Susanna Clarke meets PG Wodehouse in this magical debut
What Would you Write as sorcerer to the cover blurb?
Crown’s In Regency London, Zacharias Wythe is England’s first African Sorcerer Royal… and that’s only the first of his problems. When he meets runaway orphan Prunella Gentleman – a female magical prodigy, of all things – his problems are about to get even worse, for Prunella has just stumbled upon English magic’s greatest discovery in centuries.
How did you go about building the World?
I stole all the things I liked about Regency romances and PG Wodehouse’s comedies, spun them together with magic, and added a soupçon of postcolonial flavour.
is there anything unique about magic i n your book?
Like any other resource, magic breeds politics. In Sorcerer To The Crown a whole hierarchy has grown up around the performance of magic, which is largely controlled by the Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers – a society that admits only male thaumaturges, of course. The main focus of England’s thaumaturgical squabbles is familiars – magical creatures, now extremely scarce, who swell the power and importance of the few mortal magicians they agree to serve. Such magicians are called sorcerers, but Zacharias is a sorcerer without a familiar…
Which SF/ Fantasy authors Would you like to be compared to in a dream review?
I don’t particularly want to be compared to other authors as it can be a lot to live up to! But some authors who have been big influences on me are Terry Pratchett, Diana Wynne Jones, Geoff Ryman, Susanna Clarke and Karen Lord. Sorcerer To The Crown is published by Macmillan on 10 September.
Sorcerer To The Crown is the first in a trilogy.