I enjoyed Emma Newman’s Split World series quite a bit, so I was excited when I heard that she had a new series started. Brother’s Ruin is the start to the series, and the second book will also come out sometime this year, I’m really excited. I enjoyed Brother’s Ruin a lot, and I look forward to the next one.
The book is set smack dab in alternate 1850s England, an alternate world where magic users exist. Unfortunately, the Royal Society of the Esoteric Arts is maybe not the best place for an individual as they are not allowed to do private things or get married. And everyone with potential must join the Society, those who refuse are punished severely. The world that Newman is exploring has shades of Dickens all over it, it’s the same kind of corrupt version of London where the poor barely survive and are fed upon by the very rich and powerful. Anyway, our heroine Charlotte is a rather powerful latent mage who just wants to get married, be and illustrator, and live a quiet normal life. So she hides her ability. Her hiding is challenged when her father’s debts force him to bring the testers home, except the person he’s brought forward for testing is Charlotte’s brother who is magically inclined but far less talented.
I enjoyed it. I don’t think it’s amazing, but it’s was quick and enjoyable. It’s not quite steampunk, but there are definite shades of steampunk in the world building. I it’s a three and a half stars read, rounded up to four.