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Kat, Incorrigible

(Kat, Incorrigible #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  4,037 ratings  ·  657 reviews
Katherine Ann Stephenson has just discovered that she's inherited her mother's magical talents, and despite Stepmama's stern objections, she's determined to learn how to use them.

But with her eldest sister Elissa's intended fiancé, the sinister Sir Neville, showing a dangerous interest in Kat's magical potential; her other sister, Angeline, wreaking romantic havoc with he
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Atheneum (first published August 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,037 ratings  ·  657 reviews

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Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m going to try and keep this review short and sweet*, like our heroine Kat Stephenson.
Whenever I read a book set in this era, I always get a bit of an uneasy feeling because I know it’s going to inevitably lead to my most dreaded confession: I don’t like Jane Austen. The first thing you think of when it’s books from this period is her so I feel like, when reading a book set in this time, that I’m gate crashing a party that no one wants me at.

But whatever, because I loved this book and I’m glad
Cute, cute, cute!

Kat, Incorrigible is a charming and delightful read that will amuse any reader looking for a fun book filled with sisterly devotion, scandalous adventure and enchanting magic. I totally agree with other reviews when they said they wished this book was around when they were younger, it would have been one of my favorites as well. It's been a long time since I enjoyed a book like this and even though it's aimed for younger readers it didn't stop me from being absolutely bewitched.
Kat Stephenson, youngest of three sisters in Regency England, is determined to keep her oldest sister from marrying horrible Sir Neville. When her first, failed, attempt leads her to discover a family secret about her long-dead mother, Kat realizes she may be onto a different way to save her sister, and discover some exciting, if not necessarily welcome, possibilities for herself. It also exposes her to just how horrible -- and dangerous -- Sir Neville truly is. Then it's up to Kat to save her s
Daina Chakma
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Daina by: Shimin Mushsharat
I love stories where girls save themselves. I love stories of rebel girls - be it fiction or real life tale.

Kat, Incorrigible is a amusing and delightful story of three sisters full of mischievous adventure and enchanting magic. I was got hooked by the very first lines-

I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy, and set off to save my family from impending ruin.

I fall in love with Kat with every turning pages! Now she is one of my favourite rebel girls and I am gonna
Mar 30, 2011 rated it liked it

"You can't tell a book by its cover" but I was absolutely charmed and captivated by the whole design of this cover, from the adorable illustrations to the elegant-but-quirky handwriting to the shimmery sparkles. I am, as ever, grateful for GoodReads as the numerous positive reviews of this book kept me reading even though I was underwhelmed by the first 1/3 of the book.

At age twelve Katherine (Kat) Stephenson is the youngest of three daughters of a country minister, respected enough to
Gail Carriger
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, historical, fantasy
Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis was entirely new to me and I quite enjoyed it. I can't remember how this book came on my radar originally (I really should start keeping track of that kind of thing). It's mid grade but with the sophisticated edge one might expect from a Regency setting. It was not as light nor as comedic as I felt the cover and blurb suggested. It was quite fun (almost silly) at the begging but became more serious as the book progressed. I'm not certain if this shift in ton ...more
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy, and set off to save my family from impending ruin. I made it almost to the end of my front garden."

When I read these first lines, I knew Kat Stephenson was going to be a character I liked—a lot. Her story continued to unfold with all sorts of delicious twists and turns, including magic and danger and plenty of dry humor thrown in.

The magical element of the story was so much fun to read, as was the sharp dialogue, gorgeous
Steph Su
If A MOST IMPROPER MAGICK had been around when I was in middle school, it would’ve been my favorite book of ALL TIME. As it is, I am over 20 years old, and this is still one of my favorite books I have read in recent history, with an amazing narrator and charm to the likes of which I haven’t seen since I read Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted for the first time in fifth grade (and which still remains one of my favorite books to this day).

Kat is undeniably the best part about this book. Unlike
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy and set off to save my family from impending ruin.

