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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

If 14-year-old Cassandra Reed makes it through her first day at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladieswithout anyone discovering her secret, maybe, just maybe, she’ll let herself believe that she really does belong at Miss Castwell’s. Except Cassandra Reed’s real name is Sarah Smith and up until now, she lived her whole life in the Warren, serving a magical family, the Winters, as all non-magical “Snipes” are bound by magical Guardian law to do. That is, until one day, Sarah accidentally levitates Mrs. Winter’s favorite vase in the parlor... But Snipes aren’t supposed to have magical powers…and the existence of a magical Snipe threatens the world order dictated during the Guardians’ Restoration years ago. If she wants to keep her family safe and protect her own skin, Sarah must figure out how to fit into posh Guardian society, master her newfound magical powers and discover the truth about how an ordinary girl can become magical.…

Overall Book Review:

Changeling:  A Novel of Sorcery and Society by Molly Harper is a delight from first word to last.  Set in England with a magician class in charge, a girls’ school for magic, and an alternative history, this isn’t ground-breaking plot and premise material, but oh, how satisfying it is.  This is due largely to some first-rate writing, sparkling and witty dialogue, and a protagonist, Sarah aka Cassandra, who has the perfect blend of charm, dry wit, and self-awareness.  Mrs. Winter is equally brilliantly written.  Readers who like Sorcery and Cecelia or Etiquette and Espionage will find this book to be right up their alley.  Fabulously fun young adult fantasy!  This is a highly recommended read and book one in a series.

Review of the unabridged audiobook


Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations.

Violence/Gore:  Characters collide resulting in bruises and bloody hands; verbal threats; character shocked by magic; magic throws a character onto their back; character receives light burns from magic; extended scene in which someone tries to kill a character by strangulation with a violent struggle and stabbing of attacker; extended scene of draining magic from another with intent to kill; book with frightening images of dead people; dreams about dead people; explanation about the undead and related magical powers/history; extended scene where multiple young characters are taken captive with intent to kill/sacrifice in the service of dark arts, characters are bound and rendered unconscious, battle with magic ensues, death of an individual by magical means; report that children/individuals have been eliminated (implied death).

Sex/Nudity:  Character finds another handsome; character obsesses over a member of the opposite sex on multiple occasions; character wonders about her birth and speculates (in general) if her mother had an affair and was unfaithful to her father; characters like each other and indicate they want to see more of each other; arm around waist; a kiss.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, discrimination, societal inequities, bullying, servant class.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Character wonders if someone is drunk; reference to a character’s parent often being drunk, his whisky flask, etc.; medicine used to suppress powers.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
2
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
3
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
3
10

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!