Book Review: SORCERER TO THE CROWN by Zen Cho

Sorcerer to the crown.png

I’m trying something new, making graphics for my reviews where I can find the right images to throw something together. What do you think?

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 3/5 stars
Series: Yes - first book but all standalones


sorcerer to the crown

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… 

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


If you like classic works of literature, but wish they had fairies and magic in them, then you’ll love SORCERER TO THE CROWN. I, however, don’t like the Classics.

The book is very slow paced, drawing out the world as the plot plods along. It was an intriguing plot, full of enough mysteries to keep me turning the pages even though I really struggled with the writing style.

This book is written in the Regency England style, the prose very much like Austen’s works. I didn’t like it, just like I find Classics’ prose a slog to read. It felt somewhat stilted at times and very long winded, like the characters were taking three dozen words to say yes. Not to mention the frequent usage of very archaic words. I probably should have picked up a dictionary to check what they actually meant, but that’s not what I want to do late at night. Particularly when these words appear every other page. So I assumed their meaning from the context and gained a niggling feeling I was missing the nuance.

The romance suddenly appears at the very end, despite there being no chemistry between the characters. As both are terrible prim and proper, nothing is said or done to imply romance until the final scene?

Prunella was definitely the best character, with her spur-of-the-moment plans. Her motivation to come to London felt a little shaky, but I liked the stubborn determination with which she bulled her way through sticky situation.

Zacharias is such a perfect gentleman of the time that I felt very little emotional connection to him as he didn’t feel much more than fatigue and surprise. I didn’t understand his motivation and therefore he seemed to be acting because it was his job, rather than for any personal desire.

The climax was rather confusing – with one too many revelations. I’m not entirely sure what happened during it. The sudden change in pace was also a bit of a jerk to the system.

A nice, short read, but I’m not in any hurry to pick up the sequel, THE TRUE QUEEN.

Read my reviews of other books by Zen Cho:



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