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(The Harwood Spellbook #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,657 ratings  ·  443 reviews
In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen while ladies attend to the more practical business of politics. But Cassandra Harwood has never followed the rules...

Four months ago, Cassandra Harwood was the first woman magician in Angland, and she was betrothed to the brilliant, intense love of her life.

Now Cassandra is trapped in a snowbound house party de
ebook, 168 pages
Published September 4th 2017 by Five Fathoms Press
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Stephanie Thanks, Starrisa! A full description has just gone up on the page TODAY. :)
Yogesh Jain I am answering to my question. I couldn't resist myself after reading the blurb that I couldn't wait for community answer. This book can be read as st…moreI am answering to my question. I couldn't resist myself after reading the blurb that I couldn't wait for community answer. This book can be read as standalone. There are no cliffhanger at all.(less)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5 stars. On sale today, Sept. 4, 2017! Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Snowspelled, the first book in the new HARWOOD SPELLBOOK fantasy series by Stephanie Burgis, is a fun, light read, right at the intersection of magical fantasy and Regency romance, with a twist of alternative history. We are in Angland, not England, and there’s a time-honored treaty between humans and elves, with the humans paying a toll to live on elven lands. Cassandra Harwood, her brother Jonathan, and s
This novella was just right for a quick read in the middle of my busy semester. I've also been reading a lot of horror, so this light, fun, romantic fantasy was the perfect break between them.

While I was expecting this novella to be a fun escape, I typically enjoy a lightening fast plot in these types of books. While I never got bored (it was too short for that) I felt like something was missing. Everything almost felt too easy. For a good plot in this kind of book, you need a fair bit of juicy
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This thing keeps happening to me where I have a novella recommended to me (in this case, by my fellow blogger, Brigid), I one-click it, and then it’s just as awesome as it was hyped to be.

I’m not complaining, I’m just saying, one of these times, it’s not going to work out and I am going to be so sad that a good thing has come to an end.

But it hasn’t yet, so rejoice!

Earlier this year, I read Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert, and in my review for that I raved about how much stellar world b
Jun 21, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
***ETA: And it's out today as an ebook AND a paperback. Hooray!!!

This novella was my escape-/just-for-fun/comfort-writing project after the stress of last year's election, and I hope that it'll be a fun, comforting escape for readers as well. It's also the first in a brand new series! I'd describe these novellas as the equivalent of my Kat books but aimed squarely at adults, so: frothy, magical, fun and DEEPLY romantic. If you liked Courting Magic, you'll definitely like these!

ETA: And you can r
All Things Urban Fantasy
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-by-kate
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

My only complaint about SNOWSPELLED is that it is too short! Leaving me desperate for the next book in the The Harwood Spellbook series, SNOWSPELLED is an adorable romantic novella with a bit of a mystery. It's exactly what I would have expected from the author of KAT, INCORRIGIBLE.

SNOWSPELLED starts right in the middle of a conversation between two of the main characters and immediately sucks you in. Cassandra is intriguing and her sister-in-law Amy i
Snowspelled is the first in The Harwood Spellbook Series. It was brought to my attention by Heather Jones (my go-to gall for most things historical as she has excellent taste!) when she posted her review on Goodreads. I love regency and the promise of a lesbian character, so I was on board.

Cassandra Harwood, first female magician in Angland (that is not a typo) has been in a serious funk ever since she lost her magic in a gargantuan mishap of her own doing. We will find out through the book what
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
4 stars--I really liked it.

This is a short and sweet fantasy romance. (More of a novella actually.) It barely scratches the surface of plot, character, or setting, but it's so cozy and fun that I found it quite satisfying. I've been reading a lot of things lately that I found dark or depressing, so this was a nice break.

Lady diplomats, dapper magicians, and ice-cold elf lords abound here, and I love all those things. (And look at that gorgeous cover!) Recommended for readers of Sharon Shinn, etc
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A tensely romantic adventure in an English manor in the midst of a snowstorm. Manners, magic and an irresistible ex-fiancé--a fun and fluffy comfort read to be gulped down in one go. I really enjoyed reading this one.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cassandra Harwood fought tooth and nail for the right to be the first woman magician in Angland before her own pride destroyed her ability to do magic ~forever. When she's invited to a local house party (along with her ex-fiancé Rajaram Wrexham), she goes because no own can know her painnnn SPITE SPITE SPITE.

