This is a wonderful teen book on two witches, coming of age in 1837, the year young Victoria reaches the age of 18. The girls are witches, but they are the first girls born in the family line for generations, so a governess is hired, recommended by a friend, who happens to be a witch as well, so she tutored the girls over the years she spent with them in how to cast spells, etc. But soon it’s time for the Season – balls, Almack’s, routs, drums, etc. They are going to their house in London, calling on friends, holding open houses, and being presented to court, with all it’s attendant regulations. One of the girls though is shy and bookish, and when she meets the boy next door, her childhood friend who has ben away for years, she falls in love with him, but is afraid that because she is a witch, he would be unhappy marrying her is he ever found out. So she tries to turn him away. Meanwhile, their governess has been kidnapped, in a elaborate plot to get her to use her magic to have the young Victoria either sign over herself to a Regency, under the care of her mother and her mother’s close advisor, Sir John Conroy, or have him appointed as her personal secretary. But she is strong and courageous for such a young girl, and stands up to him – hence the need for magic. And so begins the rounds of balls, calls, dresses, milliners, and trying to find out what happened to their beloved governess, while trying to discourage the suit of a man she loves, and one from a man she dislikes, and trying to play matchmaker for a new friend, etc. Complicated, but fun and engaging – the girls and the supporting characters are all intriguing, adventurous and full of life, although at times you might want to bash Persy, the shy twin who’s in love, for not figuring out a solution, and instead piling up stupidity on stupidity. It brought back many memories of my Regency reading days, and all the things I knew about that life, as it took place shortly after the Regency, when most of the social customs were still in place – only the clothes had changed somewhat, and some of the key players are gone. I hope there might be more in the series, as there are still some trailing loops that could be turned into a book.
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