With those charming, devilish words, young Katherine Ann Stephenson (Kat, for short) begins her unladylike adventures, fueled by the best of intentions. Kat doesn't quite accomplish her goal of saving her family on this fated evening (she only gets so far as the garden before her two older sisters sound the alarm and bring her home), bu
Intisar Khanani
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely read, absolutely hilarious in some respects (oh, the absurdity of the self-sacrificing gothic heroine!), with more than a few unexpected twists, and both serious danger and sisterly drama.
3.5 stars. Kind of cute take on Regency behaviours with witches. Kat is incorrigible, being not interested in conforming to her not evil but definitely not supportive or kind stepmother's wishes for propriety, as well as her class' restrictions. Kat's mother was a witch, and she and one of her two sisters definitely seem to have a bent for magic. Throw in an elder sister having to make an eligible match to save the family's name and fortune, and you have a (very) lite take on an Austenesque dram ...more
Jul 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I was expecting to like, or even love, thi, a lot more than I did.

The ingredients all seemed like something precisely up my alley, YA regency with magic, sisters bonds, slightly quirky settings, but something never quite made me love it (except the highway man. I loved the highway man dialogue). We are told many things, including that characters fell in love, and plot is relatively straightforward, and I never much cared. Worldbuilding also kind of vague.

Incidentally Kat is supposedly 12 in this
Jocelyn Koehler
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011, favourites
In the tradition of the strong heroines starring in some of my favourite series such as Julia Golding’s Cat Royal and L. A. Meyer’s Bloody Jack, Kat Stephenson bursts into the literary world with a lot of spunk and an irrepressible curiousity. The first installment, in what is sure to become a moved loved series for me, contains all the elements necessary to make an entertaining story into a novel one. The novel presents the Stephenson family which contains three sisters, one brother, one stepm ...more
Melissa McShane
Closer to 3.5 stars, except I enjoyed the conceit and I really like Regency era fiction, so it gets the boost. It's an engaging story and promises more of the same in future books in the series. Kat is particularly intriguing; I like how she is by turns naïve and wise, occasionally wiser than the adults around her, but never in an annoying way. I could see in her the kind of adult she will end up being and how she'd get to be that person.

But even though I loved the characters, there was somethin
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
An absolutely delightful book. One of the most charming opening lines I have ever read. Fun, fast paced story, spiced with unexpected twists and turns, a little danger but nothing overly scary, and a great sense of humor.

Reread 2020: everything I wrote before is still true and I had forgotten how the beginning lines were echoed in the end to tie everything up with a sweet little bow.
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2020: A book with a great first line
May 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in early manuscript format and couldn't put it down. It's a wonderful, adventure-filled romp steeped in magic, romance, rich family relationships, and a young heroine who never gives up, no matter what. For fans of Jane Austen who've always wanted the women to be more adventurous and take-charge, you will love these books!!! ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place was my favorite Middle School read from 2016, and Plain Kate was my favorite from 2015, this very well might be my favorite Middle School read for 2017. (Of course, I say might because it is still too early to tell. We're only 24 days into the year.)
Kat was a likable, spunky heroine and I loved her relationship with her sisters. The whole book kept me guessing with its twists and turns. I liked the different levels of magic. Kat can be a bit of a
A Most Improper Magick is incredibly charming. It's set during the Regency - and accurately so. It features magic and secret orders and a sassy heroine with one sister who is a would-be-witch and another who is dying to be a heroine from the gothic novels she reads. There's a clergyman father and a wicked stepmother who comes through in the end. There are highwaymen and adventures and giggles aplenty. It's such a treat that although I usually save my five star ratings for books that changed my l ...more
Nov 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: already-own-read
I remember wanting to read this one under it's original title "A Most Improper Magick." As a huge fan of historical romance, I thought it was great fun to see the Regency Era with it's ballrooms, carriages, and adorable suitors, from the eyes of a twelve year old.

