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Publisher's Summary

The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty's lands. But lately the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman - a freed slave who doesn't even have a familiar - as their Sorcerer Royal and allowing England's once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven't stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man's profession.

At his wit's end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, 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 that will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain - and the world at large.

©2015 Zen Cho (P)2015 Recorded Books

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What listeners say about Sorcerer to the Crown

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good but somehow disappointing

I expected to love this book, as it contains many of my favorite elements - a Regency setting with smart dialogue, a feisty heroine, and magic! But the story at some points dragged on and then would suddenly leap to a crisis or someone suddenly had amazing powers. The narration was fine.

7 people found this helpful

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So. Much. Fun!

Stick with this story--a kind of fantasy AU blend of Georgette Heyer and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell--because when it takes off, it really goes. Comedy of manners, mostly, but there are a few laugh-out-loud moments. Consciously brings in colonialism, sexism and racism in the 18th/early 19th century, so there are serious issues as well.

Jenny Sterlin gets into the spirit of the game and has the lingo down perfectly.

If you like Regency romance and fantasy, try SORCERER TO THE CROWN. Looking forward to the sequel!

12 people found this helpful

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Heyer-style court intrigue with magic and mayhem

Sorcerer to the Crown is a glorious debut entry into the fantasy book world and Zen Cho's skill and imagination is a delight. It was a never ending collection of surprises, both amusing and intriguing. Serious issues concerning the treatment of women and slavery are also introduced and it is good to have these aspects included as well as lighter ones.

It is written in Georgette Heyer Regency style and this is achieved well and suited the story. Without spoilering I have to hint there is a mode of transport introduced which I shall dream of using, but it's certainly not a barouche.

The reason the story only gets 4 stars from me is because it was so packed out with characters and events some aspects got slightly lost in the crowd. I wished this had either been in two volumes or some of these enchanting concepts had been reserved for later so they could have been appreciated better.

Jenny Sterlin's narration flows as beautifully as usual, differentiation between characters was excellent, with their individual voices well chosen and performed.

I am most surely looking forward to the next book in the Royal Sorcerer series.


6 people found this helpful

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Delightful

Fans of The Night Circus and Jonathan Strange will be likely to enjoy this weaving of manners and magic. All the characters were well drawn and the story, although not shocking, a bit slow to start and a bit abruptly ended, was very enjoyable. Jenny Sterlin is a phenomenal narrator and exactly right for this period and the variety of accents. I'm looking forward to listening to the next book and hoping to work "droll" into my regular vocabulary.

2 people found this helpful

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Imagine Diana Wynne Jones wrote Strange & Norell

Would you listen to Sorcerer to the Crown again? Why?

This is a story full of good-natured humor. Pompous, conniving men of the magical establishment need reigning in, and the beleaguered Sorcerer Royal is too busy to deal with them. Enter Prunella, who turns everything upside down.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters are hilarious and find themselves in situations only they could create.

Have you listened to any of Jenny Sterlin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Great performance by Jenny Sterlin.

5 people found this helpful

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Good Story, Great Narrator

I would have loved this story and its fantastic characters in any format, but Jenny Sterlin elevated the entire book with her perfect narration. She does an excellent job with a wide cast of characters. With a lesser narrator, it might have been easy to get lost in the fantasy elements of the story, but Sterlin keeps everything clear and easy to understand.

3 people found this helpful

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Looking for more!

It's a good book that was well written and beautifully read. I couldn't find another book from this author in the store sadly but I will be looking out for them.

2 people found this helpful

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who else is tired of the 18th century

Read it and see how many plots you find that were stolen from other books. I have found Little Miss Sunshine, a Shirley Temple movie, as well as a PG Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster short story.

It reads like Diana Wynne Jones without the clever humor and human insight.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing in scope and language

A beautiful story set in magical England that reflects upon colonialism misogyny and yet is just a fun story to boot.

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Jane Austen meets Fantastic Beasts!

It took a few chapters to fall in love with the whimsical atmosphere, but I found the creatures of Fairyland delightful, the contemporary controversies very relevant. The narrator kept me drawn into the story.
I adore Zen Cho's writing style and hope to read more.

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  • Beccameriel
  • 10-11-15

Can't wait for the rest of the trilogy

I was sold on this when it was described as Georgette Heyer with magic. It has the lightness and wit of Heyer's classic Regency romances but acknowledges that dark side of British imperialism plus magic. How could I not love it? Zen Cho captures the feel of the period really well. The treatment of POC and women are tackled in a serious but never stodgy or preachy way. There is lightness and humour here too. The differences between male and female magic are really well thought out. The moment that Zacharias realises how Prunella is feeding her familiars was excellenty done and made me snigger. Really looking forward to how the trilogy develops.

Jenny Sterlin is fine as a narrator and gets it right most of the time.

1 person found this helpful