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Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Sorcerer to the Crown

Part of the Sorcerer Royal trilogy Series
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Highly Recommended.

Zen Cho’s engaging debut fantasy is one of the more purely entertaining fantasies of recent years. Avoiding the perhaps overly familiar sub-genre of medieval epic fantasy Cho, instead, presents us with an enjoyable tale of romance and political subterfuge set in Regency England. But this is a Regency England where sorcerer communes with the land of Faerie and return able to twist reality with magic. Or rather it was. England’s magic is drying up and her sorcerer’s are finding spells in short supply. And with war against a magical France brewing these are worrying times.

At the centre of this world is 24-year-old Zacharias Wythe, the Sorcerer Royal and the first African to hold the position. And this is where Cho puts a thought-provoking twist on the formula. Zacharias is an outsider and must face prejudices that would be familiar to our modern world. Never preachy Cho’s novel handles this aspect deftly and to great effect. When another outsider, the orphan Prunella, is introduced to the story we embark on a twisting and unexpected tale of intrigue and adventure. The obvious comparison here is Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell but it’s fair to say that while both use language very well to recreate an excellent feel for their periods, Cho’s book is the more sprightly narrative. Fans of Den Patrick and Susanna Clarke alike will revel in Cho’s creation. ~ Simon Spanton


Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

In Regency London, Zacharias Wythe is England's first African Sorcerer Royal. He leads the eminent Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, but a malicious faction seeks to remove him by fair means or foul. Meanwhile, the Society is failing its vital duty - to keep stable the levels of magic within His Majesty's lands. The Fairy Court is blocking its supply, straining England's dangerously declining magical stores. And now the government is demanding to use this scarce resource in its war with France. Ambitious orphan Prunella Gentleman is desperate to escape the school where she's drudged all her life, and a visit by the beleaguered Sorcerer Royal seems the perfect opportunity. For Prunella has just stumbled upon English magic's greatest discovery in centuries - and she intends to make the most of it. At his wits' end, the last thing Zachariah needs is a female magical prodigy! But together, they might just change the nature of sorcery, in Britain and beyond.


'An enchanting cross between Georgette Heyer and Susanna Clarke, full of delights and surprises' Naomi Novik

'A warm, funny debut novel by a brilliant new talent' Charles Stross

'Compulsively readable and wickedly funny, this magical marriage of Jane Austen and P. G. Wodehouse delivers love, laughs, and a thoroughly modern sensibility, and will keep you reading long into the night. I loved it' Lavie Tidhar

'Fabulous! If you like Austen or Patrick O'Brian, or magic and humor like Susannah Clarke, or simply a very fun read, you will really, really, enjoy this' Ann Leckie

'A delightful and enchanting novel that uses sly wit and assured style to subvert expectations while it always, unfailingly, entertains. I loved it' Kate Elliott

About the Author

Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia and now lives in London. She was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer for her short fiction and recently won the Crawford Award. Sorcerer to the Crown is Zen Cho's debut novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th July 2016


Zen Cho

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Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan


384 pages
Interest Age: From 18 years


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