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Thornbound

(The Harwood Spellbook #2)

by
4.06  ·  Rating details ·  335 ratings  ·  110 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
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Kindle Edition, 186 pages
Published February 25th 2019 by Five Fathoms Press (first published February 14th 2019)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
description

Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:
For over seventeen hundred and fifty years, ever since the great Boudicca herself had sent the Romans fleeing Angland with the help of her second husband’s magery, a clearly defined line had been drawn in the public arena, never to be broken. The hard-headed ladies of Angland saw to the practicalities of rule whilst the more mystical and emotional gentlemen dealt with magic.
In this magical, alternative-history version of England, called Angland,
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Stephanie
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."
Corrie
Thornbound is the second in The Harwood Spellbook Series and it continues shortly after Snowspelled.

Cassandra Harwood has found a new purpose in life and has started the Thornfell College of Magic to educate the first generation of female magicians. This radical move against the establishment meets with a lot of resistance from the Boudiccate. Her new husband Wrexham is absent, sent on a perpetual goose chase by The Great Library. A dark fea curse upsets the house and a committee sent to watch
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Veronique
Cassandra is about to open her school of magic for women, and naturally the Boudiccate, in fear that this would start major social and governmental changes, has sent representatives to find anything that would allow them to stop her, going so far as sending her new husband on never-ending missions to keep them apart! If this wasn’t enough, a fey altar is found in the library!

In this instalment, Burgis widens the scope. Cassandra is not the only one with huge stakes in this endeavour of hers. I
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Sarah
Thornbound is the second book in the Harwood Spellbook series by Stephanie Burgis and we get to see Cassandra fulfilling her dreams as she opens the door to her new school for female magicians, the Thornfell College of Magic. Cassandra has had a lot of support from her family and her husband to open the school but it quickly becomes clear that a lot of people in positions of power are not happy with her attempting to change the status quo. It's so engrained in society that women are politicians ...more
Intisar Khanani
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

THORNBOUND starts abruptly on the night before students are set to arrive at Cassandra's brand new school of magic. As you can imagine, chaos can't help but ensue. Set in an alternative historical England, Angland, where women rule politics, and men are considered too emotional to do anything but magic, THORNBOUND is a wonderful addition to The Harwood Spellbook series!

I've currently been going through a bit of a reading slump, and THORNBOUND was just
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Justine
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally posted to I Should Read That

Thornbound continues directly from Snowspelled and it is just as delightful as the first book. Where Snowspelled focuses mostly on Cassandra as the only female magician in Angland, although she has lost her powers, Thornbound sees more and more women practicing magic with Cassandra as their teacher. I really enjoyed seeing Cassandra move forward with her school and continue to push the boundaries of polite society, but I’m also glad that the book shifts its
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Lisa
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think if you loved Snowspelled, you’re really in for a treat with Thornbound. (And if you haven’t read Snowspelled yet, you should consider picking it up.)

Some time has passed since the ending of the last book and Cassandra is a busy bee getting ready for the grand opening of her new school. She’s taken on a huge responsibility putting all of this together and has worked herself near to the point of exhaustion when she gets some terrible news–the school might not be allowed to stay open. She’
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Katie
I think a lot of my reaction to this book/this series is that it wasn't what I expected it to be re: gender reversal of power. There's still a lot of battling against society's expectations and that makes me feel just . . . sad and anxious. It just . . . maybe I would feel differently if I wasn't a woman in a male dominated field (IT). As is, it just feels like, yep, that's how the real world is, too.
Debrac2014
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Good story line with family working together! I enjoyed the twist at the end!
Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Review forthcoming.
Anne - Books of My Heart
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

4.5 hearts

Instead of being a new couple, Thornbound continues with the same couple and family from Snowspelled and follows it by a few months in timeframe. Cassandra and her husband are trying to make their lives and dreams come true. Of course, they don't know each other completely or what the other wants yet. They are still
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Jasmine
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction, indie
A little bit painful to transition directly from reading Amy's novella— Amy, consummate politician and expert delegator— to this one— where we have Cassandra, who never met a challenge she didn't try to face in one-on-one combat and keep other people from helping with— but still a joy.

