Renegade Magic, by Stephanie Burgis (book review) – dark magic, Regency manners, secrets everywhere

book cover of Renegade Magic by Stephanie Burgis published by AtheneumThe pointed comments about their mother,
the deliberate snubs by those in high society,
the accusations of magic being used…
can the healing waters of Bath wash away their troubles?

The Guardians have refused to train Kat to handle the magical powers she inherited from her mother, and all of England may be in dreadful peril because of it!

This funny and suspenseful series owes much to the author’s love of Regency romances, like those of Georgette Heyer, and her own life as one of several siblings.

Kat, Incorrigible is the first book of the series (my recommendation here), and Stolen Magic  is the third (review coming soon).

Try out the first chapter of Renegade Magic  here and get swept into A Tangle of Magicks  in “The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson” series, as it’s known in the UK.
And the “Dueling Magicks” short story is currently available free (grab it now here!).

What magic powers would you like to use against the stuffier conventions of  society?

Book info: Renegade Magic (Kat, Incorrigible #2) / Stephanie Burgis. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012 hardcover, 2013 paperback.  [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer]

My recommendation: Kat doesn’t care about polite society, but when accusations of witchcraft during her eldest sister’s wedding send the family fleeing to see-and-be-seen Bath, she’ll take the change of scenery. But this spirited young lady had no idea that evil magic was gathering in the fashionable city – she may have to break a few more Guardian rules to stop it!

No one could have imagined that Frederick’s mother would storm the little country church to accuse middle sister Angeline of bewitching her son – with real witchcraft! Never mind that the three sisters really did inherit their mother’s magical skills and that Stepmama pretends they are not excluded from polite Regency society because of that scandalous family history.

Suddenly, they’re off to the resort city of Bath so that Angeline may acquire a new fiance to quell the gossips, with Stepmama settling the family into her distant relative’s well-placed townhouse by hinting that Lady Fotherington is Kat’s godmother. Of course, everyone important in society respects that great Lady; only Kat knows she’s one of the Guardians using magic to protect England against evil magic-wielders – and that she despises Kat for inheriting her mother’s powers.

As Angeline and Stepmama and reluctant Kat visit all the right places during the proper hours, brother Charles gets himself entangled in gambling again (all he learned at Oxford, it seems), a notorious man singles out Angeline, and Kat seeks out the unusual magic giving off sparks of evil with her cousin Lucy’s unexpected help.

Are the famous spring waters of Bath hiding a darker secret?
Why is scandalous Viscount Scarwood wooing Angeline?
How will Kat ever get the Guardians to train her properly?

Good magic, bad magic, and treachery lurk below the surface of 19th century Britain’s preoccupation with fashion and manners in this fast-paced sequel to Kat, Incorrigible.  Be sure to follow Kat’s quest to recover Stolen Magic  in the third book of the series, too.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

2 thoughts on “Renegade Magic, by Stephanie Burgis (book review) – dark magic, Regency manners, secrets everywhere

  1. Pingback: Blogathon2013 on the horizon; TBR2012 rolls on | BooksYALove

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