When a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into a traveling magician’s wagon, Kim doesn’t hesitate. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London, Kim isn’t above a bit of breaking-and-entering. A hard life and lean times have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But when the magician catches her in the act, Kim thinks she’s done for. Until he suggests she become his apprentice; then the real trouble begins.
Kim soon finds herself entangled with murderers, thieves, and cloak-and-dagger politics, all while trying to learn how to become both a proper lady and a magician in her own right. Magic and intrigue go hand in hand in Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Ward, two fast-paced novels filled with mystery and romance, set against the intricate backdrop of Regency England. [summary from Goodreads]
To be honest, I was first drawn to this book by its cover. It's just... WOW. And Patricia Wrede is a fantasy author I have huge respect for (I adored Sorcery and Cecelia, which she co-wrote with Caroline Stevermer). She's like the equivalent of Robin McKinley, in my opinion: I'll read anything she writes, so brilliantly did she charm me with Sorcery and Cecelia. I have Thirteenth Child in my TBR mountain, and look forward to seeing how this reissue and bind-up of these two of her novels will turn out.
A Matter of Magic will be released in paperback by Orb Books on June 8, 2010.