Enter: a promise to a malovalent elf, weird snow, snooping, making out in hallways, and the attempts of a proud woman to find value in herself not tied to the one thing she has always excel
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy
The country of Angland parallels Regency England, but it's a place where magic is real, elves and trolls are an ever-present threat, and the country is ruled by the members of the Boudiccate, the long-standing council of gentlewomen who are charged with the protection of the realm. It's a Regency England where race, sexuality and gender are mostly non-issues, although there are some fairly strict gender roles.

Regarding strict gender roles, Cassandra Harwood is a magician, the first woman to be t
Snowspelled is a novella set in 19th Century Angland, a kind of alternate history of our own world but with added fae and magic. Also this is very much a matriarchal society so if you've been looking for a feminist historical romance this will hit the spot perfectly!

It was a truth universally acknowledged that women were the more pragmatic sex; that was why we were expected to run the government, while the men attended to the more mystical and imaginative realm of magic.

In this world the women a
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Many friends have been recommending me this title, a mixture of fantasy and Regency romance, and they were of course right :O)

In this world, magic learning and wielding are restricted to males. However, this is not what you would expect, where women have no power whatsoever. Not at all, women rule the government while men are the ‘soldiers’, for a better analogy. Burgis re-invents a compelling world, one that still has prejudices but not the ones you would expect - diversity and race are accept
katayoun Masoodi
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
a very engaging and exciting short story. Interesting world and how the magic and the politcs worked, looking forward to reading the other adventures. The people all were very nice and like able, though they were a lot like the kat stories, not very complex sides to the characters and the heroes and the villains being quite defined as heroes and villains.
Originally reviewed at SmexyBooks-

Favorite Quote: “…there is more to you than your magic. There always was.”

Reviewed by Tori

Snowspelled is a historical fantasy novella set in the alternative world of Angland. Its history dates back to Queen Boudicca (Boadicea) and her war against the Romans. Only in here, she succeeded in defeating the Romans and driving them out of what is modern-day Britain. In this world, women dominate the political arena and the men c
Julia Sarene
So this is finally through its review for SPFBO on the fantasy hive, I can now shout from the rooftops just how much I loved this!
Personally I liked it even more than the one that will be announced as the winner later on. ;)

This felt like a mix of Jane Austen with Fae and trolls and magic!

I very much enjoyed the characters and liked to spend the with them. The plot was interesting and had me hooked all the way through! And the setting, tone and style just worked in perfect balance for me.

Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so very, very charming! It reminded me a lot of Sorcery & Cecilia, but honestly I might have liked this better. The heroine's very real pain at not being able to do the thing that she feels is central to her identity was so well done and she and the hero are so stupid for each other in the best ways. I also really dug the gender dynamics in the book and I LOVE that the sequel is a school book! Very happy I picked this up. ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I clearly don't read enough romance to tell how this book fits within the genre, but I can tell you that it's a beautiful, wholesome story about finding and giving acceptance, and I enjoyed it very much. ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ahhh so perfect!!! Wish it was longer!
- Perfect power couple romance
- Perfect sibling + sibling-in-law relationship
- Fun world and magic
- Super heartwarming
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
"Snowspelled" is an adult historical fiction/fantasy novella by Stephanie Burgis, featuring corsets, protection spells, and lumbering trolls, set in 19th century Angland. In Burgis' world, women are politicians & men, magicians. Cassandra Harwood is a rebel-magician who's recently lost her magic & her fiancé; after an impetuous bargain is mistakenly made, it's up to her to save her society from Elven destruction.

The gender flips are fun (e.g. men can be "hopelessly compromised"). Because it's h
Brandy Painter
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When this book first came out, I was in the moving process and overwhelmed. Then I decided to wait for cold and the Christmas season came, and I found myself more overwhelmed. As soon as Christmas gatherings were behind me, it became my number one priority. And I loved it so much.

