SYNOPSIS: After an errand goes horribly wrong, magician Gray Marshall becomes a prisoner in his tutor’s home where he meets his daughter, Sophie Callender, and uncovers a secret plot to depose the king. Sophie too has secrets of her own that unravel as the duo work together to save the kingdom.
The beginning is a little confusing especially since there is a dramatic change of location and circumstance in the next chapter. However, once the story started moving everything became clear and more understandable. Although the story ebbs and flows in terms of good, attention-keeping pacing, all the characters are fascinating enough to keep you focused. I loved how charming and awkward Gray was and how spunky and passionate Sophie could be. I even adored Gray’s calm sister, Jenny, and Sophie’s rambunctious sister, Joanna. All of the characters served a unique purpose and I never felt like anyone was there just because they had to be there. I also was intrigued by this magical version of England and France that Hunter created. I thought the blending of ancient religions (mainly Roman and Celtic) that were what the characters worshiped, but Christianity is also mentioned briefly and it makes me wonder if magic England and our England are two separate entities similar to how things are in Harry Potter. Maybe this will be addressed in the next book or maybe not, but it sure is fun to speculate. The style of writing is very reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel especially in terms of describing the homes and general decorum which I always find to be delightful. My only complaints were that I wished the character Amelia served a bigger purpose or was a more villainous adversary and I thought that Sophie and Gray got together too soon. I personally like a bit more mutual pining and misunderstanding in my romantic couples. I appreciated the fact that their relationship was based on mutual respect and understanding, though. I also really liked the fact that although Sophie is a much more powerful magician than Gray, he never felt threatened and did his best to help her understand her gift. The villains aren’t particularly villainous and the plot gets resolved quickly. The real reason to read this book is Sophie and Gray’s relationship. Their love, respect, and passion for knowledge is what makes you want to read ahead and see what becomes of these beautiful souls.