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(The Harwood Spellbook #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  586 ratings  ·  150 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 h
Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published February 25th 2019 by Five Fathoms Press (first published February 14th 2019)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

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 Anglan
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."
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is the second book in the series with Cassandra Harwood as the main character. After the events of Snowspelled Cassandra has found a new purpose in life: to teach the magic that she can no longer use to the young women of Angland who want to learn.

But her defiance of the ruling Boudiccate in setting up the Thornfell College of Magic has consequences for her new husband and for her family. And the Boudiccate isn't finished trying to shut her down, including a surprise inspection by a group w
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 C
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 o
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
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’l
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
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
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. ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Good story line with family working together! I enjoyed the twist at the end!
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Whimsical and charming.
Oct 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I don't know if I like this entry to the series better because we finally get a better idea of how this world works, or because there is a lot more action and intrigue, or both. I like 'Young Luton' more and more, (although I probably wouldn't in real life) and wish he was getting his own story in the series. ...more
Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Review forthcoming.
Calvin Park
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Stephanie Burgis’ Harwood Spellbook series gives plenty of enjoyment. There are moments when you’re intrigued by a well-crafted world. There are moments where your blood boils at the injustice thrust upon characters. There are also moments of fun and levity, bits that elicit a smile or a laugh. Thornbound, the second book in the series, has all of these aspects aplenty.

Thornbound picks up soon after Snowspelled left off. It tells the story of the first week of classes at Thornfell College of Ma
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 le
Julia Sarene
I keep telling you just how much I enjoyed Snowspelled, now I finally got around to the sequel.

And I loved it even more!

Cassandra is a wonderful main character, and I love how she is both willing to go head first through walls for things she feels are important. And on the other hand she also cares deeply about her friends and family, and tries to do right by everyone. Even by incredibly annoying and self important weather wizards...

This book dipped even more into the topic of "women's rights"
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 (angr
Jul 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a book full of amazing women, Cassandra and Amy are the main ones, but not the only ones you will meet there. And I think that we need more characters like them in our books. It is empowering, it is a boost to our self-confidence and it is a joy to read.
And I am so glad to finally see Cassandra's school opening. Sure, bad things happen there, and I am sorry for them, but the school was so good to see.
And Cassandra and Wrexham are so sweet together, I really hope to see more of them toge
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
While I do wish these were a bit more romance-y, I love the world. It's so nice to read a fantasy that doesn't have the standard patriarchal foundation. Also, there's not nearly enough fluffy fantasy, so this very much scratches that itch. They could use a bit more oomph, but for novellas they're very good and fun. ...more
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 trac
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
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.
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
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
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. ...more
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
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? ...more
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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 MG fantasy adventure novels (most recently The Raven Heir) and wildly romantic adult historical fantasy novels and novellas (most recently Scales and Sensibility).

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Other books in the series

The Harwood Spellbook (3 books)
  • Snowspelled (The Harwood Spellbook, #1)
  • Spellcloaked: A Harwood Spellbook Story (The Harwood Spellbook, #2.75)

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