Title: Tea and Sympathetic Magic (Teacup Magic Book One)
Publisher/Author: Tansy Rayner Roberts
Price: $8.99 / free
Welcome to the Teacup Isles. The Season is well underway, but Miss Mnemosyne Seabourne is no closer to attracting a husband now that she was months ago. And that is perfectly fine with her. Mneme would much rather be back on the ancestral estate, reading in the library, exploring the gardens, and attending services in the family temple. But when her cousin, the Duke of Storms, invites Mneme to a house party on his island, she can’t refuse. It is there that she meets Charles Thornbury, a spellcracker hired by the Duke to ensure that no nefarious spells or charms are used to compel him into marriage. Bored out of her mind, but also worried for her cousin, Mneme decides to help Thornbury — and a good thing, too. When the Duke disappears in the middle of the night, and all signs point to him being ensorcelled, it falls on Mneme to save the day ….
Magical Regency stories are among my favorites, so I am always looking for new authors and titles in that genre. Happily, the B&N algorithms recommended a good one: the Teacup Magic series by Tansy Rayner Roberts. The first book, Tea and Sympathetic Magic, is free, while the second and third books (The Frost Affair and The Spellcracker’s Honeymoon) are available singly or as part of a digital boxset. (There is also a fourth book, the F/F romance Lady Liesel’s Seaside Surprise, in which one of the side characters takes center stage.)
Tea and Sympathetic Magic is a sweet, exciting, adventure romance with an intelligent and curious heroine and a hero who is smart enough to trust her. And, while the society is loosely modeled after Regency England, there are notable differences; for example, this is a polytheistic society. Priests and priestesses are the norm, and the ancestral temple on Mneme’s family estate is in honor of Uranus and Gaea. And while a Queen rules the realm, and it is not uncommon for husbands to take the surnames of wives from a higher social strata, there are still restrictions on women; for example, and women are not allowed to travel by portal, but must make use of cumbersome boats to move among the island.
My only complaint — and this is from a purely selfish perspective — is that I wish the books were longer! I really like this world and these characters. I hope that Roberts writes more Teacup Magic stories.
Highly recommended to fans of Rosalie Oaks’ Lady Jewel Diviner series, An Elusive Dragon by EB Wheeler, the Regency Mage series by Joyce Harmon, and Good Neighbors by Stephanie Burgis.
[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]