4 magical stars!
‘Brother’s Ruin’ tells the tale of a brother-sister pair who both seem to possess a bit of magic. Charlotte Gunn is very protective of her slightly older sibling, Benjamin, who in turn, is an appreciative and doting older brother. The sibling interactions in ‘Brother’s Ruin’ are truly heartwarming.
Every so often, Benjamin gets inexplicably sick and must put his life at the university on hold while he recovers, usually under his sister’s care. He wishes his health would improve so that he can complete his studies, start making money and contribute to his family’s household, and thereby gain approval from his parents. Charlotte’s life is somewhat of the opposite, when we meet her. She is happily in love with her fiancé, and is already earning an income as an illustrator, though it is under a fake name, due to her gender. She understands that foolish societal norms prohibit her from earning equal pay if she were to submit her work as a woman, and also that her parents would be embarrassed if they were to learn of the size of her income, or her contributions to their household’s finances.
When their father gets himself in trouble with vicious debt collectors, he calls upon the Royal Society of the Esoteric Arts, mistakenly believing that his son possesses impressive magic. The Royal Society pays family handsomely when they take magic-wielding children into their fold, and so Mr. Gunn believes this will solve all their problems. However, Mr. Gunn has neglected to account for the penalty of false-reporting.
Magi of the Royal Society live to serve the crown. They are not permitted to marry or have children, and are rarely able to visit their own families. As Charlotte is the stronger mage, content to hide her abilities in order to marry her fiancé and have children, her father has unknowingly put her in a precarious situation.
Watching the magic unfold in during Benjamin’s magic testing was delightful, and author Emma Newman concludes this first entry in her ‘Industrial Magic’ series with a surprise twist. I look forward to reading what happens next!
I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.
‘Brother’s Ruin’ will be available on March 14, 2017!