Snowspelled takes place in an alternate historical England (Angland). For such a short work, Burgis did an incredible job of building the world and making the differences from our own believable in the context of actua
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, earc
I read this courtesy of the gracious author. Thank you! :)

A Solstice read for Yuletide.

I enjoyed this short romantic fantasy novel quite a lot. It was light, fluffy and fun, with nice - and kind! - characters and thoughtfully developed themes. There's nothing particularly groundbreaking about its treatment of gender, perhaps, with the partial role reversal, but the way the author weaved her ideas with the world and distributed information without info-dumping (but while giving all the useful kno
Artur Nowrot
Shall I tell you all the stuff I loved about Snowspelled?

– a heroine who tries to distance herself from those she cares about in order to protect them;
– loved ones who refuse to be pushed away;
– a main couple that loves snarking at each other, but also each person respects the hell out of the other;
– magical England (sorry, Angland);
– faerie;
– moving on from trauma/ dealing with lasting damage/ building your life anew;
– a model of society (magic is the domain of men, politics – of women) where w
Y.S. Lee
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a sweet, succinct, perfectly pitched romance set in an alternative Regency "Angland" with magic and gender politics. Cassandra Harwood is a feisty, headstrong heroine (not unlike Burgis's middle-grade heroines, Aventurine in The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart and Kat in Kat, Incorrigible/A Most Improper Magick) and there's so much pleasure in watching her develop emotionally. The family relationships are classic Burgis (Cassandra's strong friendship with her sister-in-law, Amy, is especia ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very short book, I didn’t realize it was a novella until I had read for a half an hour and realized I was a quarter of the way through already.

Right away you know you’re in a high fantasy book, there’s talk of elves, trolls, fairies, and other fantastical elements. Magic is a boys club in this world, with most men born with the ability to use magic and most women who can not. The MC is one of the very few women who once had the power to wield magic. She’s since lost the ability and th
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, romance
3 1/2

A novella with an interesting reverse gender fantasy world (no, it's not attractive the other way round either). At 4 $ I honestly found it expensive. But I can't deny she's good at them.
Here's a good review:
I'm keen to read a novel in this world.
Crystal Cook
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
This was a unique and fun take on a historical romance/fantasy.

The heroine wants to be a magician in Angland where only men are magicians, women are left to live a world of politics. She ends up using magic anyway, then a scandal rips her magic from her and breaks her engagement to her fiance. They all end up snowed in a cabin in the Elven woods where she is tasked to find a rogue weather magician by the dark elf lord.

This was a delight. Beautifully written, interesting characters, and very at
Fist off, this book wasn't bad, and I honestly think other people will like this one...but I just wasn't feeling it.

Para (wanderer)
This was a cute little romance novella, but unfortunately, not the kind of romance I'm into.

Cassandra is the first female magician in Angland. Or, rather, was. A while ago she lost her powers, as well as broke her betrothal to the equally brilliant magician Wrexham. Now trapped in a house party with her ex-fiancé, meddling family members, a promise made in haste, and mysteriously bad weather, things are getting increasingly complicated.

As you can guess, this is a second chance romance. Which is,
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, fantasy
This was a lovely little gem. A combination of many things I love: magic, fantasy, comedy of manners, regency and second chance romance. The story takes place in a world were humans and elves lead a fragile coexistence fraught with tension, and an unnatural snowy storm is threatening to let all hell break loose. Cassandra Harwood, our heroine, was destined for politics by her gender and pedigree but chose to pursue magic, which in this world is a purely masculine pursuit. "It was a truth univers ...more
Deva Fagan
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-read
This novella is a delight! Witty and charming and clever and romantic, filled with awesome characters who defy tropes. I especially loved Cassandra, the main character, and the tragedy of her love of magic, how hard she fought for it, and the choice that took it away from her. This story wraps up in an entirely satisfying way, but I hope I will be able to read more about these characters in the future!
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I grew up in America, but now I live in Wales with my husband, fellow writer Patrick Samphire, our sons, "Mr Darcy" and "Mr X", and our sweet (and extremely vocal) tabby cat, Pebbles. I write fun, funny MG fantasy novels (most recently The Princess who Flew with Dragons) and wildly romantic adult historical fantasy novels and novellas (most recently Moontangled).

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