My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The premise is a bit like Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (set during an alternate Regency period that includes magic), although for a slightly younger audience. The cover is adorable, but it makes the book look even younger – I’d recommend this to tweens who like upbeat historical fiction with a little magic and romance (although for other characters, not Kat).
The story was fun but never felt original. I did appreciate that the characters were all fleshed out as the story went on – the sisters and stepmother got a bit more dimension. One uneven thing in the story was the use of magic – although there seems to be a whole system of regulation, with the Guardians keeping an eye on things, most elements were thrown in with no explanation, like the mirror or the golden hall. They end up being key to the plot, but the magical system is never well-explained – something that would bother some fantasy fans, I think.
Light and enjoyable, but not particularly memorable. Apparently sequels are on their way, and maybe some of these issues will be tied up there, but I wasn’t hooked enough to pick up future books (although I’d buy them for the library if the first one does well).
Source: my public library