3.9.15

Book Blurb Breakdown: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

book blurb breakdown


Book Blurb Breakdown is a Sarcasm & Lemons feature where your anal English degree-holding author (gently) rips apart jacket blurbs to pin down what makes her want to pick up the book instantly--and what makes her want to throw it at the wall.  See the original post for more detail.  

If you'd like to do a breakdown, here's a snazzy little button!  Post your link in the comments. 








today's blurb




Status:  Unread


the blurb: as is 

from Goodreads


In this sparkling debut, magic and mayhem clash with the British elite… 

The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty’s lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman—a freed slave who doesn’t even have a familiar—as their Sorcerer Royal, and allowing England’s once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven’t stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man’s profession… 
At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up. But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large… 


the blurb:  shredded 



In this sparkling debut, magic and mayhem clash with the British elite… (You'd have me just at this and the cover.)  

The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, 
(I am such a sucker for dryly humorous society names.) one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty’s lands. (This reminds me of Deep Magic by Diana Wynne Jones, which is a god thing.)  But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable (ALTOGETHER UNSUITABLE.  OMG did I mention that I also love dryly humorous humor?) gentleman—a freed slave (Whoa, is this historical???) who doesn’t even have a familiar (He doesn't even have a familiar!? How scandalous!)—as their Sorcerer Royal, and allowing England’s once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven’t stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man’s profession… (This last sentence kind of breaks the flow.  I feel like this is something we could get from the text; it just feels preachy here.)   

(This is kind of a weird transition.  We were just talking from an outsider's perspective, making it seem like the society is at fault, and now it's limited and we're like, Wait, but the sorcerers are concerned too!) At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up.  (There's something really delightfully tongue-in-cheek about this Fairyland thing.  I LOVE IT.) But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, (Oooh, I like that they set up a potential romance without being all OMG PRETTY GIRL WHO WILL CHANGE HIS LIFE AND SCREW THE REST OF THE PLOT.) he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large… (Just "and the world" would sound punchier.)  


the verdict 

4.5/5 stars
would i read it?:  yes 


I first saw this book a couple days ago on Cindy Pon's twitter feed, and I've already purchased a ludicrously expensive UK version because the cover is freaking awesome.  Okay, it wasn't that expensive, it's just international--but it's SO PRETTY SERIOUSLY LOOK AT IT.  Anyhoo, this blurb is practically perfect, Mary Poppins style but without the creepy sing-a-longs.  It's pithy, punchy, and most importantly, it sets up the tone.  The words and phrases are obviously carefully chosen to set up a certain witty dryness that I can only hope will permeate the whole book, because it's fan-freaking-tastically funny.  That last transition is a bit off, but hey--I had to find something to complain about.  Now I'm just gonna go stalk my mailbox until the shiny arrives and I can enfold myself in its sarcastically sarcastic awesomeness.  If it's half as much a mix of Deep Magic by Diana Wynne Jones and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab as it sounds, it'll be a shoe-in for my 2015 favs.  GO BUY IT.  


your thoughts

Does this blurb grab you?  
Do you agree with my thoughts?  If not, how so?  
Have you read it?  Does the blurb match the pages? 
Do you have any recommendations for blurbs I should shred?  




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