Saturday, August 16, 2008

Regency magic

The description of The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett caught my eye:
"In this enchanting debut novel, Galen Beckett weaves a dazzling spell of adventure and suspense, evoking a world of high magick and genteel society—a world where one young woman discovers that her modest life is far more extraordinary than she ever imagined."

And this description: "Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and H.P. Lovecraft collide in Beckett's periodically entertaining debut."

Magic and Regency? Count me in.

The story follows three sisters who live in a land like England--but one vastly different and magickal. After tragedy strikes, the oldest sister, Ivy, is forced to become a governess. It is at this house (that whole plotline resembled Jane Eyre far too much) that her fate entangles toward magick even more. There's also romance, intrigue and secondary characters that make the story make the story even more interesting.

Overall, I liked it. My only comment would be that it reminded me of too many other books--a Jane Austen novel, Jane Eyre and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. So, perhaps there was a lack of total originality, but as T.S. Eliot said, "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different."

I'm not convinced that Beckett reworked those books into something new, but I still liked the book. One of my favorite aspects was his (or she? I haven't been able to find any gender uses in reference to Beckett, so I have no idea) use of language--it definitely felt like a Regency work. The book is the first in a series, so I'm assuming the second one will follow the middle sister, Rose. But who knows?

Rating: 8/10


Anonymous said...

I was just wondering about this book - thought the concept sounded great and I'm glad to hear that it's a good read. Def on my To Buy list now.

rachel said...

You should check it out! I'd be interested to hear what your impressions were of it.