The Shattered Court was my first book by M.J. Scott, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I have been waiting anxiously for the story to continue. So when this book fell into my hot little hands courtesy of the author’s offer of a free copy in exchange for an honest review, I dived right in. Alas, much as I had enjoyed Book 1, some events were foggy with the passage of time. If I could have done a do-over, I would’ve read that book again before diving in with so much abandon into this one. Fortunately, I was able to shrug off the missing pieces as the unfolding story captured my imagination and sent it soaring. Sophia is an unbound witch who stands close to the throne of Anglion. She comes into her powers and simultaneously loses her virginity to Cameron, making her persona non grata at court, particularly when Cameron had once been the new queen of Anglion’s lover. Forced to flee, she and Cameron make their way to Illvya. Newly arrived in the premier school of Wizardry in the capital, they find safety and shelter with the headmaster of the school.
In Illvya, and particularly in the school of wizardry, magic users are encouraged to explore their potential in ways that are considered taboo in Anglion. As Sophia and Cameron embark on a life of study at the school, they are both determined to resist the abundance of magic that surrounds them and keep to the straight and narrow, hoping to be able to return home someday without violating any Anglion taboos. Sophia, as many of the readers already suspect, is a very powerful witch and attracts attention from magical denizens and teachers alike. It’s quite interesting to see her set her first foot into the gray for expediency’s sake, even courting Cameron’s displeasure as she uses magical means to accelerate her learning of the local language.
Soon she and Cameron are embroiled in the court politics as various delegations from Anglion make their way to Illvya to petition for their return. Sophia, with her powerful shining magic, is a magnet for other magical creatures, as evidenced by the owl who wants to be her familiar and the wraith from the water who comes to her aid, even when she doesn’t call for it. As the danger surrounding Sophia and Cameron escalates, they find themselves veering away from the straight and narrow and venturing into magical roads they had never planned to explore. Who wants Sophia dead? The royals of Anglion or the royals of Illvya? What is in store for Sophia next?
I enjoyed the quiet moments with Sophia when she visits the temple to worship in the manner she’s been taught, the visit to the dressmaker who makes her a gown that even the court will envy, her growing friendship and intimacy with the King of Illvya even as she dabbles in all the other forms of magic, some of which are forbidden in Anglion. Cameron is a great foil for her with his protective instincts and blood magic honed in his service as a royal guard in the court of Anglion. Some things are clear as we leave the players at the end of the book and yet others are shrouded in mystery.
I hate having to wait for the next chapter. Dear Ms. Scott, please don’t make us wait too long.
She fled to save her life, but surviving what comes next might destroy everything she believes in…
The royal witches of Anglion have always been bound to serve their country. But Lady Sophia Mackenzie, whose unbound magic and near claim to the crown made her a target, was forced to flee Anglion, leaving behind a dead assassin and shattered loyalties. Now she finds herself in Illvya, where the magic is everything she’s been taught to fear and the only person she can trust is her new husband, Cameron.
Sophia and Cameron must navigate a strange world of illicit temptations, dangerous threats and political intrigue, where as a royal witch Sophia is both prized and reviled.
As she begins to master her powers, the factions seeking to control Sophia close in, and her magical and emotional bonds with Cameron are pushed to the limit. To survive long enough to claim the future she seeks, she may have to choose between love and loyalty, and hope the price of her choice is one she can bear.
No excerpt available.