Title: A Reckless Magick
Author: Stephanie Burgis
Series: The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson #3 (UK) / Kat, Incorrigible #3 (US)
Genre: Children’s Historical Fantasy (9+)
Kat’s back for her third adventure, and as usual, social disaster is following in her wake…
When the Stephenson family travel to a grand country house in Devon for her sister Angeline’s wedding, Kat is stalked by a dangerous magical enemy and finds everything she thought she knew about her late mother called into question.
With smugglers, sabotage, tangled romance and plenty of magical activity at work, it’s down to Kat to protect her family and her country from impending ruin.
Source: Bought it
I do like this fun and wonderfully readable series. However, after two books of the Guardians punishing Kat for things that have nothing to do with her, I had kind of hoped for some progress on that front. Sadly, not. The Guardians are every bit as snobby and rude as ever, embodied in the snooty form of Lady Fotherington, who really should have better things to do with her time than trying to ruin the life of a thirteen year old girl.
And despite ample proof to the contrary, it might be nice if her family stopped treating her like an irritating idiot who gets into trouble just for the sake of it. This time around Angeline is a bit too busy to condescend to Kat, so we have Charles instead, getting in the way, not trusting his little sister, thinking he knows best. Which I suppose does give Kat an excuse to continuously run off on her own, getting into all the trouble Charles is supposed to be preventing, but I found it all a bit frustrating.
Which is a shame, because there’s plenty going in this novel. Not least the battle of wills between Angeline and her soon-to-be mother-in-law. The Stephenson clan run amok throughout the book in a variety of wonderful, often embarrassing ways, and it was lovely to have all three sisters together again, even if they don’t interact much. Kat also has a chance to further hone her matchmaking skills, this time with big brother Charles, who is in definite need of a distraction now that he’s given up being a wastrel and decided to devote himself to watching Kat.
As far as magic goes, I still find myself wishing for more. Kat still knows next to nothing, and although her stalker seems powerful, we don’t really see much of it. After three books of this, I’m starting to feel like the magic is a treat that’s being constantly held just out of reach – and again I find it a little frustrating. Kind of like the mention of smugglers in the blurb, which don’t really materialise.
However, the action definitely picks up in the last third of the book and what was a fun romp turns into an exciting adventure as all the mysteries are finally unravelled and Kat attempts to save the day. Yes, all right, there are some aspects of the ending that are a bit far-fetched and rather too convenient, but I still enjoyed it.
Overall I found this a good continuation of the series, and once again it only left me wanting more. I know there’s a novella set a few years in Kat’s future, but there’s still so much left for young Kat to learn that I can’t help hoping that this isn’t the last of Kat’s unladylike adventures. There’s still so much more havoc she can cause, and I’d love to see her give the Guardians the proper shake up they deserve.
A Reckless Magick is Out Now!
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