Book Review: LADY OF MAGICK by Sylvia Izzo Hunter

Title in white next to a white line drawing of Edinburgh Castle against a textured red background
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: A
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: yes - book 2 of trilogy



Book cover for LADY OF MAGIC: a line drawing of an owl in flight near the title in white above a line drawing of Edinburgh castle against a textured red background

In her second year of studies at Merlin College, Oxford, Sophie Marshall is feeling alienated among fellow students who fail to welcome a woman to their ranks. So when her husband, Gray, is invited north as a visiting lecturer at the University in Din Edin, they leap at the chance. There, Sophie’s hunger for magical knowledge can finally be nourished. But soon, Sophie must put her newly learned skills to the test.

Sophie returns home one day to find a note from Gray—he’s been summoned urgently to London. But when he doesn’t return, and none of her spells can find a trace of him, she realizes something sinister has befallen him. With the help of her sister, Joanna, she delves into Gray’s disappearance, and soon finds herself in a web of magick and intrigue that threatens not just Gray, but the entire kingdom.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This is a book with not much plot – or rather, a book with a very slow plot that takes a while to reach the synopsis. The second paragraph above doesn’t come in until the final third of the book, and the pacing does an abrupt turn around to a much faster story. It was to the point that I struggled to follow the final showdown – and only really worked it out when they explained it to one another post magical-explosion-thing.

Despite this, I really enjoyed the book and got through it after exams as a treat. I wasn’t that bothered about the lack of plot (which is strange, as it usually bugs me), because I  love the world. People going about a magical version of Edinburgh, going to uni, and studying… probably wish-fulfillment right now! Honestly, I could probably read a whole book about Sophie and Grey’s wholesome relationship where they just go about their day and take care of each other without being overbearing.

The more archaic writing style made the book feel really cosy, like curling up with a blanket by a fire on a cold night. I’ve really fallen in love with the style, to my surprise. Sure, the formalities when greeting one another are fussy, but the genteel writing is a lot of fun, and adds a stately air to the whole book

I’m still very confused as to whether this is a YA book or not, but it felt more like something that should be shelved as adult, so I am. Not that it’s got “adult content” or anything, but that the characters are in their 20s, married and getting on with adult life. That, to me, makes it an adult book, because it’s celebrating 20 year olds (which given inaccurate recent discussions on social media about how there is no fantasy about 20s makes me all the more determined to call it adult).

And onto the third one! I’m hoping for a bit more story line, but honestly, I just enjoy the world.

Read my reviews of other books by Sylvia Izzo Hunter:

Noctis Magicæ (this series):

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