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A Most Improper Magick

(Kat, Incorrigible #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,792 ratings  ·  621 reviews
"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..."

Magic may be the greatest scandal in Regency England. But that's not going to stop Kat Stephenson when there are highwaymen to foil, sinister aristocrats to defeat...and true loves to capture for her t
Paperback, 247 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Templar
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3.96  · 
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 ·  3,792 ratings  ·  621 reviews

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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
Rebecca McNutt
A beautiful and bizarre story of magical powers and the value of family reigning supreme, Kat, Incorrigible is a fun, exciting and mysterious story of fantasy and mystery colliding.
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

"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
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
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Gail Carriger
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, read-2011
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
Nov 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, sweet
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
Jocelyn Koehler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claire Legrand
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gosh, what a delightful book! Think Jane Austen through the eyes of a feisty 12-year-old girl -- and then add magic!

This delicious middle grade fantasy tells the story of Kat Stephenson, who discovers that she has inherited her late mother's powerful magical talents. Suddenly, several people of questionable intentions are after her, and to make matters worse, her beloved eldest sister Elissa is being bullied into marriage with the sinister Sir Neville, to save the family's reputation and livelih
So freaking cute! Love love it. Just read it.
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 step
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Karen Healey
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kat is 12 years old and the youngest of her family. Her mother died shortly after giving birth to her, and so she was raised by her older sisters and a repressive stepmother. After her brother's gambling puts the family deep in debt, Kat's oldest sister promises to marry the very rich (but also much older and strangely, subtly malevolent) Sir Neville. The family troops off to a house party to make the match happen...but Kat's magical powers complicate the situation.

Kat is a wonderful, courageous
A delightful book about a family in Regency England where magic is known, and three sisters have to deal with some BAD marriage prospects. Any similarity to Jane Austen's works ends here, thankfully - as her books are definitely not my cup of tea.

The plot is pretty straightforward (a dangerous suitor, discovering magic in oneself), but the characters are what made this book for me. Kat is 12 years old and the youngest of the family, but that doesn't mean she can't do everything in her power to
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
I will start by saying that this book makes me want to say things like ' spiffing' and 'jolly good show old chap' but hey that's just me [ : D ]

Set in Regency England and to give Stephanie Burgis credit she really does bring it to life with her vivid descriptive writing style.

Written in first person narrative from Kat's perspective. Kat, Katherine Stephenson, at 12, is the youngest member of her family; consisting of 2 older sisters, an older brother, the requisite 'wicked' stepmother and her do
Merrie Haskell
Full disclosure: I know Stephanie. I've known her online for a while, met her in person once, and we're both Michigan girls. The difference is, I was moved away from Michigan during my childhood and came back--and I married another Michigander--and she left Michigan and married a guy from BRITAIN. And lives there now. Not that I don't adore my husband, but that used to be my childhood fantasy!

So, maybe, since she's living my childhood dream and we're from the same state and we've known each oth
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Gail Carriger Fan...: January Read: Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis (MG) 11 42 Feb 01, 2015 08:29PM  

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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

Kat, Incorrigible (4 books)
  • Renegade Magic (Kat, Incorrigible, #2)
  • Stolen Magic (Kat, Incorrigible, #3)
  • Courting Magic
“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…