I’d heard a lot about Stephanie Burgis’ Kat series; a sort of magical spin on a Jane Austen-esque universe. I took a while to get to it, because it’s a premise which is very much out of my norm. I don’t really read magical books or fantasy. I loved, loved, loved Buffy but then got all twitchy when Willow started to talk about magic with a k. I’m not best friends with Jane Austen. The portents for me and this series weren’t great and then, because I’m pretty much a genius, I ended reading the penultimate novel in the series.
Which was great.
Seriously, there’s something rather intensely appealing about a book that simply won’t let you dislike it. Burgis’ style is so vividly dynamic; action crashes against action, with some deep emotional points, that I found myself reading it reluctantly as part of my studies and then totally forgetting that whole ‘reluctant’ part and just enjoying the story held here. It’s good writing this, pacy and quick and taut and tight all at once, covering a thousand different elements and at no points drowning in any of them. I loved it.
It’s also important for me to recognise the nature of characters involved. Kat’s family and the supporting cast are beautifully drawn. Sympathetically too; there’s some wild humour and some painfully beautiful comment on family, love and relationships. Certain of the more specific elements regarding the series went over my head but this is, I suspect, partially due to my having started at the end. Having said that though, it’s vital to note that this isn’t one of those ‘can’t be understood without having read all of the preceding novels beforehand’ sort of books. A Reckless Magick is something which delights in its premise, people and plot. There’s such love here, such wheeling, word-bound love.