Review:: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Magic and mayhem collide with the British elite in Sorcerer to the Crown, a whimsical and sparkling debut.

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, eminently proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers—one of the most respected organizations throughout all of Britain—ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up.

But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large… (via Goodreads)

I picked Sorcerer to the Crown up with an Audible credit, and I regret nothing other than that I can’t loan this to my sister while I’m at my parents’ house today. Seriously, it was that good.

It had everything I wanted from it – magic, dragons, historical England, and two fantastic main characters. Prunella and Zacharias literally change the world of English thaumaturgy for the better.

Sorcerer to the Crown is full of racism, sexism and classism – and it takes them head on and flips them as many birds as the main characters can manage. This book is the first historical fantasy that I’ve ever read that deals so readily with the old-fashioned (garbage) opinions of society, and it was amazingly well done. I’ve never read anything like it, and I can’t wait to read more.

The world was distinct and deeply thought through, with consequences for using too much magic, fairies that have very little care for their human counterparts except for their masters, and characters having ridiculously shitty opinions, even as they claim to be so much more advanced than mere mortals.

The sequel was supposed to be out this summer, but has been pushed back until at least early 2018, according to Cho’s blog. While I’m sad I won’t get it as soon, I will definitely still be picking it up whenever it comes out. I can’t wait to get more into the future of Prunella & Zacharias’s lives – and whomever else enters into it.

Sorcerer to the Crown was my first five star read of the year, and as of the writing of this post, the only five star read of 2017.

Five stars

I highly recommend this novel in any form, as I thoroughly enjoyed it in audiobook form. You can pick up a copy through Amazon, Indiebound or your other favorite bookseller!

I’m a Malaysian fantasy writer based in London. I’ve written a novel called Sorcerer to the Crown about magic, intrigue and politics in Regency London, and a short story collection called Spirits Abroad. Plus some other stuff! I’ve won a British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer and the Crawford Fantasy Award, and been nominated for a Locus Award and the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Find out more about my work here:

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.

6 thoughts on “Review:: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

  1. This has been on my radar since it was a pick for the Diverse SFF Club. I really need to get this book in my life like now. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and I love Cho’s writing style already.

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