by Stephanie Burgis
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
Twelve-year-old Kat Stephenson may be the despair of her social-climbing Step-Mama, but she was born to be a magical Guardian and protector of Society--if she can ever find true acceptance in the secret Order that expelled her own mother. She’s ready to turn the hidebound Order of the Guardians inside-out, whether the older members like it or not. And in a society where magic is the greatest scandal of all, Kat is determined to use all her powers to help her three older siblings--saintly Elissa, practicing-witch Angeline, and hopelessly foolish Charles--find their own true loves, even if she has to turn highwayman, battle wild magic, and confront real ghosts along the way!
I remember wanting to read this one under it's original title "A Most Improper Magick." As a huge fan of historical romance, I thought it was great fun to see the Regency Era with it's ballrooms, carriages, and adorable suitors, from the eyes of a twelve year old.
There was a slight Cinderella slant to the story, with Kat's at times annoying two sisters, and her almost evil stepmama. I think this element will greatly appeal to younger girls. Sometimes the magical element seemed a little overdone and slightly confusing, but I liked the general idea of Kat having magical powers.
The two boys who Kat encourages to court her sisters are just too adorable for words. Mr. Carlyle was especially cute as a love potion victim. And Kat's exasperation with Mr. Collingswood's various shortcomings was quite entertaining.
Kat was a super heroine and she had so much self-confidence! She was so confident and sure of herself that it was a little funny sometimes, but still, I think this is a fantastic trait to nurture in girls that age. Kat knows what she wants and she doesn't even think twice before going after it.
The door is wide open for a sequel, I can't imagine what Kat will be up to next!
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Romance: 4/5 (Kat's sisters)
Bottom Line: This is a fun historical romp that is perfect for middle grade girls and I think older fans of Regency book will get a kick out of Kat's story too.