Stephanie Burgis has combined two of my favorite things with her Kat books. Magic and Regency England. I loved Kat Incorrigible (my review). Bit thoroughly enjoyed it as well. I was going to wait and review Renegade Magic with her too, but we are currently in the middle of a different trilogy so it will be a while before I can read it to her. I didn't want to wait that long. There is always some nervousness when reading a sequel to a book you really enjoyed. There is a chance it won't be as good. Renegade Magic does not suffer that fate. It is even better than its predecessor.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
While I loved the house party setting and Kat's discoveries of her magical heritage in the first book, I enjoyed the setting and magic in this one even more. Renegade Magic takes place in Bath complete with trips to the Pump Room, Assemblies, and scandalous Rakes who prey on innocent young ladies. Burgis used the history and myths of the Baths and the spring from which they come to create all sorts of magical mystery and mayhem. The writing in this volume is even better than it was in the first and it was quite good to begin with. The dialogue flows well and is humorous. The mystery is set up perfectly, and even though I knew the who was behind the magical mischief it was just as interesting to discover the whys and wherefores.
Kat continues to be an extremely likable and engaging heroine. I found myself frustrated exceedingly at all of the people who wouldn't listen to her, wanting to shake them and yell at them. Much like Kat herself was probably feeling. I completely understood why Kat doesn't waste time trying to convince others of her rightness and instead acts on it. I liked the more thorough introduction we have to Charles, Kat's brother, in this story. I also enjoyed how one particular character I was frustrated with finally stepped up and did something. Lady Fotherington returns to continue to attempt to keep Kat from coming into her full magical abilities, but we also get a little more insight into her motivations and anger. There is a delightful new character, Lucy, who is introduced and it was nice to see how Kat interacted with someone closer to her own age and not in her own family.
This is a book you should block out time to red. Burgis is an evil author who ends her chapters in ways that will make you want to keep reading just one more until before you know it you are up way too late with a finished book. Even though I couldn't stop reading I was sad to reach the end. Burgis has created a world I just don't want to leave and it is mostly due to my wanting to spend more time with the characters. I was so disappointed when the story came to an end because it meant my time with them was over. I am very much looking forward to the third installment of Kat's adventures.