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(The Harwood Spellbook #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Cassandra Harwood scandalized her nation when she became the first woman magician in Angland. Now, she's ready to teach a whole new generation of bright young women at her radical new school, the Thornfell College of Magic…

Until a sinister fey altar is discovered in the school library, the ruling Boudiccate sends a delegation to shut down Thornfell, and Cassandra’s own hus
Published February 25th 2019 by Five Fathoms Press (first published February 14th 2019)
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  141 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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May 27, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Hooray! Thornbound is out now. You can find it at Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and iBooks.

Here's a snippet from the end of Chapter One, just for fun!


At the other end of the house, the great bell sounded, vibrating through the walls.

I lifted my chin, suppressing the panic that wanted to choke me, and I gave my sister-in-law my most confident smile. “Well, then,” I said, “let us go and welcome our first arrivals to Thornfell College of Magic."
Intisar Khanani
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful installment by Burgis! It's opening day at Cassandra Harwood's new school for female magicians, and Murphy's Law is hard at play. The Boudiccate is looking for every excuse to shut down the new school, the Great Library has taken a staunch position against the school, and as Cassandra quickly learns, all her supporters are paying a steep price for her vision. Now, with an old nemesis come as the Boudiccate-assigned head inspector to assess the school, and illegal fey contracts ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Good story line with family working together! I enjoyed the twist at the end!
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh, this was just fantastic. If you've read Snowspelled and loved it then you're in for a treat! Full review to follow shortly, I have much to say. :D
Raelene Gorlinsky
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis

Disclaimer: I received this ebook novella from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thornbound is the sequel to Snowspelled, set in the same world and with the same primary characters. It would not read well as a standalone; you need to read Snowspelled first—which you should definitely do, since Snowspelled is entrancingly excellent. Thornbound, alas, was a bit of a disappointment. I asked a friend who also read it what she thought, and we had identical reac
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Thornbound is cozy and effortlessly readable, much like the first book in The Harwood Spellbook series. I did prefer Snowspelled because I didn't think this novella expanded on the world or characters much, but I did find it to be entertaining.

Full Review on My Website
Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Review forthcoming.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another lovely installment from Stephanie Burgis. I highly recommend this series of novellas and look forward to the next one.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Stephanie Burgis captivates and pleases the reader with a delightful magical mystery. We're still following the career of Cassandra Harwood, who has not only defied Angland's societal expectations by becoming a magician, but is currently mixing with long-held political ideals about the separation of gender roles (men for magic, women for politics) as she prepares to train a small group of girls at her new school for magic.

The trusted, genial and genius mix of Burgis' writing is foun
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to the wonderful second (full length) instalment of the Harwood Spellbook. The more I read of this beautiful world, the more I fall in love with it. Set in 19th century Angland, where women are traditionally in charge of politics, and men the more emotional area of magic, this book features Cassandra, who is opening a school to teach young ladies magic.

This book lives up the the promises made by the previous episodes and the magical cover. The characters are three dimensional and believ
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy this series and this book didn't disappoint! Cassandra is such a compelling character and I loved getting to see what her marriage looked like. Her continuing journey to build a life without magic kept me turning pages.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think that Stephanie Burgis could top 'Snowspelled'. Boy was I wrong! She has outdone herself in 'Thornbound' with Cassandra Harwood learning a vitally important lesson - that you don't have to do everything by yourself - a lesson that a lot of protagonists have to learn. This tale starts out fairly hopefully but then turns into a tense, gripping narrative that pulls the reader along as you wonder whether everything will work out all right in the end.

What I particularly love about this
katayoun Masoodi
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: don-t-own
love burgis' writing and her characters, can't wait for the next in this world.
Not rating it for now because I'm not sure what to give it. 2 or 3 stars, though, it sadly didn't live up to book 1 in my eyes - I liked the overall message but not so much the execution.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
JUST LET CASSANDRA AND WREXHAM BE TOGETHER, YOU MONSTERS. Anyway, I dug this! I'd sort of like to see more of it actually being a school, though I am hopeful that the next novella will have that? Please?
Kathy Martin
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Things don't go easily when Cassandra Harwood tries to set up a school for magically inclined young women. The Boudiccate has very reluctantly given permission for the school but has sent a investigative team including Cassandra's greatest enemy to give final approval.

That is only one of the problems though. Cassandra has been plagued with nightmares of thorn strewn vines entangling and strangling her, her husband has been kept so busy by the Boudiccate that they haven't been able to spend any t
Aarya Marsden
4.5 Stars

A highly enjoyable fantasy/regency novella. I'm in love with this magical version of an alternate universe Regency England (or Angland, as they call it) where women are the politicians and only men can study magic in a matriarchal society.

In the follow up to the novella SNOWSPELLED, Cassandra Harwood (the very first female magician who recently lost her ability to cast spells) has just married her beloved Rajaram Wrexham and is ready to open the very first school of magic for female ma
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, novella
I loved Snowspelled so much I was little bit afraid that my expectations for this sequel where too high and that I would be disappointed, but I'm pleased to say that wasn't the case! Thornbound does an excellent job of continuing Cassandra's story building on what came before while still surprising me. I especially appreciated the themes of disrupting traditional gender roles, community building and women mentoring other women. It was very much my thing!
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this novella from the author, in exchange for an honest review, and I was thrilled to be able to go back to Ms. Burgis' new series combining alternate history with magic.

