Twelve-year-old Kat Stephenson may be the despair of her social-climbing Step-Mama, but she was born to be a magical Guardian and protector of Society — if she can ever find true acceptance in the secret Order that expelled her own mother. She’s ready to turn the hidebound Order of the Guardians inside-out, whether the older members like it or not.
And in a society where magic is the greatest scandal of all, Kat is determined to use all her powers to help her older sisters – saintly Elissa and practicing-witch Angeline — find their own true loves, even if she has to turn highwayman, battle wild magic, and confront real ghosts along the way!
Set in 1803, Yorkshire, this book focuses on 12-year-old Kat as she learns about her new-found magical powers, courtesy of her mother, and navigates the magical world as well as the world around her, which involves several things she has no interest in: like High Society, Fashion, or Love.
The first thing you need to know about Katherine Ann Stephenson, or Kat, as she’s known to her family, is that she is definitely incorrigible by Regency England standards. On the first page you’re introduced to Kat as she tries to run away to London, after having hacked off her hair and donned boys’ clothes. (Highly scandalous!) She plans to get a boy’s job and send money back to her family so that her brother can avoid debtor’s prison. After reading that, I knew Kat and I would get along fabulously.
Kat’s a go-getter. She charges into situations without thinking it all the way through. It might be bravery, or just a child’s belief of immortality and optimism, but somehow she pulls it off beautifully.
The magic part of the story was only touched on briefly. We never really learned about this mysterious Order or what it is they guard, as they’re called Guardians, but that should be cleared up in the next book. (Or so I hope.)
Overall, I thought this was a charming, delightful and fast-paced story that toward the end, I could not put down. I can’t believe this girl is only 12! She’s going to be a hurricane of trouble for whomever tries to court her when she gets older, and I absolutely love it.
I was hoping the next book would take place in London, mainly because I think Kat would be a riot there, but it looks as if it’ll take place in Bath. Almost as good as London, I guess. And I hope we get to see her dastardly brother Charles as some point, as he was largely absent from this book.
This book is scheduled for release on April 5th by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (aka Simon and Schuster), but there are copies of it already out under the title “A Most Improper Magick”. I have no idea if the story differs from this version, but I’m assuming if it’s not exactly the same, that is it very similar.
Since I liked the book so much, I’m giving away my ARC to one lucky person!
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This giveaway will run until Monday, February 28th, 11:59:59PM CST and is open INTERNATIONALLY.
Thanks and good luck!