A TANGLE OF MAGICKS by STEPHANIE BURGIS
PB, 290 pages, Templar Publishing
“A Tangle of Magicks” is the middle book of a proposed trilogy starring the most unladylike Kat Stephenson, who the reader first met, age twelve, hacking off her hair and running away to be a highwayman, in “A Most Improper Magick” – the American title, “Kat, Incorrigible” sums up our heroine very well!
Some time has passed since the most improper magical events of the previous book, and “Tangle” opens with the dramatic wedding of Kat’s eldest sister Elissa, previously a calming force on wild little Kat and manipulative middle sister Angeline. With Elissa out of the way, the family decamp to fashionable Regency-era bath to find a suitable suitor for the reluctant Angeline. But ancient magic stirs beneath the Roman Baths, and soon the two sisters and their affable brother Charles find themselves entangled in the thick of it.
Although the Kat stories are set in the England of Jane Austen’s time, at the very core of this family is the idea of families, and how the people you love the most can be the same people who get on your nerves more than anyone, and you don’t have to have any familiarity with the period to identify with that! Kat and her siblings drive each other round the twist, and this book, while missing the dynamic that the largely absent Elissa previously lent to the family unit, benefits from bringing Charles to the forefront, while his sisters war around him. But really it’s all about Kat, her latent magic, her fierce love for her irritating family. In “Tangle”, she pits herself against some truly malevolent villains and still managed to emerge, if not with dignity intact, then at least on top.
It will be interesting to see how the various tangled threads of magic that run through Kat’s life are knit together in the final book of the trilogy. One to look forward to!