Zen cho

Su­sanna Clarke meets PG Wode­house in this mag­i­cal de­but

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

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.

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