Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho is an amazing fantasy novel that’s also a lot of fun. Set in a version of Victorian England, it reminded me of what I can remember about Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I think perhaps the writing styles were similar. While it was slow to start, the characters are endearing and the story picks up quickly. What I loved most was that the main characters were people of color, and the book uniquely provides a look at racism and otherness in a wonderful story of magic.
The story focuses on Zachariah Wythe, a freed slave who is also a prominent magician and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers, a coveted (and generally white) position in England. Not only does he have to contend with the politics and problems of his position (e.g. the magic in England is drying up and someone has to go to Fairyland to find out why), but he also manages to pick up a wayward young woman with magical power, and magic is firmly a men’s domain. These unlikely peers, reviled and/or resented by the men who wish to run the magical world, fight their battles and chart a new course for British sorcery.
If you enjoy magical fantasy, Victorian England, and diverse characters (or any combination thereof), you will find a new love in this series. I was so euphoric after finishing that I rated it 5 stars on Goodreads, and am eagerly awaiting another installment.
Recommend: Yes, particularly for fantasy lovers
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Have you read Sorceror? Will you read it? Let me know in the comments!
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