Magician’s Ward by Patricia C. Wrede



Title: Magician’s Ward

Author: Patricia C. Wrede


Date read: January 6, 2017

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: Regency Romance Fantasy

Age: YA

Year published: 1998

Pages: 288 (paperback)

Series? Book 2

Favorite character: Mairelon

Source: From library sale

Notes: I didn’t read book 1: Mairelon the Magician. (Also note: both books are available in a collection titled A Matter of Magic, which has the added perk of having a nicer cover than either volumes do alone.)


Georgette Heyer meets Diana Wynne Jones (though without quite the ridiculously wild shenanigans/characters and not as uproariously funny, yet still amusing in its own right) in a Jonathan-Strange-esque historical fantasy setting. Basically, this is a Regency Romance with magic. How delightful is that? 😀

It’s technically a sequel… but I got along just fine without having read the first book (titled Mairelon the Magician).

Our heroine, Kim, is a former street thief, who used to live on the streets of London, masquerading as a boy, and now lives in a fine house in London as the ward of Richard Merrill, a.k.a. Mairelon the Magician. Apparently the first book is about how they met. Mairelon is an upstanding gentleman (not to mention a somewhat young, handsome, and rich one, and therefore not ineligible) who, oh yes, also happens to be a magician.

The enjoyments of this novel include:

  • Getting to see a girl who lived most of her life as a street-thief try to fit well enough into Polite Society (think Jane Austen heroines) so that Mairelon’s Aunt Agatha won’t have a fit at her being improper (hint: Kim isn’t always trying, plus she has bad habits of talking in street-thief slang, so this does not always go well), while also being Mairelon’s apprentice and learning magic and trying to look after him in her way, while trying to solve a mystery.
  • Being immersed in the alternate history Regency setting, where magic is an established part of the world and it all makes total sense, and makes for a very fun read.
  • A mystery which kept me puzzled right through, involving an attempted-burglary in the house library, mysterious books, unusual magics, and suspense about various magical goings-on.
  • Mairelon himself, a character I took to at once and adopted into my “favorites” category. He reminded me somewhat of a slightly tamer version of Chrestomanci or Howl (likely because he’s a magician), and his cleverly cutting words where he manages to be impolite without seeming so (sometimes) were simply a joy. You can see he doesn’t really always care what Polite Society (so-called, as he says) thinks of him, but has to tread the line carefully so as to not utterly scandalize his aunt. MAIRELON IS AWESOME. That is all. ❤
  • Kim and Mairelon together are fabulous too. I will spoil nothing, but they’re great. 😀
  • Other characters, who include Hunch the loyal and grouchy manservant, a Russian Prince, some French magicians, and Mairelon’s mother who’s a fascinating character in her own right.
  • Humor and fun dialog too. ❤

Really, I don’t know what else to say. It’s a Regency Romance with fantasy, fun characters, and—oh yes—it’s by Patricia C. Wrede, who wrote the amazingness that is the Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Searching for Dragons being one of my top-favorite books ever).

Jane-Austen-with-magic-and-mystery-and-cutting-dialog-and-Mairelon. What more need be said?

Fantasy Regency Romance should be a thing. I had no idea I was missing it, but now I need more of it in my life.

What think ye, my Pagelings? And have you ever read a Regency Fantasy? If so, PLEASE SPILL BECAUSE I WANT ‘EM.

(Posting this fantasy review today in appreciation of February is Fantasy Month hosted by Jenelle Schmidt!)


Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer



17 thoughts on “Magician’s Ward by Patricia C. Wrede

  1. Patricia C. Wrede? Former street thief? Jane Austen with magic? Howl-like character? I NEED DISSSSSS. It sounds amazing!!! I’ll definitely have to keep my eye out for these books when I go thrifting and things. Just…just…YES. I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE.

    I honestly can’t think of a single regency fantasy I’ve ever read. But it sounds like SUCH a fun genre! I always love when magic/fantastical things are mixed with our world. It’s so great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I KNOW RIGHT?? Soooo many good things all in one. 😀 I think you’d really enjoy this one. ^_^

      It is definitely a fun genre, which makes me so sad I’ve only read one or two in it, and even sadder that there don’t seem to be very many of them out there! :O But yes, it’s great fun when fantasy mixes here, especially in a historical setting because it can be so DIFFERENT. 😀


  2. Oooh! I have not even heard of these books! How is that possible?!?! I love Patricia C. Wrede so much. And my TBR stack grows…. I mean, seriously, we’re talking Leaning Tower of Pisa here…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know! But yes, her books are fabulous! I need to read more… I’ve heard that her Sorcery and Cecelia books are also regency fantasy so I need to check them out. …Sorry about the growing TBR… but you DO need these things in your life, so. 😉 Heehee. XD (Mine’s a leaning tower too. You are not alone. *nods solemnly*)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interestingly enough, I read the Enchanted Forest Chronicles like 20,000 times before I ever realized she had any other stories even available! My library back home-home (where I grew up home) only had those. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered her 13th Child book and I haven’t gotten around to reading the rest of that series, either, even though I really enjoyed it).

        I am thankful I am not alone. Books are simply the best. I love that I have lots of books in that stack… I just 1) wish I could always remember what books are in there when I go to the library, and 2) hope they never form themselves into a real stack and fall on me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Haha! Yes, sometimes we don’t know things till later… I haven’t read 13th Child. But I’m sure reading Enchanted Forest Chronicles so often was fun too. 😉

          YES! Agreed! XD And I always forget at the library too! Which is why I’ve taken to having a Goodreads shelf of books at the libraries I want to read, and have been known to make lists/spreadsheets to bring with me too……. >.> Ahem. A real stack would be terrifying. I do have an entire bookcase double-stacked stuffed with unread books… I truly hope it never falls on me. XD (That’s just ones I own, not at libraries/wishlists/ebooks…)


  3. This sounds AMAZING. 😀 I always love the street-thiefs…and witty dialogue and magical mayhem and such is a plus too. 🙂 I haven’t really read any regency fantasy-type books either, but they sound and epic and I really need to get on it!! *goes to add this book to the never-ending list of books I haven’t read yet*

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great fun, yes! Magical mayhem–what a lovely phrase! I love that too (and Diana Wynne Jones does it excellently). Witty dialog = ❤ Eheh, sorry to add to the enormous list yet again! 😛 Those TBR stacks do grow, don't they? 😛 *collapses under own pile to read* (But that’s half the fun, too! XD)

      Liked by 1 person

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