Publication Date: 1 Aug 2011
Synopsis: From Amazon
After her antics in A Most Improper Magick, Kat Stephenson is back to cause more chaos! Stepmama drags the family to Bath to find Kat's sister a new suitor. But, unknown to most of its gossipy visitors, Bath is full of wild magic. When Kat uncovers a plot to harness this magic in the Roman Baths, she finds her brother Charles is unwittingly involved. Kat must risk her newfound magical powers as she defies the Order of the Guardians to foil the plot and clear her brother's name.
If A Most Improper Magick (review here) made me want to say things like 'spiffing' and 'jolly good show' let me tell you A Tangle of Magicks made Regency England come alive. I think because I have been to Bath it was so easy to picture the world Stephanie Burgis wove within my imagination. I could clearly picture the Pump Room as it would have been in that time. If you would like to check Stephanie's guest post (here) you will be able to see some photos of the areas mentioned in this book.
I have to be truthful and say that I actually enjoyed this second book more than the first. Whereas the first book laid out some of the history and character interactions interspersed with the magic and action, this second book really allowed the characterisations to shine through. I particularly liked how Kat is starting to see that there are consequences to her actions, even if she is learning it the hard way.
Having been to Bath the imagery really brought the places to life for me. It was wonderful to imagine what the Roman Baths would have been like to Society in Regency England. How the ladies gather to gossip in the mornings, the scandal of the shared Kings Bath and the frolics of college boys in the evening all had me gigling away to myself. The incorporation of mythology into the storyline gave the magic added depth.
I still can't help but compare Kat and her family to the characters in Jane Austen's novels this may just be due to the period setting but as I said the character development in this book was amazing. I did guess the 'bad guy' in the plot but the reasons for the action and manipualtion really did make my jaw drop a wonderful incorporation of history into the narrative, it took me by surprise.
I am really looking forward to seeing what happens to Kat next.