People think that when you tell them you’re a book blogger that you have a vast knowledge of all of the Ibooks out there: past, present, future. I don’t. Maybe others are better at it than me. I have a hard time even keeping up with my favorite authors. Case in point, I did not know that Molly Harper, one of my favorite authors, had a YA series out called Sorcery and Society until this past Spring.
Changeling by Molly Harper
August 22, 2018
Blurb: If 14-year-old Cassandra Reed makes it through her first day at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies without anyone discovering her secret, maybe, just maybe, she’ll let herself believe that she really does belong at Miss Castwell’s.
Except Cassandra Reed’s real name is Sarah Smith and up until now, she lived her whole life in the Warren, serving a magical family, the Winters, as all non-magical “Snipes” are bound by magical Guardian law to do. That is, until one day, Sarah accidentally levitates Mrs. Winter’s favorite vase in the parlor…
But Snipes aren’t supposed to have magical powers…and the existence of a magical Snipe threatens the world order dictated during the Guardians’ Restoration years ago. If she wants to keep her family safe and protect her own skin, Sarah must figure out how to fit into posh Guardian society, master her newfound magical powers and discover the truth about how an ordinary girl can become magical.
Fledgling by Molly Harper
July 23, 2019
Blurb: Days away from completing her first year at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies, Changeling-born Sarah Smith might just get away with posing as an upper-class Guardian girl named Cassandra Reed.
But strange visions of a Lightbourne destroyed by Miss Morton’s revenant army keep Sarah from enjoying her achievement. Plus, the Mother Book, Sarah’s one secret advantage and the ultimate entrée in Guardian society, suddenly stops revealing itself to her…putting her in a precarious position with the Guild. On top of all that, her former lady’s maid left Miss Castwell’s, and the new hire is, well, taking some getting used to.
If it weren’t for her two best friends, Alicia McCray and Ivy Cowel, who will do anything to protect her secret, Sarah doesn’t know if she’ll make it another year. When the three girls take summer holiday with Alicia’s family (chaperoned by an exacting and very disapproving Mrs. McCray), a relaxing vacation in Scotland is the last thing they’ll find.
Mrs. Winter is thrilled that Sarah is spending time with the influential McCray family, but Sarah can’t help but feel that her real purpose is to find other Changeling children like her, and free them to realize their own magic. Can she find genuine satisfaction in her accomplishments when she knows there are others like her out there who need her help? Will the three girls uncover the deeply-held secrets they’re looking for in the mysterious mountains of Scotland? Will the Mother Book finally start talking to her again? And will Sarah come to understand the importance of her connection with Ivy and Alicia, and the true nature of her own power…before it’s too late?
Seemingly effortlessly, Molly Harper moves between the writing adult, snarky, sexy humor in her Southern Eclectic series to the witty and utterly captivating YA magic series Sorcery and Society.
In Changeling, Sarah Smith is quite content with her life as a Snipe (short for guttersnipe) working for the Winter family. Since she’s always been small and sickly, she has limited duties. While she is dusting, she discovers accidentally that she has magical powers, which Snipes are not supposed to possess. In this society it can be dangerous for a family if one of their children is discovered to have powers when they aren’t a Guardian. Since she was seen by Mrs. Winter, her mother and Mrs. Winter hatch a plan to keep Sarah safe. Sarah will become Cassandra Reed, a relation to the Winter family.
Cassandra/Sarah must attend Miss Castwell’s magical school where her magic will be honed and she’ll learn how to do other facets of magic. However, at Miss Castwell’s Cassandra discovers that magic has plans for her.
Fledgling picks up immediately after Changeling with Cassandra and her new best friends, Alicia and Ivy, continuing their adventures. Cassandra also continues to navigate proper society’s expectations as well as the desires of the magical Mother Book.
Having read a fair number of Molly Harper novels, I am amazed by the ease with which she tells these YA novels. First, her diction is very different from the Southern Eclectic series. I felt as if I were reading a novel written by someone well versed in all things English. The language just seemed spot on.
The characters were very well written. Cassandra/Sarah grows into being a strong magical being although she still feels confused and doubts herself. Her missing her family is palpable. Her feelings for Alicia’s brother, Gavin, are another source of confusion, especially since she’s lying to him about who she really is.
Mrs. Winter, who you would anticipate to be evil, is really a hoot. She’s had to navigate this society and is shrewd and snarky, a good combination.
The plots of both novels were well done, page-turning, bounding equally between humor and nail-biting adventure. If you enjoy YA supernatural novels, especially ones like Harry Potter, this series might be for you. I highly recommend it.
I received an ARC of Fledgling in exchange for an honest review.
4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies