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Zen Cho

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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Sorcerer to the Crown

|| The last thing that Zacharias Wythe, England's first African Sorcerer Royal, needs is a female magical prodigy in the form of ambitious orphan Prunella Gentleman! But when she stumbles upon England's greatest magical discovery, they must do battle with the Fairy Court and the British government.

Five Books About Inconvenient Women

Women aren’t often allowed to be unlikable—and that’s especially true for fictional women. Most readers get that “sympathetic” or “interesting” isn’t the same as “nice”: look at all the asshole geniuses and Byronic heroes lauded in fiction and adored by fans. But the common denominator among these assholes about whom so much ink is spilt, and to whom so much screentime is devoted, is that they’re invariably male.

Female characters have a low threshold for unlikability, as well. Often it simply means that they have goals and motivations that have little to do with the wellbeing of other people. Women who aren’t nurturing and self-sacrificing? How dare they! Do they even know how to woman?

[Five books I love about difficult women]

Series: Five Books About…

My Kinda Scene: The Death of Théoden

In a new feature for the Tor UK blog, authors share their favorite scenes from film, TV, and books. This time, the fabulous Zen Cho, author of the forthcoming Sorcerer to the Crown, explains why the death of Théoden in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Return of the King makes the cut…

One of my favourite movie scenes of all time is the death of Théoden in The Return of the King. It sounds a bit morbid! But for all his flaws, Tolkien understood the power of story, and Peter Jackson understands storytelling (for all that that is not abundantly evident in the Hobbit movies).

[Bernard Hill lends the character a gravitas he didn’t necessarily have in the book.]

Sorcerer to the Crown

The fate of English magic lies in their hands…

In Regency London, Zacharias Wythe is England’s first African Sorcerer Royal. He leads the eminent Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, but a malicious faction seeks to remove him by fair means or foul. Meanwhile, the Society is failing its vital duty—to keep stable the levels of magic within His Majesty’s lands. The Fairy Court is blocking its supply, straining England’s dangerously declining magical stores. And now the government is demanding to use this scarce resource in its war with France.

Ambitious orphan Prunella Gentleman is desperate to escape the school where she’s drudged all her life, and a visit by the beleaguered Sorcerer Royal seems the perfect opportunity. For Prunella has just stumbled upon English magic’s greatest discovery in centuries—and she intends to make the most of it.

At his wits’ end, the last thing Zachariah needs is a female magical prodigy! But together, they might just change the nature of sorcery, in Britain and beyond.

The first installment in the Sorcerer Royal series, Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown is available September 1 from Ace Books (US) and September 10 from Pan Macmillan (UK).

[Read an excerpt!]