by Stephanie Burgis
Series: The Harwood Spellbook #1
Genres: Fantasy, Historical
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen while ladies attend to the more practical business of politics. But Cassandra Harwood has never followed the rules...
Four months ago, Cassandra Harwood was the first woman magician in Angland, and she was betrothed to the brilliant, intense love of her life.
Now Cassandra is trapped in a snowbound house party deep in the elven dales, surrounded by bickering gentleman magicians, manipulative lady politicians, her own interfering family members, and, worst of all, her infuriatingly stubborn ex-fiancé, who refuses to understand that she’s given him up for his own good.
But the greatest danger of all lies outside the manor in the falling snow, where a powerful and malevolent elf-lord lurks...and Cassandra lost all of her own magic four months ago.
To save herself, Cassandra will have to discover exactly what inner powers she still possesses – and risk everything to win a new kind of happiness.
A witty and sparkling romantic fantasy novella that opens a brand-new series for adults from the author of Kat, Incorrigible, Masks and Shadows and Congress of Secrets.
SNOWSPELLED is a novella that begins the Harwood Spellbook fantasy series by Stephanie Burgis. This was a quick engaging read that sets up the series and introduces both the volatile world and strong female heroine. Magic, supernatural creatures, and a dystopian world where men practice magic and women handle the political aspects from treaties to legislation.
- I loved the world Burgis created. The story has a historical setting with castles, carriages and social ladders. Angland is the total opposite of what one comes to expect from dystopian settings. Here men practice magic and the country of Angland is ruled by women. Supernatural creatures are out and about from Trolls who demand tolls to fairies. The door has been left open to explore this world and I find I am quite curious.
- Our heroine Cassandra Harwood is the first women to attend magical college and not practice politics. In the beginning, we learn she can no longer practice magic and that she broke up with her fiance after an incident. I liked Cassandra, she is headstrong, quick thinking and progressive.
- The main conflict for this story occurs early in when Hardwood and her ex-fiance are out looking for missing guests. Cassandra makes a promise to an Elven Lord. She is granted one week to give him the answer he seeks or the treaty between the Elves and the humans will be broken. I loved this aspect of the story as it showcased Cassandra’s skills and fleshed out the world.
- Secondary characters from siblings to supernatural creatures added interest. The dynamics between Cassandra, her brother, and his wife left me eager to learn more. The teasing about Wexham, her ex-fiance offered delightful moments that made me laugh.
- The ending has me very excited for the next book. Fans of Harry Potter will delight in the concept.
- The past events left me very curious and I would have liked greater detail. I understand what happened but felt cheated out of the story.
- There is a romantic thread but their romance happened prior to this story and ended four months ago. So we get a rekindling, second chance story and here again I wanted the full story.
- Because this was a novella it forced some tell don’t show moments. However, the story was engaging and Burgis teased me with enough of the world and characters that I am looking forward to the release of Thordbond in 2018.
SNOWSPELLED was an engaging start to the Harwood Spellbook series and I am eager for more. My hope is that the second book is full length and will provide all of the details I crave.
[bctt tweet=”SNOWSPELLED was an engaging start to the Harwood Spellbook series. #fantasy #novella” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
I’ve really wanted to read this one after reading her Masks and Shadows, which was so well written. I didn’t realize it was a novella, so that’s interesting. I’ll have to request it from the library. Thanks for the review!
Yes, it is a good start to the series, I am hoping we get a full-length novel next.
I love that the women rule the country. This sounds like it has the potential to be a wonderful series and you’ve definitely piqued my interest with your review.
The set up for book two had me bouncing.
The worldbuilding here intrigues me — men have magic and the women are in politics is usually the opposite to expectations. Then the Harry Potter mention sealed it for me! Heh!
Yes, it was refreshing and the set up for book two has me excited.
Not sure about this one. Recently read a novella that has made me unsure about reading any others. Just no development that was needed for both characters and story. And you say this was lacking a lot of the backstory. I think I will wait and see what you think of the next one
We get the backstory, but I wanted to experience it, especially the romance. However, the story was compelling and I am excited about the next book!
I am liking the sound of this one. Sometimes a shorter read is just the thing and this one sounds really interesting.
It will leave you excited for the next book 🙂
Melissa (Books and Things)
Sounds like it needed to be longer than a novella but it still sounds pretty good. I’m very curious about the characters in this one. Brilly review!
It teases you and leaves you waiting for the next book 🙂
It looks so cute so I want it for that
I like the cover too Linda.
Ohhh, this one sounds cool!! It’s a very interesting concept for the women to be dealing with politics, a refreshing development, for a change. Glad you enjoyed, it, I’ll be certainly looking out for this.
Yes, and she sets up the series perfectly having me eager for more!
I really like how this one sounds. Thanks for the great review.
Thanks, Mary. I hope you enjoyed the long weekend 🙂
Jenea's Book Obsession
I like that it will be a novella series. Sometimes there isn’t a whole a lot of background info though, which is kinda bad. I do still like the sounds of this one though.
Not sure it will. This felt like an intro, so I am hoping Thornbound is full-length. We shall see
This sounds amazing, Kim! I can understand you wanting more, and hopefully the first full length will deliver on that!
Yes, the novella hooked me Nick and I need more..LOL
I enjoy it when secondary characters add to the story. And don’t mind a novella length beginning to a series. Lovely cover and will be watching this one.
Geybie's Book Blog
Oh wow, it sounds so unique for me. I love the subject that women rule the country!! Yay, definitely MINE. Thanks for sharing, Kim. Awesome review! ❤️
Hehee..enjoy. I am excited about the next book 🙂
The first woman magician in Angland?! Now that’s totally badass, and I love magic. I’ll definitely check out this series.
Right! Enjoy Vanessa
This sounds like an interesting and unique idea for a story, particularly in that era. SA little bit of snow sounds very nice right now. Hugs and Happy Labor Day!
I hope you grab this Ro 🙂
I hope the second instalment delivers everything you are hoping for!
Me too, Burgis has left me excited 🙂
That is a disadvantage with some novellas. Something is missing and the story does not feel complete. Glad you were still able to enjoy it.
I did and I got all the deets I just wanted more 🙂
so despite being good at negotiating she opted to become a magician. I would do, why men always have the fun?
YES, I would not want to handle the political aspects at all.
haha same same
I wonder if this will be a novella series. If so, then I’ll definitely wait until more are out.
I think the next is full length 🙂