Posh Magic in Sorcerer to the Crown | Spoiler-Free Review

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

5 Star Rating System 3 stars


Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: Zen Cho
Published: September 2015
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 371 {paperback}

Review on Goodreads

Initial Thoughts upon Finishing

My friends, I made it to the end of this book. Having spent the better part of a day pushing myself through the second half of this book to reach the end, I did it! Which makes it sound like this was a chore to read (partially, it was) but I loved the setting and the characters. The language, though. Lordy, lord. Talk about being difficult to read. I think if the author hadn’t used time appropriate language (i.e. the formalities of a bygone era) I would have flown through this much more quickly!

Sorcerer to the Crown

This book is set in Regency London where magic exists. There is a magical border between the ‘real’ world and fairyland. Fairyland is the source of magic that flows into London and means that those with magical abilities, can draw upon this magic and use their powers to London’s benefits.

We follow two characters, Zacharias and Prunella who are both POC characters fighting for the right for a respectable position within society. The political intrigue is great within this book. Not only do we get the problems of there being less magic than ever in London because fairy has cut them off, but we have the societal issues of racism which both of our characters stand up against nobly.

Doubled up on that, as Prunella is female she has to deal with all the glorious sexism that is thrown her way as well. Talk about a challenge. The story is slow-going, taking place over a seemingly brief period of time as Zacharias must defend his newly inherited title of Sorcerer Royal, whilst Prunella seeks to escape the confines of a school for magical women (as in, a school that tries to strip them of their abilities as women are too ‘frail’ to wield magic).

Will You Like it?

I think this book has a unique story to offer but I do wish it had got going a bit quicker. The slow-paced beginning (about half the book) tripped me up and I found myself rarely reaching to pick up the book. But on the whole? I loved this world.

I loved the familiars that sorcerers had (to become a sorcerer, one proves oneself by summoning a familiar). Familiars are essentially magical creatures, from dragons to unicorns, to fairies themselves. They help bolster the sorcerer’s natural magical abilities and gain them extra respect within society.

Reading this felt like a curiously successful mash of Pride and Prejudice (old language, girls trying desperately to be married off, snobbish men) and The Cruel Prince (power play, triksy fairies and a clash of real vs. magical world).

My main advice to potential readers is to not expect this to be a super fast read but if you think the blurb and my above comparison tickles your fancy, then I think you’ll enjoy this book!


I think I’ll stew on this a little longer to decide whether or not I want to pick up the sequel but I *think* I do want to continue. I loved the ending of this series and thought the pluckiness of Prunella’s character was inspiring. It’s certainly a world I’ll think fondly back on even if the reading experience was somewhat laborious.

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Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~


One thought on “Posh Magic in Sorcerer to the Crown | Spoiler-Free Review

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