Book Cover
Title A College of Magics
Author Caroline Stevermer
Cover Art Tom Canty
Publisher SFBC - 2004
First Printing Tor - 1994
Book Cover
Title A Scholar of Magics
Author Caroline Stevermer
Cover Art Tom Canty
Publisher SFBC - 2004
First Printing Tor - 2004
Book Cover
Title When the King Comes Home
Author Caroline Stevermer
Cover Art ---
Publisher ---
First Printing ---
Category Historical
Warnings None
Main Characters Faris Nallaneen, Jane Brailsfort, Tyrian, Samuel Lambert, Nicholas Fell
Main Elements Magic, witches, wizards
Website NA

Magic can be learned...but can it be taught?
Two schools of magic...two gateways to adventure...

Click to read the summaryA College of Magics

Click to read the summaryA Scholar of Magics

These novels take place in an alternate Victorian era, familiar to us, yet subtly different. One of these differences is magic. Though it is accepted that magic exists, it still seems to be doubted by many, and kept secret by those who use it. And yet, there are the two famous colleges of magic, Greenlaw and Glasscastle whose teaching techniques differ greatly.

These two losely connected novels grew on me. At first I wasn't too impressed with A College of Magics, perhaps I was expecting something more along Harry Potter, or more closely associated with the College. I thought there'd be lessons in magic, but instead Faris attended lessons in dance. Well, Greenlaw was a girls finishing school after all. Then halfway through, the story takes a turn for adventure, and that isn't the only turn it takes. A lot of the old cliches, which appear so blatant, turn out otherwise. And I loved the ending, I had to read it twice, but it was actually well done! Another thing very well done is the tension between Faris and her Uncle Brinker. I loved the scene where she dumps him out of the sleigh.

When I read the description of A Scholar of Magics I was dubious. It won't even be about the magic users? It's about a cowboy?!? Guns but no magic? But the American Samuel Lambert is officially my favorite character in the series. He's actually a very refined, well educated (better than me apparently, I didn't recognize half the literary references they made), all-round nice guy. And he had a pleasing way of screwing up from time to time, which Jane Brailsford is too well-bred to do, of course. And yes, she returns in this book too, linking the two novels together. And magic abounds in this novel, I'd say more so than in the first.

I discovered upon research that these books are considered young adult novels, which explains the lack of physical intimacy, though I had attributed that to the time period during which the novels took place. But if you are a fan of historical romance, you won't be disappointed.

I recommend these novels. Actually I enjoyed them enough that I'm going to put in the effort to track down When the King Comes Home, a kind of prequel which appears to be currently out of print.

Posted: September 2008


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