An Improper Magick - Stephanie Burgis | Celebrating Wales

The 1st of March is St David's Day so I am celebrating Wales with a review of a book by Welsh author Stephanie Burgis. But March is also Women History Month and how better to kick off that month with the adventures of the very unladylike Kat Stephenson!
All my thanks (and hugs!) go to the lovely Emma @ Asamum Booktopia for organising this great day in the book blogosphere and for lending me her book!

Summary from Goodreads:
"I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy, and set off to save my family from impending ruin.
"I made it almost to the end of my front garden..."
Magic may be the greatest scandal in Regency England. But that's not going to stop Kat Stephenson when there are highwaymen to foil, sinister aristocrats to defeat...and true loves to capture for her two older sisters.


(Apologies: I really loved this book (like really really really) and when I reread my review I realised I didn't make much sense and put way too many exclamation points, so bear with me people - the girl can't cope with so much wonderfulness without getting all fangirly!)

Jane Austen references? Magic? A feisty heroine? An adventure? YES PLEASE!
A Most Improper Magick, The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson is a funny, witty and insanely sweet read. I fell in love with Kat after the first line and I have *loved* the book from beginning to end! I read it in one sitting and can't possibly wait for A Tangle Of Magicks!

The setting of the book is Regency England and you can really feel that Stephanie Burgis is a fan of Jane Austen (God, me too *insane squee*!). But Regency England with one of the most stubborn, incorrigible and adventure-seeking heroine! Kat Stephenson is a girl who has her own ideas on things and will definitely not let anyone convince her otherwise. She is loud, nosy and if there is one foolish thing to do, you can bet your chocolate cupcake (though betting on a chocolate cupcake is a bit of a sin so I wouldn't recommend it...) that Kat will be the one to do it! Kat is my kind of girl for sure! I love her lively spirit and her personality and I have been laughing out loud at her tricks during the entire book! (Can you feel the crazy fangirling yet?)

Kat's relation with her sisters Angeline and Elissa is so amazingly realistic! They are sisters but are nothing alike and even though they don't exactly get along perfectly, they love each other deeply and would do anything for each other! I love that family feeling to the story and no matter what Kat felt, she really wasn't alone any step of the way. Elissa is the perfect Victorian heroine and I loved how Kat kept telling her to stop reading those ridiculous Gothic novels of hers! How very Jane Austen! (yes, all the exclamation points are strictly necessary!)
The characters in general, from the sisters' Stepmama to Mr Carlyle and Mr Gregson, are all very colourful and I really enjoyed the dynamics between them! I really can't start gushing over all the characters but *gosh* I just really love all of them!

The magic element is *awesome* I love how it is woven in the story and how Kat discovers her powers. The storyline about Kat's mother is very adorable and it was great to see Kat only trusting herself and her sisters and give all those adults the brush-off!

The story is told from Kat's point of view - she is such an amazing character to follow! Since she is twelve years old, she has opinions of her age about men (eww) and acting like a lady (so useless when you can go on adventures!). Yes so I am mentally 12 as well apparently! :D

This book will warm your heart and bring huge smiles to your lips! The story is very original and is a great start if you want to bring your kids to get started on Jane Austen (which you should, like right now) and Regency novels! You will fall for the feisty Kat Stephenson who should definitely be hailed as a one of a kind heroine!

The book is perfect for tweens (and older obviously!).

I don't usually comment on covers but *gasps* look at that insanely gorgeous cover!


  1. Wow, wonderful review! And I completely agree with you - this book is amazing! :)

  2. Aww. I really love your enthusiasm for this book :) It's one I'm now dying to read!

  3. I'm with Michelle...I'm dying to read this now after your review! And agree, that cover is ridiculously pretty!

  4. Thank you so much for doing this reivew. I am so glad you liked it & you know you can borrow what ever I have. Hugs

  5. new GFC follower! love the blog, found it on the YA book blog directory! =] im excited to read more!! This looks like an interesting read btw

    follow me?!