A Scholar of Magics by Caroline Stevermer. ★★★
Although this is the sequel to A College of Magics, I don’t think you necessarily need to read them in order. However, I would advise it so that you have some of the concepts of the world explained in depth before you hit A Scholar of Magics.
From the back cover: “Glasscastle University – on the surface, one of the most peaceful places in England. But underneath, its magic is ancient and dangerous…
American Samuel Lambert, sharpshooter, adventurer, late of the Wyoming plains and Kiowa Bob’s Wild West Show, has been invited to Glasscastle University in England to contribute his phenomenally accurate shooting eye to the top secret Agincourt Project. The only dangers he expects to face are British snobbery, heavy dinners, and tea with the Provost’s pretty wife. But when the Provost’s stylish sister, Jane Brailsford, comes to town, things get much more exciting….”
The draw of A Scholar of Magics is certainly the characters. The cast is different from the first book (except for Jane, who’s allowed to take center stage), but all of the characters are fun, likable, and enjoyable to spend time with. Jane continues to be wonderful, and Lambert is a nice addition. He provides the outsider’s perspective to magic and Glasscastle.
Where A Scholar of Magic faltered was the plot. I found it predictable and not at all suspenseful. When the Big Bad was revealed, the protagonists were all shocked, but I’d guessed it the first time they’d met him. Really, shouldn’t they have at least had some questions regarding him? If they drew a Venn Diagram and looked at the overlap, he’d be smack dab in the center.
While there’s not a whole lot of depth to it, sometimes it’s nice to relax with an enjoyable book like A Scholar of Magics. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a lighter read.