There was a slight Cinderella slant to the story, with Kat's at times annoying two sisters, and her almost evil stepmama. I think this element will greatly appeal to younger girls. Sometimes the magical element seemed a little overdone
So freaking cute! Love love it. Just read it.
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Early nineteenth-century child and teen novels written with an equal influence of Jane Austen and Diana Wynne Jones are nothing new. Indeed they've been around for quite some time. They're your Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer and the like. High manners plus magic equals an unbeatable combination in the eyes of many a reviewer (the jury is still out as to whether kids could care less). Into the fray leaps Kat, Incorrigible, known as A Most Improper Magick over in Engl ...more
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original Post at One More Page

Truth be told, I picked up Kat, Incorrigible from Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab not because of the blurb but because I thought the cover was utterly charming. The girl's mischievous smile is enough to make me curious about this book, so I picked it up from the selection, excited to know what really made Kat incorrigible.

Katherine is the youngest Stephenson family, and she's also the least ladylike of all the Stephenson sisters, much to the despair of her stepmo
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: tween girls, fans of Jane Austen & Harry Potter
The first thing about this book that grabbed my attention is the title — how can I not be intrigued by a novel with my name in the title? The colorful, whimsical book jacket depicting a mischievous-looking girl holding a book and magically pouring a cuppa tea...also another selling point. But when I read several reviews that said this book is a good read for fans of Jane Austen and Harry Potter — well, that was the icing on the cake. I knew I had to read this book. I downloaded the sample on my ...more
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-mg, 2011-ya-debuts
I loved this book. Let me count the ways.

The humor. I laughed out loud many, many times while reading this book. The narrator is a twelve-year-old girl, I do not read very many narrators this young, but I loved Kat, her humor (used against others) and her unintended humor (when she gets in a pickle through her own clumsy earnestness).

The sisters. Kat is the youngest of three girls. The dynamic between the three is SPOT ON to how sisters work. They may fight and bicker, but you can tell they ca
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
Fun and quick fantasy Regency book, with a 12-year-old spunky heroine.

I liked the story and think it definitely shows promise for the trilogy, but something about it just didn't have the sparkle that I had been hoping for.

For one, it was one of those books where no one seemed to ever talk to or listen to anyone else. Everyone had their secrets, and that's one thing, but then everyone seemed to think they knew what was going on, or what was best for everyone else, and I don't think there was one
There are no words which can adequately describe how much I loved this book.

The story starts as 12-year-old Kat is trying to sneak out of her house, dressed as a boy, to run off to London. She is scared that her eldest sister will be forced to marry in order to rescue the family from the debt their brother has landed them in, and so she is determined to save them instead. Her plans end in chaos.

Instead of going to London, she discovers her magical legacy, and so begins her own journey, learning
Karen Healey
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic romp sparkling with wit and hilariously told by the excellent and most improper Kat. This is one of my all-time favourite upcoming YA books, for its charm, its verve, and its wonderful Regency setting.
It's 1803 and 12-year-old Kat Stephenson, the youngest daughter of a country rector, has cut her hair, disguised herself as a boy and sneaks out of the house . . . only to be busted by her older sisters. Kat's whole reason for running away was to help her brother Charles avoid debtors prison and to keep eldest sister Elissa from making a martyr of herself by marrying an older man who was rumored to have killed his wife. Kat thinks that as a boy, she could make money in London to send home to hel ...more
Heather Jones
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I needed something fun and fluffy and light and a quick read. Burgis’s YA magical Regency novel Kat, Incorrigible perfectly hit the spot. Having recently been on a panel discussion about Regency fantasy at Worldcon, I’ve been thinking about the role that magic plays in this sub-genre. It can either be an analog of social rank and privilege, or a forbidden underlayer, or in rarer cases, a subverting force that acts openly across the formal structures of society. But that’s a discussion for a diff ...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

Kat, Incorrigible (5 books)
  • Renegade Magic (Kat, Incorrigible, #2)
  • Stolen Magic (Kat, Incorrigible, #3)
  • Courting Magic (Kat, Incorrigible, #4)
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“I was twelve years of age when I cut my hair short, became a highwayman, and captured husbands for both of my sisters.

I could hardly wait to find out what would happen next.”
“I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy, and set off to save my family from impending ruin.

I made it almost to the end of my front garden.”
More quotes…