I just love the world building (gender-flipped edwardian magic-filled england! The fae are there! A world where we declined to lean into racism and homophobia when we could just be quiet!) and the characters
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Misti
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This novella continues where Snowspelled left off. Cassandra Harwood is intent upon starting a school of magic for girls, but her path will not be an easy one. She expects pushback from the government, but opposition will come from unexpected sources, as well -- and at times, that opposition may be dangerous.

I loved these novellas, and would recommend reading them back to back in order to get the full experience at once. Burgis has other stories set in the same world, and I'm sure I will be
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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
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Kerry
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another lovely installment from Stephanie Burgis. I highly recommend this series of novellas and look forward to the next one.
Danya
ARC sent to me by the author for review.
This review and others can be found on my blog, Fine Print.

Angland’s first female magician, Cassandra Harwood, returns in THORNBOUND. And this time, she’s opening a magic school!

Traditional gender roles are alive and well in Angland, a magical riff on Regency era England. The only catch? Women, cool-headed and rational, govern the country while men, emotional beings that they are, handle the sensitive magical arts. This genderbent approach is both fun and
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Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)
Picking up a few months after the conclusion of Snowspelled, Thornbound follows Cassandra as she fights to open the first ever school of magic for girls. Shared once again from Casandra’s first person POV, we learn that she and Rexum have married; however the Boudiccate is giving him job after job, keeping him away since the day of their wedding. Additionally, Cassandra’s dreams are plagued by thorny vines that strangle and choke her.

I enjoyed following Cassandra into her new adventures as she
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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
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Brandy Painter
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this to be an excellent sequel to Snowspelled. I love all of these characters so much, and even came to appreciate one I didn't think I was possible to like in this book. I enjoyed watching Cassandra and Wrexham figure out how to be married, which is harder than just being in love. I wish we could have gotten a little more of that, but was overall pleased with the continued development of their relationship.
Kristen
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
Jess
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?
Blodeuedd Finland
I do like these because they are short, and short can be so good at times. They also work while being short.

This is a historical fantasy where there is magic, fae and elves. Angland is ruled by women, and they marry mages, and it is the men who has to care for their reputations. It is an intriguing world, I do want to learn more about elves and fae.

Cassandra has magic and was allowed to study, and I can't believe it but I kind of agree with the women politicians. If she is allowed, and more is
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Jaime Moyer
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. It's difficult to give detailed reviews of a book this short without giving a ton of spoilers, but I'll try.

Women have been shut out of being trained magicians all through history. A woman's path is to be a politician, and in the rigid societal gender roles Cassandra grew up with, she would have followed in her mother's footsteps.

But Cassandra had other dreams. She wanted to be a magician, and overcame all the obstacles in her path to be admired to The Great Library, and
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Allison
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the world Stephanie Burgis has created for her Harwood Spellbook series, an alternate Regency Era England where women are the politicians, men are the magicians, and one family sets convention on its head despite the obstacles.
Cassandra Harwood was determined to be her country's first accredited female magician. But when an arrogant decision on her part meant she lost access to her magic forever, she decided to set up a school for other aspiring female magicians instead. Now she's ready
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SR
YES. I love difficult bad-at-people heroines and the wonderful women and men who love them. The world of Angland is fascinating to think about - I want an entire world history, honestly - and the atmosphere of this novella is just, ah, pitch-perfect. It mixes the harried everything-happening-at-once quality of a Connie Willis work with the wildness of a Diana Wynne Jones (I'm thinking Merlin Conspiracy in particular - Angland as Blest) with the mannered framework (containing utter chaos) of the ...more
Rosemary
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you liked the author's "Kat, Incorrigible" series, you should continue on with this more YA series about lady politicians and gentleman magicians. There's two novels and one novella out so far in the Harwood Spellbook series. All make for a pleasant read under shady tree with a cup of iced tea
Marta Duda-Gryc
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sweet, with good worldbuilding. Maybe 4 stars is too much, but it put me in such a good mood!
Ceillie Simkiss
Delightful again!
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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 Thornbound).

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Other books in the series

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