Sorcerer to the Crown is a Best Book of 2015 from NPR. I found it on their Book Concierge, and the description of the book, set in Regency England with magic, sounded delightful.
The book tells the story of Zacharias Wythe, the Royal Sorcerer of England, who came to the post when his adoptive father, Sir Stephen, died. He was a slave as a child, and his adoptive father rescued him and trained him to use magic. Zacharias faces opposition to his position from magic users in England, and he must deal with someone or something draining the magic from England. Meanwhile, Prunella Gentlewoman is working as a housekeeper/maid/ assistant to the President of a school of magic for women. The women are taught to suppress their magic, and even learn spells that violently suck it out of them.
I really enjoyed this book a lot. The romance that develops between Zacharias and Prunella is very sweet and brought a big smile to my face by the end of the book. I enjoyed their character’s interactions very much. I did find the end a bit abrupt, Zacharias is struggling with teaching Prunella magic and her finding acceptance in a society that does not allow women to practice magic and his solution seems to fall in his lap. He is followed around by the ghost of Sir Stephen, and I found that plot completely pointless. I loved Prunella; she is spirited and intelligent without being a Mary Sue. She faces many challenges being a woman and a minority (her parents are from India) but doesn’t allow those challenges to get in her way. She does something she deems necessary that I found quite shocking. If you are looking for a well told fantasy novel that will make you smile I would recommend this book.