Stephanie Burgis’ digression from the historical fiction of her previous novels (Masks and Shadows and Congress of Secrets) into “pure” fantasy is proving to be just as intriguing as her other works: the alternate Regency England – here called Angland – introduced with Snowspelled is further developed here and gains n
Lauren loves llamas
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, fantasy
I absolutely adored Snowspelled, so I was ridiculously excited to read the next novella in the Hardwood Spellbook series. I made the mistake of starting to read this in bed and ended up staying up well past my bedtime to finish it! This is so heartwarming and was just the warm, cozy hug I needed! While I think this could be read as a stand-alone, I’d recommend going back and starting with Snowspelled, because it’s just that good!

Cassandra has spent so long relying on only herself – a good skill
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019, review
We're back with Cassandra and her supportive small family, with the new edition of her niece. We rejoin them right on the cusp of the opening of the Thornfell College of Magic to see that she's realised her dream and made it a reality. If Angland is still going to stick so firmly to tradition and expect women to run the world and the men to deal with magic then the Harwood family will break the ice themselves - with Cassandra's brother being the first in the family to not study magic, and Cassan ...more
Thornbound is one of those crunchy, satisfying stories that tells what happens after the happy ending, after the revolution is won. Well, then comes the hard part, the real work. At the end of Snowspelled, Cassandra Harwood, the first lady magician in Angland, decided that she wasn’t going to be the last and opened up a school to teach magic to other young women. Eschewing the traditional path for ladies to enter politics, Cassandra is running on the strength of her convictions and the support o ...more
Natalie Haigh
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
*I received this novella from the author in exchange for an honest review*
A great follow up to the Snowspelled the 1st book in the Hardwood Spellbook series. The story picks up a few months from the end of Snowspelled with Cassandra's magic college for women is ready to accept the 1st group of students.

The author really puts poor Cassandra through the ringer, with a series of events that could damage her school, her ambitions, her marriage and even her life. The story really picks up pace as it
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a charming and simply enchanting story. Honestly, while I did enjoy Snowspelled, this story was filled with so many heartfelt relationships that it has undoubtedly become my favorite.

This story picks up some months after last one left off, following Cassandra on the day she is meant to finally open the doors to her new school and realize her dream of a better future for women with her same ambitions. I was not sure what to expect when I started reading this story. I knew the general ide
Tsana Dolichva
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis is the second novella in the Harwood Spellbook, following on from Snowspelled. I also read the prequel novella, which appeared in The Underwater Ballroom Society. Although the story continues on from what came before, it stands on its own fairly well and could probably be read without the earlier stories.

This was an enjoyable read. It features Cassandra Harwood going through various struggles in the course of setting up her new magical academy for young women. Asid
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Publication 25th February 2019. Advance review copy supplied by the author.
I love Stephanie Burgess' Harwood books. This is the second short novel (or maybe novella – not sure of the word count) which follows on from Snowspelled. There was a prequel (shorter) novella (Spellswept) featuring Amy and Jonathan Harwood between the two longer stories. Quick background note. This is a version of Britain (Angland) where strong women become politicians and the more 'delicate and emotional' men (well, tho
Thornfell had been as radically reborn as I had in the past several months, both of us reimagining ourselves toward a common purpose.

In this delightful sequel to Snowspelled, Cassandra Harwood is ready to open her school of magic for girls. Angland, however, is not ready to buck seventeen hundred years of tradition by allowing women into the manly realm of magic - or men into the womanly world of government. Now, not only does Cassandra have to deal with all the details of running a school, she
Another enjoyable story in this world; Goodreads 3.6; Amazon 4.1.

Cassandra spends much of this installment frantically trying to keep on top of a spiraling tangle of disasters, as the very first and second day of her newly opened school go very far from as she'd planned. She's worn to a nub by the closed-minded and intrusive evaluators from the Boudiccate (including a cruel old enemy and a former family friend), by the problematic weather wizard who's been hired to teach, by leading all the oth
Artur Nowrot
I really enjoyed both Snowspelled and the prequel novella Spellswept, but I was nevertheless quite nervous as well as excited when sitting down to read Thornbound. What would happen now that (view spoiler) What would the intrigue be like? Will it all be just as good as Snowspelled?

Reader, it was better and I really shouldn’t have doubted the author.

The opening of Thornbound finds Cassandra on the cusp of opening her school an
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Burgis writes all of my favorite sorts of things: historical settings, inclusive representation, authentic characters, magic, romance, clever dialogue, great tension and intrigue— Thornbound includes them all and then some!

I adored the previous two stories in the Harwood Spellbook series, and with Thornbound she’s surpassed them both. I love Cassandra, her efforts to establish a magical school for young women, and the complex situation she finds herself in, stuck between a powerful pol
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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 Girl with the Dragon Heart) and wildly romantic adult historical fantasy novels and novellas (most recently Thornbound).

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Other books in the series

The Harwood Spellbook (2 books)
  • Snowspelled (The Harwood Spellbook, #1)