Sorcerer Royal #1. Author: Zen Cho.
The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers maintains the magic within His Majesty’s lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman as their Sorcerer Royal and allowing England’s stores of magic to 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, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up, an adventure that brings him in contact with Prunella Gentlewoman, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, and sets him on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large…
Reasonably fun. There were quite a number of side-plots clearly about social justice (feminism, racism) which weren’t bad, but I thought they could have been woven into the story better. Making statements with your story is fine, but when they’re that blatant it does draw attention away from the story.
Sexual Content: Girl spends night in sorcerer’s room, quite innocently, but her guardian assumes she was ravished. One kiss.
Language: 8 d***, 2 derogatory terms
Violence: Several girls try to hex each other. Mention of past deaths-by-misfire when magicians tried to improperly use a certain staff. Magical assassination attempt attacks two characters with fire, burning one of them, but not too severely. A second magical hex almost drowns a magician in acidic water before he’s able to beat it off. Character gives her elvet (familiar) to a dragon, which swallows it whole. Character finds out that powerful familiars demand the magician’s soul to be devoured at death (rather than going on to an afterlife).