Take one part magic, two parts adventure, and a dash of cross-dressing, add two unwed sisters, a bumbling father, and a stepmother with her petticoats in a twist, and you're in for an unlikely adventure through nineteenth-century England like Jane Austen never dreamed it.
Katherine Ann Stephenson has just discovered that she's inherited her mother's magical talents, and despite Stepmama's stern objections, she's determined to learn how to use them. But with her eldest sister Elissa's intended fiancé, the sinister Sir Neville, showing a dangerous interest in Kat's magical potential; her other sister, Angeline, wreaking romantic havoc with her own witchcraft; and a highwayman lurking in the forest, even Kat's reckless heroism will be tested to the upmost. If she can learn to control her new powers, will Kat be able to rescue her family and win her sisters their true love?
I haven't read a book like this in a long time. Jane Austen isn't quite my cup of tea so I wasn't sure if I would like it but I was hooked from the first page. It brought me back to my childhood with it's whimsical, magical story and adorable, colorful cover. The characters had interesting personalities rather you liked them or not. Some were extremely annoying but that provided contrast to how much I enjoyed Kat. She is the ultimate tomboy in a time where that is not tolerated. She longs for adventure and although she is usually in trouble for her unladylike behavior or disobeying the rules, she is extremely loyal to her family and very brave. Her older sisters have their own problems and are often frustrated with Kat but they know when to put family first as well. When Kat bumbles attempts at magic that is apparently inherited from her dead mother, a chain of events are put in motion and chaos ensues. What fun for the reader!
Although aimed at middle grade readers this is fun for all. Filled with action, adventure and romance, the story lagged a bit for me in the middle but picked up steam again. The ending provided a nice set up for the next book in the series. I look forward to reading more from the feisty, snarky Kat!
Renegade Magic (Kat Incorrigible #2) 4/3/12
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for an ARC to review. (My apologies for the late date. I thought I had posted this already.)
Release date: 4/5/11
Publisher: Antheneum (Simon & Schuster)
Type: childrens fiction