Cassandra Harwood fought her whole life for the chance to study magic at the Great Library. She excelled at Magic despite long-standing tradition reserving its practice to men. But despite admittance to the Great Library and although she might have been the most talented magician of her age, she was still a woman and no one wanted to hire a Lady Magician. Everyone in Anglasia knows a woman's place is in Boudicate, governing the nation, not casting spells. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities, Cassandra tries a risky spell that robs her of ability to cast spells, and four months later she still struggles to go through the motions of daily life. When her beloved but matchmaking sister-in-law has commits them to attend house party where her ex-fiance will also be attending, Cassandra is resigned and determined not to let anyone see her pain, least of all the fiance she intentionally drove away. But her personal discomforts soon fall in priority when she gets caught up in a tricky Elven plot. Politics, diplomacy and detection are three things Cassandra has never had bother with before, but she is determined to solve the mystery she stumbled upon.
#bkbrk just finished Snowspelled & it was delightful. Great tension, stakes, clever world building & swoony romance. I was moved by Cassandra’s arc & epiphany about herself & vocation. I definitely want to read more about the Hardwoods. https://t.co/BYh2PWvRfy— Ana Coqui (@anacoqui) November 13, 2017
I really enjoyed this historical fantasy. The world was internally consistent and the world building intriguing. I really loved Cassandra's growth as character, particularly her growing appreciation for the non-magical talents of the women she had always defined herself in opposition to. It is a story of growing awareness of how her single-minded pursuit of a magical education had blinded her to a larger picture and that she might yet have a larger role to play even without her magic.
The supporting cast was full of enchanting and well-drawn characters that I hope to read more about as the series continues, including her absentminded non-magical historian brother, and her ambitious but loyal sister-in-law. Wrexham's, her erstwhile fiance who rose to the magical elite from a working-class background is someone who backstory I also hope we learn.
This is the first book in a series but this volume has an HEA. The Heat level is mild (closed door with kisses) and the romance is sweet and swoony.
I received an ARC for review consideration from the author.