Author: Molly Harper
Series: Sorcery and Society #1
Release Date: August 22nd, 2018
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*I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever*
If 14-year-old Cassandra Reed makes it through her first day at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies without anyone discovering her secret, maybe, just maybe, she’ll let herself believe that she really does belong at Miss Castwell’s.
Except Cassandra Reed’s real name is Sarah Smith and up until now, she lived her whole life in the Warren, serving a magical family, the Winters, as all non-magical “Snipes” are bound by magical Guardian law to do. That is, until one day, Sarah accidentally levitates Mrs. Winter’s favorite vase in the parlor…
But Snipes aren’t supposed to have magical powers…and the existence of a magical Snipe threatens the world order dictated during the Guardians’ Restoration years ago. If she wants to keep her family safe and protect her own skin, Sarah must figure out how to fit into posh Guardian society, master her newfound magical powers and discover the truth about how an ordinary girl can become magical.
Molly Harper. I began my love for this author a few years ago when I binge read her Nice Girls series. I’m originally from Kentucky and when I was in college at the time going through the vampire book craze I heard about books about a librarian turned vampire set in the Kentucky with a handsome sire – sign…me…up! I still periodically re-read them and their spin-off series, Half Moon Hollow. I knew the moment I came across her new YA book set in a steampunk Victorian England setting involving magic, I HAD to check it out.
Sarah Smith is a young teen living with her family who are servants to a magically gifted family. In her world, non-magical citizens, “Snipes”, live to serve the magical guardians that are appointed to them via the Ministry of magic aka “Guardian of Law”.
To them, it is considered dangerous for the world to be operated by snipes and guardians are more fit to rule due to their magical abilities. Thus, snipes live for one purpose only – to serve their protectors. Imagine Harry Potter only if the magical community took over.
Sarah isn’t the healthiest in her family and thus was initially considered a liability to their work. Over time, Sarah began to cease taking them and out of the blue her powers resurfaced, by accident, in front of her guardians. The Winters, her guardians, come up with an idea to change her name to “Cassandra Reed” and send her off to the “Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies” boarding school for her to learn more about her abilities and manners.
This book is like a combination of several stories, including Harry Potter. I’m not knocking it for it, but it seemed quite similar. The main differences are the students have familiars in the form of shapeshifting servants, the houses within the school only contain descendants from the original families, and there was a possible romance thrown in. And, of course, the characters have the witty conversations and lovable personalities only Molly Harper can write.
I can’t wait to see where this world leads to and watch Cassandra’s journey continue…