Stolen Magic (Atheneum, April 2, 2013, middle grade) by Stephanie Burgis, is the third book in a series about an incorrigible Regency girl, Kat, who just so happens to be a powerful magic user. Unfortunately for Kat, any magic other than that of the Guardians (snooty upper class types) is tremendously looked down on. Although Kat has inherited a place among the Guardians from, she's also inherited more than a little of her mother's distasteful, distrusted, witchcraft....as have her sisters.
In this third book, one of her sisters, Angeline, is about to marry a very high-breed young man, whose mother is a snobby harridan of the worst kind. Kat, Angeline, their father and stepmother arrive at the finance's grand estate....and immediately mayhem ensues.
There are ordinary questions:
Will the schemes of the nasty mother keep Angeline from finding happiness?
Will Kat disgrace her family more than she usually does with her lack of regard for decorum?
There are magical questions:
Will Kat ever get another portal that will allow her to be a true member of the Guardians? She sacrificed hers in the previous book, and unfortunately all the spare portals have been stolen.
Will she and the woman tasked with working with her on finding them (a nasty piece of work from the previous books) come to blows?
Just what sort of spell does Angeline think she is doing?
And there are mysteries:
Who is stalking Kat with Malevolent Intent?
Who is the mysterious marquise who seems to know so much about Kat's family?
And then there is the Really Big Mystery:
Who is trying to kill Angeline?
And then there's a bonus kicker-- a plot by the scheming French that needs foiling (this being the Regency, and things not being too friendly between the French and the English).
So a very busy, entertainingly swirling plot that ends with the introduction of such a delightful appealing new twist that I hope rather a lot that there are more books to come!!!
I couldn't help but wish, as I read this one, that Kat would grow up just a bit more....she seems to have regressed somewhat in impetuosity and lack of empathy. Although that being said, there were times when I would not have blamed her for utterly loosing her temper, and she managed not to! But of course, the fact that I was caring about this as I read shows that Kat was very real to me.
The second book, Renegade Magic, is still my favorite (it has a more mythologically rooted plot, and more sympathy for Kate's poor, put-upon, unappreciated stepmama), but this was a fun, rollicking read, and I highly recommend offering this series to any ten or eleven year olds you happen to have on hand.
Here's another review at The Book Smugglers
Disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher.