Title: Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal 1)
Author: Zen Cho
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
What’s the blurb? Zacharias Wythe, England’s first African Sorcerer Royal, is contending with attempts to depose him, rumours that he murdered his predecessor, and an alarming decline in England’s magical stocks. But his troubles are multiplied when he encounters runaway orphan Prunella Gentleman, who has just stumbled upon English magic’s greatest discovery in centuries.
‘English Magic faces its darkest hour’
This intricately crafted novel is an absolute gift. ‘Sorcerer to the Crown’ arrived as a shimmering tome of black and gold, a spectacle to behold making great promises about the story that lay inside. Deservedly so, Zen Cho has written a stunning book that stands as a fantastic start to her Sorcerer Royal trilogy.
So deftly written, the story of Prunella Gentleman and Zacharias Wythe takes place in a universe that has been minutely considered, the history, laws and background have clearly taken precedent to ensure the credibility of this fantasy. Ambitiously, Zen Cho not only weaves a story of the struggle between worlds that could affect the future of the magic supply to England she also effortlessly intertwines the struggle of race and sex to be accepted and achieve. Taking on so many themes at once is a great undertaking and a testament to this writer who has dexterously and naturally wrapped them into the narrative.
We join Zacharias Wythe as he not only struggles to be accepted as an ethnic minority in the most senior position but then defies society by taking on a female student. He works against those who try to kill him, attempts to clear his name from a murder charge while assisting Prunella to use her craft as she fights her own demons in discovering the secrets of her past.
It is the age-old story of good triumphing over evil but is so much more than that. It is about questioning the status quo and accepting ability over difference. The political games that are played are a joy to unravel alongside the mystery and suspense that keep the pages turning.
This is a perfect novel, one that entrances from the first page and obliges the reader to continue on without pause to the end. There is so much to be appreciated in this book. The story itself is spellbinding but the richer experience of her created world was pure joy. This book deserves more than one reading and hopes of a sequel.
Released on 10th September 2015, I would urge everyone to take up a copy, put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door and dive in with relish.
GS Rating: 5/5
GS Blogger: The Aviator