither student nor servant. Zacharias liberates Prudence from the school and takes her with him to the border between England and Faerie, hoping that he will be able to negotiate with the fae to allow more magic into the country. VERDICT Fans of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell will flock to this historical fantasy debut for its shared setting and be rewarded with an exciting story and nuanced, diverse characters who make this novel soar on its own merits. The Malaysian-born Cho also writes sf/fantasy short stories (Spirits Abroad) and romance novellas (The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo).—MM

[Page 58]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Set in the excruciatingly class-conscious realm of an alternate 19th-century England, Cho's delightful debut novel skillfully blends fantasy and intrigue with issues of race and gender politics. Zacharias Wythe, the child of enslaved Africans, has spent almost all of his 24 years apprenticing under his English adoptive father, Sir Stephen Wythe, Sorcerer Royal and member of the Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers. When Sir Stephen dies and Zacharias is reluctantly thrust into power, the Society is outraged at the thought of a black man governing its ilk and chooses to blame Britain's dwindling magical resources—actually a longtime crisis—on the color of Zacharias's skin. At Mrs. Daubeney's School for Gentlewitches, where girls are trained to suppress their magical abilities because they supposedly lack the intelligence to be sorcerers, 19-year-old Prunella Gentlewoman stumbles across a long-forgotten legacy that could be the key to saving Zacharias's life and restoring Britain's magic. Cho's tale knits together a dizzying array of taut story lines populated by complex characters with interesting backstories. Zacharias brings to mind another orphaned young wizard whose combination of grit and melancholy captured readers' hearts, and ingenious, gutsy Prunella simply shines. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

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