That I remember any character names at all is only because I finished this less than 24 hours ago and haven’t started a new book. This was entirely in one ear and out the other and I only 100%-ed it because I didn’t want to start the year with a DNF. If I’d read this in April, it would be a different story.
Victorian England, magic, the chosen one must figure out her power and solve everything … there’s nothing new here. There’s no hook. I am full to the brim of western white people but with mAgIc. I mean ffs at least give it a different setting if you insist on telling the same g-d story all over again.
Our heroine of the day is Henriette Howell who has magic in a world where women are not supposed to have magic. A lady magicians a few generations back (I think? I was unsure whether this was recent or ancient history) used said magic to bring the Bad Things or whatever they’re called into world, it’s a very Original Sin arrangement. One lady with magic did a bad therefore all ladies with magic are bad. ANYWAY. Turns out there’s also a super-secret prophecy also about ladies with magic so she’s trained up with a variety of dudes with magic who fall in love with her to varying degrees because did I mention she’s also beautiful? Of course she is.
The reviews compared this to Sarah J. Maas and as someone who very deeply loves to reread and mock those books incessantly, you, ma’am, are no Sarah J. Maas. Those books are fun to read, this was a slog. In the pro column, though, the chapters were short so it was easy to hit my 25/50/75 markers as I divided and conquered.